To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the Scripture referenced throughout.
Each of Jesus’ statements in the Beatitudes includes a way of being and a promised result if we embody the trait described. But we’re not meant to pick and choose from the various benefits (and respective costs), as if we could decide which challenges we’re willing to take on. Jesus presented them as a unified whole: Our understanding of each beatitude both depends on and affects the others.
In other words, to be truly righteous means we embody everything in Matthew 5:3-14. We’re never free of the calling to obey God, whether or not that makes sense to our culture. This is true even if the world despises us because of Him. And when we embrace rejection for the sake of righteousness, we receive heavenly rewards and what all people long for but can’t find anywhere else: the light and goodness of our Creator, in whose love we are truly free. (See John 8:12; John 8:31-36.)
Think about it
- Matthew 5:3 promises the same outcome as Matthew 5:10 (“for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”). How are poverty of spirit and persecution for righteousness’ sake related?
- How might the other traits described in the Beatitudes lead to persecution?