7.15.2008

More on Blessing

I thought I should get the final word on blessing from Jesus. Here it is. Pretty different than what we think of as blessing. You might want to read 2 posts down before you read this one for better context... or you might want to throw caution to the wind.

When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:

"You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

"You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

"You're blessed when you're content with just who you are—no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.

"You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat.

"You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being 'care-full,' you find yourselves cared for.

"You're blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

"You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family.

"You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God's kingdom.

"Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don't like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble. (Matthew 5:1-12, the Message)

It's pretty interesting that Jesus said this about blessing right when he was getting popular. It's as if He was making it clear that just because he could heal and do miracles, he was not a preacher of prosperity. If we put that together with the rich young ruler.... well!

By the way, hi out there to Lyle and Marlene Bruce. They were my 6th grade Sunday school teachers for whom I first memorized these verses. I saw them on Saturday at Jordan and Sarah's awesome wedding. They are cool!

2 comments:

Diana July 15, 2008 at 3:44 PM  

I had never read Matt. 5 from the Message before, and I really like the way it paraphrases it.

"You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you." That one hit me deeply. I've felt blessed in many ways lately, but I also have been struggling so much because we're dealing with infertility and haven't been 'blessed' with children yet. My whole life all I've wanted is to be a mother, and I feel like I've lost that, and don't know when motherhood will happen for me. It's hard to feel blessed in our situation, but I have felt God's presence so much closer through these struggles, and know that I have been (we have been) "embraced by the One most dear" to us.

Happynhanford July 28, 2008 at 9:09 PM  

Hey Bruce,
Great Blog! I got the HI! Thanks we are very proud of you and your accomplishments in life and for the Lord!
I said I would send our blog address so you could see Cory and Nathan's Blogs.
www.MarleneandLyle.blogspot.com

I really enjoyed Sunday's message! Great twist on an old favorite. I gleened new insights!I loved the worship! It is a great work! I know God has called you to this community!
Love and Prayers, Marlene

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