Wednesday, September 21, 2011


     The other day I had downloaded a new app to my phone that is The Message Bible.  I love this version of the bible because it makes it easy to read it in "our" language. I like to read my Today's New International Version, but sometimes when things are confusing for me, I love to go to The Message version and read it in that version.  So, today as we sat on the bed I "opened" up my app to The Message and began to read Matthew 5. 
The whole chapter is one of my favorites in the bible, but there was one scripture today that really stood out.
Matthew 5:10 "You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution.  The persecution drives you even deeper into God's kingdom."
I know that I want to go deeper into God's kingdom, so I began to dissect the scripture.  What does it mean to be committed?  And then, what does it mean to "provoke persecution"?
I began to search through commentaries to find root words and read some other interpretations. 
I came upon one commentary that broke the scripture down in more of an explanatory sense. 
This is how this particular scripture was described...."Christians are a people who seek peace, but they expect persecution because their character stands so frighteningly different than the rest of the world" (
The Today's New International Version reads "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
Righteousness means "right standing with God".
The Greek word for persecution is dioko/diogmos, which in this scripture verse means to bring to judgment or punishment.
It is normally not natural to want to be persecuted, to want to be judged or punished for our actions...BUT do our actions give us the reward of the Kingdom of God? 
What I want to leave with you today is that we must be committed, willing to give it our all, stick it out even through the tough times, and be entirely sold out to God.  And in return we may get poked fun at, called names, even beaten for our beliefs, but there is a promise that makes it all worth it...God's kingdom.  He deserves our all.
I love spending time with my children and especially time where we can read the word of God and talk about it.  But it is scriptures like these that really encourage and direct us (and for our teen population today there is a lot of direction that needs to be given)....but this is not just for is for all of us.  There is direction in this chapter in Matthew that helps guide us, answers questions that lurk in the back of your head, and that allows us to be transformed through the studying and seeking of the one who created them...(we must) meditate on His law day and night (Psalm 1:2).
If you have children I encourage you to read the bible with them, spend time breaking it down and explaining so they can understand it.  If you are married, spend time with your spouse reading the word and sharing thoughts with each other.  If you are single, spend time reading and digging into the scriptures finding the definitions of those words that you sometimes overlook for lack of knowing the true meaning. 
His word is here to guide us, strengthen us, restore us, change us to become more like Him....we must open it for these things to happen.
I pray for God's word (whatever scripture, whatever chapter, and whatever interpretation) to become alive in you penetrate deep down to the core of your heart and take residence bring you to change in your life and in your bring you joy and happiness in the searching of it and seeking of Him through it.  I pray for us all to be transformed into His image through the change that will occur in the studying of His word and the seeking of His face.
Read His word...
Seek His face...
Commit to Him...
Withstand persecution...
Be blessed...