'Teacher’s pet!' A classmate might get called a 'teacher’s pet' if he seems to have the teacher’s approval. Often what’s behind the insult is anger simply because the one student did what was right while the mockers did what was wrong. It’s been this way since sin entered the world. Why did Cain kill his brother Abel? "Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous." (I John 3:12) Abel’s righteous life was a silent condemnation to Cain, a mirror revealing that Cain’s heart was not right with God. Instead of going after God with a humble heart, he went after Abel with a heart of hatred. Can you relate? How do you react when someone confronts you with your sin? Do you go after God with a humble heart, or do you go after the person in front of you with angry words? We’ve been like Cain far more often than we’d like to admit.
Jesus says, "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness." (Matthew 5:10) Though we have sinned like Cain, we can go after God with a humble heart and be confident of righteousness, of God’s approval upon us through faith in Jesus. Why? "He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds we are healed." (I Peter 2:24) This righteousness shows itself in a life that honors God, hates sin, and loves others. The world often judges this as judgmental, and you can expect to be persecuted for it as you take your stand with Jesus, pointing to Him as Savior and Lord. But what matters more? Man’s approval or God’s approval? Man’s curses or God’s blessing? As Martin Luther put it:
And do what they will – hate, steal, hurt, or kill –
Though all may be gone, our victory is won;
The kingdom’s ours forever.
Yes, the kingdom is ours forever! However persecutors may hurt and whatever they may take, it can’t compare to all the blessings and blessedness that come from Jesus, the King of Grace, who grants forgiveness and eternal life. "BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO ARE PERSECUTED BECAUSE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, FOR THEIRS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN." (Matthew 5:10)
See how true happiness is found in Jesus alone through the "BLESSED" series.
INTRO, POOR, MOURN, MEEK, HUNGER, MERCIFUL, PURE, PEACEMAKERS, PERSECUTED
Come visit us at CHRIST OUR REDEEMER for more of this message of God's grace!
Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church
Daniel is the Staff Minister at Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, El Paso TX.