29. Mark of the righteous.
"Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."( Matthew 5:10) The emotional and physical marks we bear because of Christ are the proof of the righteousness we have by faith, just as Paul told his critics, 'Let no one cause me trouble for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.'( Philippians 6:17) The world hates this righteousness by faith because it condemns them who think they are righteous by their works. 'By his faith Noah condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.'( Hebrews 11:7) Therefore the world hates them and wants to get rid of them though they are the reason it is preserved. But 'rejoice and be glad because great is reward in heaven when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kind of evil against you because of me."( Matthew 5:11-12) 'Whatever happens, conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ ... This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed but that you will be saved - and that by God. For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him but also to suffer for him.' (Philippians 1:27-29) Amen.