Blessed. 1 syllable or 2?

Recently, our pastor has been preaching a series entitled, “Upside Down Kingdom”.

He is drawing from the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7. The first 12 verses of Ch. 5 are called the Beatitudes. You can listen to the first sermon here.

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This morning, I woke up with a moment of clarity.

Being blessed is not about accolades or accumulations but about my attitude.

How easy is it to think that if I have stuff (money, home, car, kids, wife, dog, talent, good looks, job, etc) then I am blessed. The result of God’s blessing is reduced to things. This type of thinking is how the world thinks.

Well friends, that kind of thinking is wrong. We live in an upside down kingdom. Jesus clearly mentioned what it means to be blessed. Here are his words from Matthew,

3Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (underline mine)

This is not the time and place for a full explanation of these verses. But there are two things that I will highlight:

***The word blessed means happy, fortunate, having received God’s favor.

So yes, one can argue that being blessed means you have stuff.  After all, God is giving you His favor. He likes you. He can give you things. But I don’t think that is the primary evidence of a blessed life. That brings me to the second point.

***All of the things in these verses are internal properties, not external possessions.

Do you see the contrast?

My first blog of 2018 said that I was going to try to answer the question, “Who Am I?” Click here to read it.

And to answer that question today, I would say that I am blessed!

blessed 2

Not because of what I have but because of Christ’s work in me. His Spirit has enabled me to be poor in spirit, mournful, meek, hungry and thirsty, merciful, pure in heart, peaceful, and persecuted.

His work on the cross is what makes this type of living even possible. It would be absolutely crazy and foolish to think that I could be blessed (according to Matthew 5) due to anything that I could do.

Jesus did it all. I did nothing.

As I get ready to sign off, remember this:

Being blessed is not about accolades or accumulations but about my attitude.

Go out into your world and have the right attitude.

God will help you.

Then He will bless you.

And that is a good thing.

 

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Me and Trees

Yesterday, my daughter was asking about carbon dioxide and oxygen. She wanted to know how the trees made oxygen. Is carbon dioxide poisonous? How long would we live if there were no trees? As I was driving, I kept thinking about the process. Truthfully, I had no strong answers for all these questions.

And then I decided to answer my daughter. All I could come up with was this,

“That is how God made it.” She seemed to be content with that answer.

photosynthesis

The real answer is Photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the name of the process by which plants turn sunlight into food. The byproduct of that process is oxygen. Good, now we can continue to breath!

The Word – workmanship

The Worth – God made trees. He made the plants as well. These living and green organisms are essential to life for us. I love it that God was detailed in His workmanship of this world.

I find it extremely difficult to think that our world and all of the creatures and plants that inhabit it are here by accident or evolution.

God made it all. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

You know what else is considered God’s workmanship?

Me. And you.

Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

The word handiwork or workmanship, could also be replaced with masterpiece. In this verse, the word created is the verb. God created us to be His masterpiece!

I am a masterpiece!

Not a piece of junk.

Not second-rate.

Not an after thought.

No, I am fantastic and wonderful in my creation. God designed me perfectly.

The Work – Who am I? I am God’s workmanship. A product of His hands.

So now I get to go out into my world and do the good works that Jesus has for me to do.

This is how I will bring glory to God, by being who I am; His workmanship.

Last thought: What if the Mona Lisa was stashed away in a cellar somewhere?

mona lisa

The world would be missing a masterpiece.

Is your world missing its masterpiece?