Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Blessed Are Those Who Are Persecuted

For Righteousness For Theirs is the Kingdom of God.

Persecuted--treated in a cruel or harsh way, harassed.
Righteousness--doing what is right, virtuous, fairness and just actions.
Kingdom of God--a region or place under spiritual rule, the reign of God.

We see people groups world wide brutalized only because they are ‘different.’ They might look different. Their thinking is not like those who live around them. Usually these victimized persons chose to worship in another way than their neighbors.

We see persecution done in a more subtle form here in the United States. We have seen a ministry that, in the past, handed out New Testaments to fourth graders in school have to stand outside the schools, possibly across the street in order to complete their mission.

Several years ago, a series of church burnings across the Middle West and south were the act of one young man. A few years later, this blogger and her husband met some people who were members of one of those burned-out churches in the southern part of our state. We knew through the media, this young man lived less than 20 miles from our home town. I found myself apologizing to these people for the hurt done to them and to their church family.

The blessing here is those who suffer through injustice and persecution will be under God’s authority and protection. He who is in us is bigger than who is in the world.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Blessed Are The Peacemakers. . .

For They Shall Be Called Sons of God.

We all know people who can smooth over any problems between opposing individuals or groups. These marvelous people qualify as peacemakers. They are gifted by the Holy Spirit with virtues of tact, patience and wisdom. Have we seen any peacemakers?

President Jimmy Carter attempted to work with two Middle Eastern nations to help those nations achieve peace. He later won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger shared the award with Le Duc Tho in 1973. Mother Teresa was presented with the award in 1979.

Jesus is our peacemaker. He sees our needs, takes our requests and forms them into what He wants for us. He then returns those circumstances that concerned us in a form that gives us peace. We see things differently after we have asked the Lord to take over.

The blessing God gives those who work at making peace between others around them is God claiming them as His own.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...