“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are My followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven.” —Matthew 5:11–12 NLT
How was Jesus known when He walked this earth?
He was known as “the friend of sinners.” We might think that sounds like a compliment now, but it wasn’t meant as a compliment then.
Some members of the Jewish leadership establishment were appalled that Jesus would hang out with sinners.
No, He never compromised—this was our holy God in the flesh. But He loved these outcasts, this off-scouring of society, and they knew that He loved them. They were drawn by that love just like moths are drawn to a Coleman lantern in the middle of the wilderness.
We need to love people in the same way. Since we’re going to be persecuted, let’s be persecuted for the right reasons. Not for being self-righteous but for being righteous.
I love to tell stories—but I especially love to tell stories that point to Jesus. That’s one of the reasons I wrote a book about acting legend Steve McQueen. Steve was the King of Cool, but at the end of his life, he encountered the King of Kings. As a result, an American icon became a child of God. This book is our thank-you gift for your donation to Harvest Ministries today.