WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 31
““Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.”
Matthew 5: 10-13 ESV
WHEN PERSECUTION HAPPENS: BE SALTY
There’s a cartoon that puts persecution in perspective. In the four panels, we see people praying–first a New Testament Christian: “Lord, give me the courage to face this accusing mob.” Then a Reformation Christian: “Lord, help me declare Your truth despite the cost.” A 20th Century believer from Soviet Russia: “Lord may we persevere faithfully under these burdens.” Then finally, today’s American Christian: “Lord, the Audi’s been running rough lately.”
We are blessed in so many ways as Americans. Most of us will never experience the intense persecution that others have around the world. However, Jesus taught when persecution does come into our lives “for righteousness sake” we are truly blessed. Someone else said this is a blessing that nobody really wants. And the truth is none of us really want to be persecuted. But when we are persecuted Jesus wanted to remind us that we “are the salt of the earth.”
Salt was used as a preservative and to add flavor. Salt made food better. In the same way, our lifestyle choices should make the world a better place. People in the world won’t always appreciate our attempts at a righteous lifestyle. Sometimes it seems as if righteous living is mocked everywhere you turn. But even if they persecute us for it, we are still making the world a better place.
Pray that our church would stay “salty” in our community and around the world. Ask God to help you be “salty” in our schools, neighborhoods, workplaces and families.
“Jesus says, ‘In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.’” Matthew 5:16