I've been doing some journaling and it occurred to me that since I was writing anyway I could just as easily share my thoughts with the blogosphere, for whatever that is worth. You see, I am trying to get a deeper understanding of how to follow Jesus. I want to know what it means to be His hands, His eyes, His feet, His voice, etc. to those who people my world.
In order to do that I am going to study the Gospels because they are the written documentation of what Jesus did with His hands, His feet, His voice, etc. while He was here on earth. Right now I am especially interested in what He says, because I am in Matthew 5, and am reading the Sermon on the Mount. (I said I had already been busy journaling, so you will just have to jump in with me on Chapter 5.)
I'm on vs 11-12 today: "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." (NIV)
I read the verses and then asked myself, "What does this mean for me?"
God's Word is a living entity, and His words to me do not always speak the same message from one reading to the next, but today I discovered that I am blessed when I am reviled, persecuted and falsely accused --- but only when I do it for Jesus' sake, not my own. I do not seek persecution in order to prove my faithfulness. Instead, I bear it as He did, to honor the Father. When persecution does happen, though, I now recognize what is going on, and instead of fear, my emotional reaction will be one of gladness, knowing that I am following God's will for my life. I am living like the prophets who also served.
My action step is that I must move boldly through life, talking about my faith freely without fear of rejection, but not looking for it, either.
And that is why I'm back.