Have you ever had someone point an accusing finger at you for something you did not do?  In an effort to throw off suspicion of their own involvement, some may say, “Not me! It must have been (insert your name here)!”  If you grew up with brothers and or sisters, you more than likely went through this scenario at one time or another.  In the book, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, we find Tom’s Cousin Sid with his hand in the sugar bowl.  While pilfering sugar Sid’s carelessness has the bowl getting broken as it crashed to the floor.  When questioned by Aunt Polly, the blame lands squarely on Tom.  It wasn’t fair and it wasn’t right, yet it happened and sometimes still does, even today. 

As Christians, Jesus says that we are blessed when we are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for ours is the Kingdom of Heaven.  What a tremendous promise!  Even at the cost of persecution!  In the words of Jesus we read, “Blessed are you when {men} cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me.” (Matthew 5:11)  These words were directed specifically to His disciples.

Based on the words of this scripture I have asked myself, “When have I been insulted or had someone lie or say evil things against me on account of Jesus?”  I honestly cannot immediately recall any incidents; however that does not necessarily mean it hasn’t happened.  It may be that I have simply chosen not to remember or it may have been something I merely brushed off as an incidental comment.  Regardless, the question should cause us to examine our lives to the point of determining whether or not we ourselves are persecuted for Jesus’ sake.  It’s possible we may even have excused ourselves from this statement based on our culture’s acceptance of Christian principles, but how long that acceptance may continue is questionable.

Can we claim the promise of the Kingdom of Heaven based on our being persecuted?  Only you can answer that question for yourself.  And speaking of questions, we need to get back to the original question, who did have their hand in the cookie jar?  It wasn’t me! Hope you have a happy holiday season!

Copyright © 2002, Nolan P. Rutter

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