The Pilgrims Progress

August 17, 2011

SCRIPTURE: Be full of joy and be glad, because you have great reward in heaven. For, in the same way, people harassed the prophets who came before you. {Matthew 5:12, CEB}

QUOTE: God never said that the journey would be easy but He does say that the arrival is worthwhile. Max Lucado

THOUGHT: Eleven very important verses precede verse twelve.

COMMENTARY: There is a progression to the Christian life, a sequential step by step learning curb. We begin by realizing our need [blessed or the poor in spirit]. Next, we repent of our self-sufficiency which causes us to mourn. Then we learn to obey [meekness] and as we get in the habit of obedience, our passion for knowing Christ increases [hunger and thirst for righteousness]. Our passion to know Him causes us to act and react like Him [showing mercy]. This creates a desire for purity which we want more than life itself. Ultimately we become peace-makers and then we move into spiritual maturity which means we rejoice when we are persecuted. Years ago I was standing with the Catholic ladies at the abortion clinic in Huntsville when a little pip-squeak of a man drove by, rolled down his window and said some obscene things to the ladies and then make an obscene gesture. I hollowed back and started for his car window. What he did and said made me angry. He quickly rolled up the window, locked the door and took off. He had one problem; the next light caught him and here I came [I could run then]. Just as I reached the back of his Mercury Cougar, the light changed and he took off like a frightened rabbit. As I walked back to the clinic [killing place], I expected to be hailed as a hero, a Knight in shinning Armor coming to the rescue of damsels in distress. That did not happen, the Senior of the group rebuked me and she quoted word for word, Matthew 5:12. She said, “God just gave you a test and you failed. You are supposed to rejoice and be exceedingly glad, not chase them down the street.” Hey she was right and I have never forgotten her rebuke.

EXTRA: Life gets back to normal today I hope. AWANA rally tonight. Hey, I have a great idea on building our own coke wagon. By next Summer we can do small mission type Block Parties in local subdivisions, etc.

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