Consider for a moment the seventh Beatitude that reads, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake” (Matthew 5:10-12).

I observed in my childhood ducks and geese racing across a lake to where a man was casting bread crumbs on the water.  The ducks and geese squawked and cackled at one another, fighting for breadcrumbs.

As I watched the geese I observed a lesson in the effect of sin upon nature and God’s creation.  While all the geese looked identical, there was one in the flock none of the other geese would tolerate.

The geese snapped and chased the one goose.  They were unmerciful in their attacks.  The poor goose would run away squealing and squawking and each time it attempted to return to the flock the attacks would start again.

I pondered why?  Why were the geese so cruel to one of their own?  The answer–it was different, for its long slender neck exposed an open sore that was the focus of the attack and attention of the others.  I realized the attacks would continue until the poor, wounded goose, would give up hope and eventually die.

Such is the way of the world and its attitude toward believers.  It is our difference, our unwillingness to conform to the world and its sin that draws the ire of sinners.   It is our willingness to suffer for Christ’s sake that God promises to reward.

“Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven…” (Matthew 5:12)

With a shepherd’s heart,

Travis D. Smith

Senior Pastor

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