For the Sake of the Gospel
“When you are reviled and persecuted and lied about because you are my followers—wonderful! Be happy about it! Be very glad! for a tremendous reward awaits you up in heaven.”
─ Matthew 5:11-12 TLB
When we hear about today’s persecuted Christ followers, our first thoughts likely recall martyrs in the Bible like Stephen, James the son of Zebedee, James, Jesus’ brother, as well as Peter and Paul. But there are believers today who are sharing the gospel in their communities at the risk of death or imprisonment. Located in the Anglophone, a violence-ridden region, a Bible translator in Cameroon was butchered to death on Sunday morning, August 25, during an overnight attack. His wife survived her arm being cut off after blood transfusions at the hospital.
It’s sometimes difficult for us to imagine, but the practice of faith in Christ is illegal in countries across the world. Believers meet secretively to share oral Bible stories. They carefully lock the stories into their memory because if they’re caught with scripture in their possession, it could mean imprisonment or death.
The words of Jesus, reflected in our verse today, remind us that we are not free from trouble in this life. And when we’re persecuted for His sake, we have a reward in heaven. Each day is an opportunity to shine His light into a dark world.
Today’s One Thing
Pray for those who risk their lives every day for their relationship with Christ. You may not know their names, but Jesus knows and hears your heart of intercession for them and for the work of the kingdom.