“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” - MATTHEW 5:11-12
While visiting America, a Christian from China was asked to pray. “Dear Lord,” he said in broken English, “help us to not water-down our faith as the Americans have.” That’s quite an indictment, and sadly, there is some truth to it. Perhaps we have forgotten how radical biblical Christianity really is. In His ministry, Jesus showed a compassion that led to dramatic and powerful events, many of which turned the religious, political, and cultural leaders against Him.
If we are to make a difference for the Kingdom, we must show that same compassion, which may provoke criticism, even persecution. If so, Jesus says in our Scripture to rejoice and be glad! There’s a reward waiting for us … and He does not hand those out to people with a watered-down faith.