December 29, 2008
Yesterday morning during our bible study we looked at the BE….Attitudes, those characteristics that Jesus said we should have if we want to be blessed. We had fun as a family discussing what all this means. I particularly like how the Message puts it.
1-2 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:
3"You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
4"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.
5"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.
6"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.
7"You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being 'care-full,' you find yourselves cared for.
8"You're blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
9"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.
10"You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God's kingdom.
11-12"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.
I really could identify with the verses 3 & 4. Man, if I could tell people one thing it is that the Word of God is true! So true! When all there is to go on is God you can really see him move! He embraces you, he surrounds you and delivers you out of situations that would crush most. God is reliable! He is real!
He has so much love and grace and mercy that he’s just bursting, he can’t help himself…he has to give it! It has nothing to do with our deserving it! It’s about God!
Verse 5 is something I’m still learning. Not to worry what others think of me and just be who I am in God. I don’t want to be swayed or moved by anyone’s opinion.
Verse 6 makes me think of a vision I had once of a long table stretching so far you can’t see the end of it and it was set with the finest of place settings. But the table was empty, there was no one interested enough to sit down and eat and drink.
A few days before Danni passed away I had a this same vision of the table only she sat across from me in a beautiful white garment with a sparkling crown on her head.
Jesus sat at the head of the table and we all held hands. Twice in the day this vision came to me out of the blue. I told no one of what I had seen and at the end of that day I was led to pray with Danni, it was one of her last cognizant moments. She couldn’t talk much but as we prayed she said, “Table”.
I asked her if she saw a table and she replied, “Yes”. I asked her if she was sitting at a table and she said, “Yes”. She then proceeded to say, “He’s going to shut up the table,” and I said, “No! The table must be filled with souls!” and she agreed.
The Lord says to pray to him while he can be found (PS 32:6) and that he prepares a table before us in the presence of our enemies (PS 23:5). Folks this table exists and it there for all who call upon the Lord to eat and drink of him. My prayer is that he makes us all hungry and thirsty for his righteousness and allows us to see what deliquesces are put before us .
Verse 7 speaks of sowing and reaping. Verse 8 speaks of the work of the Spirit in our hearts and minds. In verse 9, Jesus is saying you are all of one body, GET ALONG! (This is my paraphrase).
Verses 10, 11 and 12 have to do with the persecutions that we WILL suffer on his behalf and the rewards that come with doing so. I think that if there are no persecutions in our lives we aren’t getting it right! It may be time to go to the table with God and say, "What is it that needs to change in me." And, "Lord change me!"
When you pray this way, expect tribulation to come to you but don’t fear it rather embrace it as the tool in God’s hand that is doing the work in you. Praise him for it! Count it all joy, not that you have to be all giggly about it but have peace during the trial knowing that God has answered your prayers and you will be forever changed! Amen!
December 29, 2008