Elements City Church
The Good Life - Beatitudes wk8
The Beatitudes set forth the blessings God gives to those he is working in—blessings given not as a reward for our merit, but as a gift of His grace. Here is a Christian value system and God’s kingdom ethical standard—all of which are often at odds with those of the non-Christian world in which humanity functions. Blessed are those that recognize their spiritual bankruptcy and thus their need for dependency upon Christ and his gifts of grace. They will experience the God-life and a true good life.
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  • Elements City Church
    1825 N Alvernon Way, Tucson, AZ 85712, USA
    Sunday 5:00 PM

Thanks for being with us tonight!

Whether you're on-site or online, we are praying that tonight will be an encouragement to your soul, and that you know you're loved. May God whisper to you and help you in taking your next steps in a journey with Him.

http://elementscitychurch.org
Series Takeaway:
The pursuit of “The Good Life” (the one this world says to seek) will ultimately let you down, but the pursuit of the God-life will lead to real, lasting joy and true blessing.
Definition of discipleship: “A disciple is someone who knows and follows Jesus, is becoming more like Jesus, and is committed to the mission of Jesus.”

That sometimes means we'll encounter what Jesus encountered. Hardships. Persecution.
Persecution is defined as:
==hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of race or political or religious beliefs.
Dioko - greek term (from Matt. 5:10) — appears 45 in NT
it means: to harass, chase after, pursue, to hunt, persecute
Jesus isn’t offering the world’s worst sales pitch…though it sounds like one at first pass. Jesus is offering a word of comfort to his disciples.

-To those who are already suffering persecution, Jesus says, "Don't be
discouraged;"
-To those who have yet to face persecution, he says, "Don't be surprised."

It's not "IF" - it's "When".
Jesus' words imply that opposition is an inescapable consequence of discipleship.
QUOTE: The Historical Rejection of Christianity

Eighteen hundred years or so of Hebrew history, capped by a full exposition in Jesus Christ, tell us that God's revelation of himself is rejected far more often than it is accepted, is dismissed by far more people than embrace it, and has been either attacked or ignored by every major culture or civilization in which it has given its witness: magnificent Egypt, fierce Assyria, beautiful Babylon, artistic Greece, political Rome, Enlightenment France, Nazi Germany, Renaissance Italy, Marxist Russia, Maoist China, and pursuit-of-happiness America. The community of God's people has survived in all of these cultures and civilizations but always as a minority, always marginal to the mainstream.”
—Author and pastor, Eugene Peterson
Faith doesn't necessarily make rejection any less painful. It's only natural for us to want to be accepted. But Jesus' point is clear: if we are faithful in following Christ, we can expect opposition.
There is a danger that we will misapply Jesus' words.
=not all that we call persecution really is persecution. Sometimes the behavior we mis-label as persecution is just a natural and reasonable reaction to our bad or poor behavior.
Caveat: suffering is a part of life in a broken world.

John 16:33-
"I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”

Now - we know that suffering can lead us deeper into our faith in Christ. There are things that we can learn, that God can teach us and form within us as we navigate seasons of suffering.
If you find yourself facing suffering / persecution:

ASK Yourself…
Do you sense that people have rejected you because of your faith? Start with some serious soul searching. Scrutinize your life and ask some hard questions of yourself and those around you. Is this really suffering for Jesus' sake? If the answer is yes, then rejoice!

Jesus promises a reward (see Matthew 5:11-12) to those who are persecuted and slandered for his sake. "Rejoice and be glad," he tells them, "because great is your reward in heaven."
Jesus said these words (in Matthew 5:10-12) to folks who were about to endure much more persecution than any of us sitting here ever will. There are our brothers and sisters in Christ all around the world who are undergoing and enduring persecution we have no concept of…
For most of us—those for whom persecution is the exception and not the rule—Jesus' words are a reality check. They are a reminder that this world is not our home.

In this world - you will have trouble, but take heart, I’ve overcome this world! -Jesus. (John 16:33)

In this world we will ALL have to endure some seasons of suffering, just because we live in a broken world, with fallen people.

Some of us might have to endure specific / targeted spiritual rejection at times. But we can rejoice because Jesus says - He sees that - He will reward our endurance for him. It’s a badge of honor for living out our faith of following Jesus at times as his disciple.

Now, it’s also an invitation and challenge for us to pray for our brothers and sisters in the faith who are enduring this on levels we do not face.
Other verses:

“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.”
Romans 12:14


James 1:2-4
Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.

2 Timothy 3:12
Indeed, all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

50 Countries Where It’s Most Dangerous to Follow Jesus in 2021

Every day, 13 Christians worldwide are killed because of their faith. And every day, 12 Christians are unjustly arrested or imprisoned, and another five are abducted. So reports the 2021 World Watch List (WWL), the latest annual accounting from org: Open Doors of the top 50 countries where Christians are the most persecuted for following Jesus.
read full article here

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2021/january/christian-persecution-2021-countries-open-doors-watch-list.html

Thanks for partnering with us!

Elements family, thank you for enabling us to BE the Church in our city - especially in this moment. Your gifts help fuel the mission and our capacity to share His love with as many as we can. You help us bring the HOPE and LIGHT of Jesus to our city! You can give here, online, or through the Elements app.

http://elementscitychurch.org/give/
We'll see you back at Elements next weekend -- on-site or online -- as we begin a brand NEW series in Proverbs.

Take the Proverbs Challenge - the month of June!
Each day - read the Proverb chapter of the day and reflect.
June 1st - read Proverbs 1
June 2nd - read Proverbs 2
June 3rd - read Proverbs 3
and so on...