Part 9: Blessed are those who are persecuted

When I first became a follower of Jesus my own family did not understand it and were pretty against my getting baptised. My friends at school made fun of me and called me a bible basher. It was my introduction to this beatitude.

One of the stories that helped shape my early years as a Christian was the story in the book, ”Through gates of splendour” the true story of five American missionaries trying to take the gospel to a tribe of Ecuador Indians and each team member being murdered. One of those missionaries was Jim Elliot who wrote before he left “he is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose”. Their story inspired many more to volunteer for the mission field including the Huaorani tribe in Ecuador where a church was planted.

Jesus’ kingdom advances throughout the pages of scripture and history with persecution, prison and martyrdom. When it comes to our lives we must be convinced of two truths. That the gospel is the hope for the world and that we are called to take it to many who will reject us and our message beginning with our own families. Despite fierce opposition and persecution the gospel is flourishing all around the world particularly in places like China and North Africa.

Questions

1: What is your biggest fear when sharing your faith with those in your family or place of work? Talk through the challenges you are facing in sharing your faith and the fears you may feel if people in your school or work know you are a Christian?

2: Are you facing opposition or difficulties because of your faith or because of your personality? Talk about ways that we can mistakenly face accusations for reasons other than our faith?

3: Are you aware of Commission working in areas of growing persecution? Talk through where you are aware believers are currently facing trouble and spend some time praying for them.

 

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