This blog may be my toughest blog yet because I’m basically going to talk about how important it is to proclaim Jesus in front of others. I’m not just talking about in our churches or youth group events. I’m talking about in the most difficult places. It could be school, work, or even in your own home. Today’s key verse is from Matthew chapter 5: “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Now when you look at that verse, take the time to actually understand what it means. It’s a bittersweet statement. We are all going to be condemned and persecuted by those who don’t really want to know about our faith, but God wants us to do it anyway. Also, if you’re thinking to yourself right now, “does God really want me doing this type of job? I don’t think I meet the qualifications.” I’m telling you right that we all are.
You are More: “The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.” Psalm 138:8 This verse is SO true about how much God wants us to do His work! If you think that you aren’t the most holiest or you feel like you can’t be the best evangelist out there, good news! You don’t have to be! The Aposotale Paul was one of God’s truest followers. He spent the rest of his life in chains for Jesus. But here’s the catch, he didn’t start out that way. In fact, he gnashed his teeth and raised his fists towards heaven. “Before his conversion, Paul, then known as Saul, was a “zealous” Pharisee who “intensely persecuted” the followers of Jesus. Says Paul in his Epistle to the Galatians: For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it.” Wow, talk about some harsh feelings right? Of course our story with Paul doesn’t end that way (Acts Chapter 9)
9 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest
2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.
3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.
4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. 8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9 For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”
“Yes, Lord,” he answered.
11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”
13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”
15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength.
See what I mean? We can all turn to Christ! No matter how far we may have traveled on our own. The first step is to ask God to help us know who He and allow His spirit to work within us. God can and will use you. He is alway looking for more yearning workers for His kingdom. After all, He did die for us.
And the next thing, once you have taken all of the goodness in and have Jesus in your heart, you need to express it to others. After all, that is what God called His disciples to do after He resurrected from the grave (Matthew 28):
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
How awesome is this?! Jesus not only came back from the dead (BEST NEWS EVER) but He says he will be with us always! You see, we don’t walk this world alone. Jesus is always with you in every cisrcumstance. It’s okay to be a little afraid, I mean this world is pretty scary. But you have Jesus in you, remember? You can do anything because He is the one that provides the strength! (Philippians 4:13) I pray for you that as the new week approaches, pray for one person who could use some love and encouragement. Be kind to everyone and don’t forget to show your light! ❤️