September 7, 2009
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven. Matthew 5:11-12a
"Falsely." That's the active word in this Daily Devotion.
On July 30th, mosque loudspeakers of Faisalabad, Pakistan, called on the faithful to defend their faith against Christians who had desecrated pages of the Qur'an. Fifty homes were destroyed in the rioting.
On August 1st, mosque loudspeakers in Pakistan's Punjab province called for a defense of the faith. The word echoed over the housetops that Christians had dishonored the Qur'an at a recent wedding. The mob ended up killing eight believers, a number which includes a seven-year-old-child.
Falsely. That's the active word in this Daily Devotion.
Government officials have condemned the violence. They have criticized security forces for not defending the Christians, and the government has also said there is no truth to the allegations of blasphemy. The charges were false.
Falsely. That's the active word in this Devotion, and it is also the word Jesus used when He described what would happen to those who would follow Him.
He warned His people would be reviled and persecuted and falsely accused.
But Jesus also said other things that are just as true. The Savior said His people would be blessed if they endured these pains. He said they would have a great reward in heaven if they, by the Holy Spirit's power, remained faithful.
And that's the second word worth remembering: Faithful. Jesus is faithful in keeping His promises. Today, while we continue to struggle in a sad and sinful world, those Pakistani believers who were martyred have already received their great reward in heaven.
So there you have a complete devotion. Satan is still spreading his lies and still saying all manner of falsehoods. The Savior is still bestowing His strength, support, and blessings. Satan's falsehood or the Savior's faithfulness . . . .
I know which one I will follow.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, Satan is still spreading his lies and half-truths. Today I pray for brothers and sisters around the world. Keep them secure in their faith and faithful in their witness to You who gave Your life so they might have life. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries