Blessed Are They ….

 

(Mat 5:2 MKJV)

 

And He opened His mouth and taught them, saying,

 

(Mat 5:3 MKJV)

 

Blessed are the poor in spirit! For theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.

 

(Mat 5:4 MKJV)

 

Blessed are they that mourn! For they shall be comforted.

 

(Mat 5:5 MKJV)

 

Blessed are the meek! For they shall inherit the earth.

 

(Mat 5:6 MKJV)

 

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness! For they shall be filled.

 

(Mat 5:7 MKJV)

 

Blessed are the merciful! For they shall obtain mercy.

 

(Mat 5:8 MKJV)

 

Blessed are the pure in heart! For they shall see God.

 

(Mat 5:9 MKJV)

 

Blessed are the peacemakers! For they shall be called the sons of God.

 

(Mat 5:10 MKJV)

 

Blessed are they who have been persecuted for righteousness sake! For theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.

 

(Mat 5:11 MKJV)

 

Blessed are you when men shall revile you and persecute you, and shall say all kinds of evil against you falsely, for My sake.

 

(Mat 5:12 MKJV)

 

Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for your reward in Heaven is great. For so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

I read this scripture this morning and realised something about it that I never thought of seriously before. In this passage of scripture Jesus was speaking to the people and letting them in on a fundamental truth about blessing. These words He spoke are part of the entire message tat Jesus came to let us in on. That life as we believe it to be is not about the things that we have come to value on this earth and the things that we believe to be riches. As human beings in general we have come to associate all good things with riches and primarily monetary wealth and accumulation of property. Jesus here speaks about blessing, and being blessed. It seems that His definition of blessing is entirely opposite to what we think it is. In fact I think that if Jesus’ sermon on blessing was compared to some of the sermons on blessing and being blessed that I have listened to they would be very different. I might go so far as to say that no one would be in Jesus’ church.

This is Jesus message. If you want to be Blessed ;

  1. You will be Poor in Spirit
  2. You will Mourn
  3. You will be Meek
  4. You will be pure in heart
  5. You will be a Peace Maker
  6. You will Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness
  7. You will have been Persecuted for Righteousness sake
  8. You will be Merciful
  9. You will have been Reviled and Persecuted by Men

He finishes off by saying that we should Rejoice and be Glad for the Reward in Heaven is Great.

Firstly looking at the things that Jesus said will account for me being blessed I realise that in order for me to go through or exhibit these traits is not going to be easy. Mourning does not speak of a happy place, to be a peace maker there has to have been trouble, to be merciful you need to have been in a situation that will call for mercy and persecution and reviled for men speak for themselves. In this world we will truly experience troubles and many of them. When trouble comes Jesus says that we are Blessed. It’s so at odds with what we say nowadays, when someone buys a new car the first thing you think of is, ” wow he/she is so blessed”. We sit and ask ourselves and pray, “Lord where are my blessings, why am I not blessed Lord?” Well according to Jesus you are blessed. In fact you are Truly and Greatly blessed. You are swimming in Blessing! Your reward is Great in heaven, and He says Rejoice and be Glad! Tough thing to do but if you believe Jesus is the authority on all things then take His word for it and rejoice.

God Bless

 

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Down The Valley Up The Mountain, Jerusalem is Home

When I was young and in primary school we used to sing a song that went ‘Down the Valley Up the mountain, Jerusalem is my home’. I don’t think I truly understood what that song meant or what it could possibly mean. I was reminded of this song just now. especially with challenges that I am currently facing in my life right now. Challenges are an everyday part of life. We cannot run away from problems. This is common knowledge. It’s all about how we persevere through the challenges that we face in our lives, because at the end of the day we should be able to say/sing, ‘down the valley up the mountain Jerusalem is my home’. At least that is what we are supposed to sing. Sometimes we end singing… ‘ Down the valley…. after this Lord I am changing my place of residence, Jerusalem just isn’t working for me!’

I have been reminded of two scriptures, James 1v2 “Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters when you face many trials of many kinds …’ Every christian probably knows this scripture and probably doesn’t know what to do with it when trials come, because basically it is hard to count it PURE  joy when the world is crashing around you, (“SERIOUSLY JAMES!”). But if you commit or make the decision that no matter what you are not changing, Jerusalem is going to be your home. That you will still serve God and that you will continue to worship Him then you can be encouraged by, Genesis 46v4a I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up [again]. God will walk allow you to come to a valley but will not leave you there. He will go down into Egypt with you and will bring you back again.

I had a revelation in my life as I was asking God … why? He said that He would lead me beside still waters and that He will take care of my every need. He did not lie about that. It is possible to go through really tough situations but He will not let me be overcome. It will be hard but I will not be overcome. It will seem like I will be overcome but He will not let that happen. There is no better way to strengthen my faith than to test it and since I passed the last test, naturally the next one is going to be harder. It seems to my natural mind that this is unfair but then I realised that often we are travelling through the valley so that we can get to the next mountain (high place) forgetting the most important thing. God is not taking us on a journey of mountains, He is taking us on a journey to Jerusalem, the city of our God. That is the most important destination in our lives.

This revelation caused me to look more closely to some of the men in the bible. Their journeys were all different. Some like Joseph, made it to a place of prosperity and some like Paul and the other disciples came to their end in what we would classify as valleys. They suffered many trials, worse than most of us will ever encounter but it cannot be right to say that they were not prosperous men. So we need to as christians change our minds and start to want to think the way God thinks because after all, we have been given the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2v16). I encouraged us to spend more time with God during our trials so that we can truly accept them as pure joy and know that He is with us through them all.

Be Blessed!

Better is One Day in His Courts

Psalm 84

 1 How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
2 I long, yes, I faint with longing
to enter the courts of the Lord.
With my whole being, body and soul,
I will shout joyfully to the living God.
3 Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young
at a place near your altar,
O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, my King and my God!
4 What joy for those who can live in your house,
always singing your praises.
Interlude

5 What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord,
who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
6 When they walk through the Valley of Weeping,
it will become a place of refreshing springs.
The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings.
7 They will continue to grow stronger,
and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem.

8 O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, hear my prayer.
Listen, O God of Jacob.
Interlude

9 O God, look with favor upon the king, our shield!
Show favor to the one you have anointed.

10 A single day in your courts
is better than a thousand anywhere else!
I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God
than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.
11 For the Lord God is our sun and our shield.
He gives us grace and glory.
The Lord will withhold no good thing
from those who do what is right.
12 O Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
what joy for those who trust in you.

For the choir director: A psalm of the descendants of Korah.

Holy Bible, New Living Translation ®

Other Side of Victory

This is a very popular topic among christians and all people generally. It’s really hard to come up with anything new and really original when speaking about victory because generally everything has been said already. Fortunately I am not a prolific writer so there is no pressure there amongst other writers. I would like to share though that I have noticed that the theme of Victory, usually attaining victory is a very constant theme in my life. Every morning I basically have to determine  and remind myself that I have victory over the many challenges that the day faces.

Most of the time I only remember that I am victorious at the start of the day when I am asking God to give me victory over the day. Then come day end I look back to see how I did. Some days I do well and some days I don’t do so well. What I’ve realised though is that there are few days when there is a consciousness of what is really happening. Its like I pray God help me to remember subconsciously that I have victory. I wonder though if that works. Surely if you are going to gain victory you need to be conscious of the battle you’re fighting. So there comes the challenge. If I am going to say that my strength is in God but am not aware of whose strength I am using during the day have I really lived up to the word? And when the bible says ‘not by might nor by power but by My (God’s) spirit..’ and then I don’t acknowledge or even call upon that Spirit, surely I am making that word redundant as well? Someone might say, ‘duh you can’t just blindly go through the day and not take the scripture with you.’ True it is only logical to engage with scripture(act) but then so many of us do the exact opposite. Lets actively get onto the other side of Victory by engaging in the battles that we are fighting. Just a thought!

Romancing God and Me

Backsliding, straying, messing up slipping up, there are so many ways to refer to it really. In any case it is very real and more often than not we do find that somehow we have moved away from God. He seems like a distant person somewhere and you really wish you could get to know Him once again. Sometimesit’s not really that you have been caught up in something major but somehow the relationship seems to have just gone cold. I find myself there and the prayers have become,

Lord Help me to know you once again.

Help me to feel that love that passion that we once had.

Bring me to tears once again with your love,

Humble me with your wisdom and thoughtfulness.

Fill my mind with the fragrance of your Grace once again.

Let your living waters flow over me once again.

Give me back that hunger and that desire that once burned within me, for You.

You seek and really really want your relationship to be restored. Sometimes it doesn’t happen in a day as I have just experienced. It’s actually taken and is still taking some effort from me. Its like trying to get that special someone’s attention once again. He is there, I have no doubt that God is there with arms wide open and still burning with love for me. I need to feel it once again. A pastor once said that what kept him in love with his wife were the prayers he prayed for her. So as I pray more and more I find that it is coming back. I get reminded of what He has done for me. In turn…, today He dropped a scripture in my heart that was so encouraging for me. It was really special. It was like that little note you get at the beginning of the day saying, “I love you and I want you to have a great day!” Simple… but full of thought, from someone who knows what is happening in your life and just wants you to know that they care!

So even if I have slipped behind a little, I can still seek Him, romance Him and be romanced right back, because He loves me and forgives me through His faithfulness. Love Him.