DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor”
Week Five, Day Seven:
“Those who are persecuted for righteousness are blessed, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.” Matthew 5:10 (HCSB)
When we make a conscious decision not to partake in lawlessness, gossip, lude living and other outward expressions of rebellion to God, a separation is made between those willing to engage in such behaviors and those not. Isolation, slander and even physical harm can result from stirred and convicted hearts of those witnessing righteous lives. This very thing was proven true through the account of Jesus Christ’s righteous life, brutal death on a Cross and glorious victory from the grave on the third day (Isaiah 53:5). May this be an encouragement to hold the legal, moral and ethical ground in the name of Jesus Christ; for regardless of the suffering endured here on this earth, we too will be lifted up in His proper time (1 Peter 5:6-7). For, as Matthew 5:10 clearly states, those persecuted for doing good and righteous things will be satisfied by access, through Jesus Christ, to God Himself in heaven. Although it is not always easy to “take the higher road”, may these words of Jesus in Matthew 5:10 charge your spirit to focus not on the words and actions of this world, but rather on the approval and acceptance of God Himself. Even in the hardest and most dark of circumstances, we can still stand for righteousness in the name of Jesus Christ. Consider how might the Lord desire to use you this day to take a stand for good and righteous living regarding the valley through which you are currently traveling.
Prayer for today:
Dear Jesus, what a terribly hard road this is to travel. Teach me to do good and love pure things—including the conversations, texts shared and even online sites I visit. Convict me of things I need to give up to You and apologize to You for. I want to find my satisfaction in You rather than another source. Help (name)__________ to be drawn to You in the midst of this storm and abuse. You have heard the things said. You know all things. Please, please realign our focus to You and living righteously in order to bring glory to Your name. You are faithful to sustain us and give us a place to stand up under the pressures all around. Thank You for this truth Jesus. In Your name I pray, amen.
**Week Five in review: Please write down the most meaningful verse from this past week below. As you do, please take the time to thank God for His Word. How beautiful to meditate on the very words of Jesus Christ! I have sincerely enjoyed studying the Beatitudes over this past week. I hope that they have blessed your heart as well.
**Optional Service Project (Acts 20:35): A Steaming Basket. Whenever something good happens, find someone to thank. A simple basket of assorted coffees, teas, ciders, hot cocoas, rehydration drinks, waters and flavors, etc. would be a real blessing to someone who has made an impact on you this past week to press further into your pursuit of Jesus Christ.