SOAP Devotional 2015-04-24
Scripture – Observation – Application – Prayer
“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way. (Matthew 5:11-12 NLT)
“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:11-12 NASB)
This is a tough passage, but it does have a few key things we should take note of. First is important to note that these things that are said against you should be false. We can take no joy in being insulted or have evil said about us because they are true. Second, we must realize that the motivation behind these words are because we belong to God. And lastly we should remember that this is not something that is happening to us exclusively, but it has been happening to God’s laborers forever.
There is no joy or reward for being treated badly because you deserve it. We need to make sure that we live our lives in such a way that any such insults or false accusations are obviously untrue. We need to return to holiness. This is not about how we look that may draw these insults, or how pious we might act, but true holiness is to be set apart unto God’ service. If we do that than we can take joy and be glad because we know we are pleasing God no matter what men may say.
Father help me to not be deserving of insults or accusations that may be made toward me. Let me instead, take joy in the fact that I live my life according to your will and your ways. And although I will joy in pleasing you, do not let me be arrogant or boastful about it for such would leave me deserving ill treatment. Let me be totally set apart unto your will and ways.