The Beatitude Series (8)

THE BEATITUDE SERIES

CHURCH OF ALL NATIONS

February 28th, 2021

­­­Verse of the week: “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

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Look: This image is from Hyatt Moore

Coloring for the Children:

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Listen:

Here is a beautiful song that reminds us of all of the Beatitudes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kkjmXnIWow What does this song evoke? As you listen to this song and are reminded of Matthew 5, and the beatitudes – in their completion – what are you feeling?

Think and Engage:

This week the verse is “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” This verse goes on to say: 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. – Matthew 5:11-12

These verses lead us to believe that we will be ‘persecuted’ because of our righteousness, or because we follow Christ. It also is very realistic, in saying that the same thing happened to the prophets so it will surely happen to the disciples. Therefore, we will have similar experiences throughout our life.

The language here suggests that to be persecuted means to be harassed, or mistreated, or to suffer on the account of something. If you seek Christ and righteousness, you might get people around you who choose to treat you poorly or what might feel like mock you. Christ says, this will happen – and although it will not be a good experience – yours is the Kingdom of Heaven. Those who experience persecution or suffering because of Christ, will be welcomed into the Kingdom of Heaven. This prepares us to expect insults and false things said about us, based on our faith. I love that Jesus acknowledges this reality and doesn’t sugar coat it. He says it like it is, but also it is an invitation into the Kingdom of Heaven.

This brings us to the end of the beatitudes. However, the beatitudes are just the introduction to the Sermon on the Mount. If you want to read more about who Jesus is and what he teaches keep reading. Something that speaks loudly to me is that Jesus calls us Salt and Light in the next section, saying, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven” (Matthew 5:16). After the beatitudes Christ explains how we are meant to shine in the world, and add flavor! This is a beautiful next section and begs that the reader keep reading!

Questions to consider:

Have you been persecuted from those around you for your faith?

Have you had mean or bad things said at you in any context?

How did this feel?

What is your emotional response when you think about the invitation into the Kingdom of Heaven?

Do you resonate with the call to be salt and light in this world?

Spiritual Practices:

Individual Practice:

  1. Re-read the beatitudes, spend some time in thought and prayer – with all of those who Christ welcomes what do you picture the Kingdom of Heaven to look like?
  2. Spend some time considering that the Kingdom of Heaven is already here, but also yet to come, wright about the response that you have?
  3. As we finish up the beatitudes, writing about the major insights you have had, and how this has shaped your view of Christ.

Community Practice:

Based on our beatitude from today, it is a great day to pray for the persecuted church. Spend some time researching (10 mins), those around the world that are persecuted because of their faith. After doing a bit of reading, chose a country or people group to pray for, spend some time praying for them.