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Daily Reading: 16th September 2016

 

Matthew 5.10 cont.

Oh the blessing of the ones having been persecuted on account of their being righteous, because the kingdom of the heavens is theirs.

There are many great decisions that we have to take in our life, but the greatest one is to follow Jesus and to receive Him as our Lord and Saviour. Yet it is also the way of difficulties, and persecution.

Jesus said:

34  “If any one desires to follow Me he must deny himself and he must take up his cross, and he must follow Me.

35 For whoever wishes to save his soul will lose it; but whoever will lose his soul on account of Me and the gospel, will save it.” – Mark 8.34-35

We know that James wrote these words:

[2] Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy.

[3] For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.

[4] So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything – James 1.2-4 (NLT).

We should never tell anyone that following Jesus is going to be easy, or trouble free. Yet it is the best life that we can have, because it comes with the inheritance of the Kingdom of Heaven.

We often say that we have an enemy, and this is true. However, there is also the persecution that comes from within. Perhaps we do not pay attention to the enemy that is within us, which is the old self that seeks to drag us down.

It is the old self, our sin filled nature that declares war on us.

Paul said:

 [21] It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.

[22] I love God’s law with all my heart.

[23] But there is another law at work within me that is at war with my mind. This law wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.

[24] Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin?

[25] Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin – Romans 7.21-25 (NLT).

The enemy within us persecutes us, but with Jesus within us through the Holy Spirit we do have the victory over sin.

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