This summer, we are studying the Beatitudes that start-off Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:1-12. These ways that Jesus tells us we should act as Christians are counter-cultural, with blessings or rewards that will come in eternity, not here. We’ll be digging deeper into each of the 9 Beatitudes, looking at other verses in the Bible that describe each characteristic, Biblical characters that exude the Beatitudes, and the blessing that comes from it. Join our study by reading today’s scripture below and journaling about it using SOAP (click on the “What’s SOAP?” link above to learn more). Below today’s scripture is an example SOAP from our team. We love hearing from you! Please use the comment section of our website to share your SOAP, thoughts or questions on the reading, or prayer requests. Join us as we build unity and community through God’s Word!
“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)
1 Peter 2:19-21
Living Godly Lives in a Pagan Society
11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.
18 Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.
19 For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. 20 But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. 21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
22 “He committed no sin,
Greater than the Haters | Shiree King
1 Peter 2:19-21
We are called to suffer unjustly because 1) Christ suffered for our sins and 2) Christ left an example for us in His sufferings. Jesus could have come off the cross and killed them all, and it would have been perfect justice. But He didn’t in order to bear our sin and set an example. In the midst of a sea of injustice, Jesus entrusted Himself and His cause to His Creator.
Ironically, today we saw the movie Hotel Transylvania 3, and the moral of the movie fits with this verse perfectly: “You gotta be greater than the haters!” It is not my job to avenge myself or defend myself. In fact, Romans 12:19-20 says, “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written, ‘It is Mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.'” God wants me to follow Jesus’ example and resist the urge to fight back when attacked or accused or rejected. It is easy to repay evil for evil but so much more difficult to repay evil with good. This seems something I can only be able to do with the power of the Holy Spirit because my initial reaction is to make myself look good and appear right with the other person in the wrong.
Dear God, Thank You for sending Jesus and His example to follow in the face of unjust suffering. Thank You for sending the Holy Spirit to help me respond in a way that doesn’t come natural to me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
The Discover One Thing main website follows a reading plan that goes through the entire Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.