Blessed – God’s presence with us. Blessed – worthy of praise. Blessed – consecrated to God.
How do I live a blessed life? A life that brings glory to God? A life that brings God’s presence in places where it might not be? How will my commitment to him show?
Less of me, gives more space for God. How can I make more space for him – in my life, in the world I inhabit? Where do I need to stand back? And let God in?
When I know what I’ve lost, there is room for God’s healing. When I’ve lost the most important thing in my life, God holds me tight and fills the space. Is there anything I need to let go of? Anywhere I need to let God in? My pain that I can hand to him?
When I’m happy with who and what I am and what I have, I no longer waste time chasing the impossible. I know what matters and that I have it. That is contentment. What do I need to stop chasing? What can I be grateful for? Can I live with myself and my lot?
When I know what are the right things to hunger and thirst for I can be satisfied. Am I stuffing myself with the wrong food? Unhealthy food? So full of empty calories, I have no room for what I do need?
Showing care to others is always the only way to live. In being kind we find kindness, hope and peace in our lives. How can I show care? To whom can I show kindness – even if I don’t feel it? How can my life show mercy and love?
Being right on the inside is the way to make my outside world right. Letting God in will help me to find God without and around me. Where do I need to let God in? How can I sort my insides out? What will that look like on my outside?
Showing people how to co-operate not fight – that starts with me. It’s my responsibility to live out that way, your way, so that others can see it. In so doing, I may lose my need to fight, because I will know where I am and to whom I belong. How can I stop fighting? How can I encourage others not to? How can I model it?
It seems weird, but being persecuted for living God’s way is a Good Thing. It’s the way Jesus went. It means we’re getting something right. We’re in good company. Would anyone notice I was living God’s way to care about it? Does my faith show enough to upset anyone?
Matthew 5:1-12 (MSG)
5 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.