July 31 - Hated For His Sake.
“The bloodthirsty hate the upright: but the just seek his soul.”
The wicked seek to ruin those who stand up for Truth and right. Think of all the martyrs who literally gave their lives for what they believed. Some were stoned, some burned at the stake, and some were crucified.
The first martyr of the faith was Stephen.
“And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.”
The suborned men of the synagogue set up false witnesses against him as they sat in council. He spent most of the seventh chapter of Acts preaching the record of the faithfulness of God to His people. The council were cut to the heart with the power of the Word of God, and gnashed on him with their teeth. They then took him out of the city and stoned him.
But before he lost his life, he caught a glimpse of the glory of God as he looked stedfastly up into Heaven. In the midst of His glory was Jesus, standing.
“But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.”
No other place in Scripture will we find Jesus Christ standing on the right hand of God. He is nearly always sitting, for His work is finished; however, this time He is standing in reverence to His faithful soldier who stood for Him.
Christ told His disciples that they would be hated because they first hated Him.
“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.”
If the wicked hated Christ and His disciples, they will hate us.
It is not a matter of if we will be hated, but when; yet we have cause to rejoice in our suffering for Christ’s sake.
1 Peter 4:12-14
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.”
The more persecution we face, the more He is glorified.
Nehemiah 11-12 | Hebrews 8 | Proverbs 31
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