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true blessings...

Blessing: approval that allows or helps you to do something. (Merriam-webster) I was asked recently, what constitutes a “true blessing”? And honestly, it baffled me. I mean, usually we answer that our children, our spouses, our house, our jobs, our finances…they are all blessings. And yes, in fact, they are blessings, but having is only part of the word. We have been blind to see that when we have we must also do. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. These are those who Jesus calls, who find their treasure in the cross. These are the people who leave all to follow Him, embracing "poverty", no matter what the cost. Blessed people are those who take His treasure He has given and shares it with others. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. These are the people who don't dream of progress, power and future, but they meditate on the coming of the kingdom. With the end in view, these people comfort those who mourn, because they too, mourn for this world. Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. These are the powerless, who have the Church and its fellowship, its goods, its brother and sisters, in the midst of persecutions and who leave their rights to God alone. They speak gently, act gently, and love gently. These are people who he calls blessed. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. These are those who grow thirsty and hungry along the way of following Jesus. They are longing for the forgiveness of all sin, the complete renewal. And those around are aware of this desire, which in turn causes them to desire as well. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. These are those who take upon themselves the distress of others. They have an irresistible love for the down-trodden, the sick, the wretched, the wronged, and the outcast. They sacrifice their own honor to shield him, and take his shame upon themselves. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. These are those who seek after purity, whose hearts are not ruled by their conscience, but by the will of Jesus, provoking them to do works of charity.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

These are those that find their peace in Jesus, and who not only have it, but make it.

Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

These are those who look at trials, tribulations, and "blessings", with the cross in view and exude hope to those around them, prompting those around to desire that same hope.

Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

These are those who know that there is no greater love and joy than to be called His own, no matter what the cost. They know their reward is not of this world, no matter what tangible things they receive. And they see persecutions as an opportunity to proclaim the love of God to others. It seems we have become complacent, numb. We have lost our sense of being a follower of Christ. We grasp at fortune, family, homes, cars, jobs, yet we don’t grasp the One who calls us to do something with all of those things. We feel “blessed” and we show it. We flaunt it. We beg and plead God for it. We might receive it. But what do we do with it? We are a blessed, but sorely mistaken people. What we really should be asking is “What do those things allow me to do for God”? It is not a call to religious radicalism – or selling off of everything you own…it is simply a call to use what He has given you to impact the world for Him…to make disciples of all nations…a radical idea that Jesus taught. A true blessing. “God, be gracious to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us – That Your way may be known on the earth, Your salvation among all nations…God blesses us, That all the ends of the earth may fear Him.” Psalm 67:1-2,7 Notes on Matthew 5:3-12 were taken in my response to reading a book by my favorite theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship.


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