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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More?

God is working. But I don’t always see it. I feel like there is more. Not that I am unhappy or discontent. I am blessed beyond measure. Here is what I mean by blessed.

  • My wife is about to enter another decade on her birthday next week. She is all things amazing. God has given me a tremendous (understatement!) gift in my wife.
  • My son is incredible. Between the legos and video games he still has time to excel in school and volunteer at church. At eleven, he is awkward and awesome at the same time!
  • My daughter is fantastic! It is fun to snuggle in the morning. She still lets me snuggle at 8. Her smile brightens my day like no other. She also knows more Spanish than I do. Wow.
  • Our church is wonderful. A healthy church is so encouraging. And we get to help in various way! The people are incredible. We can grow at our church.
  • We live debt free mainly due to the choice we have made to tithe.
  • I can still play hard on the softball field even though I am one of the oldest persons out on the field!
  • We are surrounded by friends and family that love us.

But I feel like there is more to God. I want more of Him.

Psalm 42:1, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.”

Psalm 84:2, “My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.”

Psalm 73:26, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

The great thing is that God wants to be found by us. He will satisfy our longings. His character is one of generosity. 

So today, I am asking for more. What are you asking for?