There is a link from peacemaking to persecution. Not everyone wants peace. Evangelism is not always successful, which gives no indication of the ministering we have done. Reconciliation is not the desire of every person’s heart.
What I would like to show you in these verses is:
1) The necessity of persecution
2) How they are all connected
3) Christ is calling for single-minded devotion toward God
4) How I can connect this to Mother’s Day!
READ Scripture- This is the Word of God
Point 1: Blessed are those who are Persecuted (v10a)
A. Persecuted: Chased Maliciously
a. 2 Tim 3:12 “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ…will suffer persecution.”
b. Not only physical – many brethren around the world. Also verbal, etc. (v11)
B. Explanation of Persecution: v11
a. SEE 1 Pet 4:12-19
b. SEE John 15:18-23
C. “The prophets before you” – SEE Hebrews 11:32-38
D. For Righteousness’ Sake
a. Because of Righteous Living
b. Which is “for My sake” (v12) Righteousness = Jesus
c. The disciple is not above his Master!
Point 2: Theirs is the Kingdom – Rejoice and be Exceedingly Glad (vv10b-12)
A. This is an attitude, not an emotion –
SEE James 1:2 “brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials”
B. The reward is not a status in the life to come, but in fact is that life (heaven).
a. SEE Rom 8:18 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
b. SEE 2 Cor 4:17 “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,”
Connective: What links the next two illustrations with this note of persecution are the prophets. Those prophets who came before us were persecuted for their faith and message. Among their generations they were the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Thus, it fits like this: “Like the prophets before you, you are the salt of the earth…Like the prophets before you, you are the light of the world…”
Point 3: Salt of the Earth
What are some uses for salt?
1) Practical Uses: seasons, preserves, purifies, melts ice, in all living organisms
2) Figurative Uses: creates thirst (for righteousness), melts (cold hearts), OT sacrifices, OT covenant faithfulness
3) Greco/Roman Uses: soldiers were paid with, represents- loyalty, peace, wisdom, was said to be beloved of the gods
*I will argue in just a few minutes that Christ means “single-minded devotion” which is very close to the Old Testament idea of covenant faithfulness.
Point 4: Light of the World
A. v16 marks the end of the Beatitudes
B. Good Works = tenacity under pressure
SEE Phil 2:14-15 “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world”
C. This world is constantly placing pressure on us from all sides (and also our kids/grandkids)
Summary: Single-Minded Devotion
Two Scriptures will make this point for me:
1) Luke 14:25-35 Jesus ties in this salt illustration with the intention of v33
2) Mark 9:42-50 Nothing should stand in the way of us entering life/kingdom of God
Conclusion: Now, let me conclude this way:
God wants our full allegiance. He wants our full, undivided attention and loyalty.
Simply put, He wants us to trust Him with all that we are…
I am glad that today is Mother’s Day and that we have so many mothers here-
1) Mothers are a great illustration of single-minded devotion
2) Mothers can encourage single-minded devotion toward God in their children
(No matter their age!)
I brought this up in Sunday School last week, but it is so significant I would like to mention now:
1) David was possibly the most sinful man in the OT, yet God calls him a man after His own heart. Acts 13:22 says, “He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.”
2) God considered David near and dear not because he was sinless, but because he had single-minded devotion toward God. Some have called him a “pure Yahweist.” David never worshiped the false gods of foreigners unlike his son, Solomon. David trusted God. He was fully loyal to God and God alone. That is what the Lord requires of us. When he sinned, he confessed it to the Lord. That is single-minded devotion.
Happy Mother’s Day!