Matthew – Fulfilled
Years ago, on a mission trip with college students, one of our goals was to take a three hour hike up into the mountains to present our message to a waiting youth group. It meant getting up before dawn, to begin our journey. We packed only what we thought we needed because we would be carrying the load on our backs.
About halfway up the mountain terrain, one of the students dropped out, feeling she just couldn’t make it to the top. Later, I think she regretted it, but at the moment, the commitment was just too great physically. I think she was a bit anxious emotionally as well. We left her in the care of Haitians who tended to her need to rest. I assured her she was in good hands.
The rest of the team continued the climb as the sun’s rays grew hot. The committed team made it to the top. We were extremely blessed by the experience, accomplishing the climb, and the relationships we built with God’s people on the way and at the top. What we had planned came second to what God did in and through us.
Jesus has become very popular in his new ministry bringing fresh perspectives which gives life to God’s Law. He is a breath of holy fresh air to the intended meaning of God’s Word. It’s now time to take a hike with the committed climbing behind him, to a quiet place for extreme training in what God wants and expects from us. I love the positive way we are taught. “You are blessed when”… Jesus offers real life scenarios so there is nothing to misunderstand. There is nothing left to chance. We are blessed when…
Matthew 5, The Message (Part One)
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.
Questions for reflections…
–When was the last time we got in trouble for speaking the Truth of Jesus Christ? Can’t remember? Then maybe we aren’t trying hard enough.
–Am I anxious because of what people tell me I am not?
–Do I feel blessed because I know who I am in Christ?
–Am I seeking more of me in life or more of Christ living in me?
–Do I feel stuck spiritually or free to follow?
–I am blessed when…
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for these lessons and reminders. We are truly blessed. You are God and we are not. You love and care for us and have a great desire to bless us. Help us to keep climbing the mountain, following You and Your ways of seeing life and living it. We are blessed when…I love You with all my heart, mind and soul. Help me to live it out loud.
In Jesus Name, Amen