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

 

Amazing Grace How Sweet the Sound

Amazing Grace How Sweet the Sound that saved a Wretch like Me.

There are days when you listen to words like these and you are struck by the Grace of God. It has not been mere good fortune or luck for me to be alive and to be the person that I am right now. I am not an amazing person by worldly standards maybe not even by biblical standards, if we take people like Joseph and Moses for comparison. But right now I know about the wretch that I was, the person doomed to failure and without hope. I know of who I was for a fact! But today… I have a hope, I have a future and I have life, because of an amazing Grace that came and washed over me. I did nothing to deserve it, I did not do anything to obtain it, it was freely given to me by God. By Grace my sins ( my fears, my weaknesses, my sicknesses) have been relieved. I have truly escaped death and I have continued to do so time and time again through forgiveness, as my stubborn flesh has tried to deny the life that Grace has placed inside of me.

What a poignant thought. My heart literally swells with love and gratitude for the saving Grace of my saviour Jesus Christ. Never mind what is happening around me, I am who I am because He is. I pray that I would never forget or live as if I am not saved when I am. I pray that I would share this with everyone with whom I meet that needs it. It is what the world needs, it is what every heart and every life needs. I once was lost and had no meaning to my life, but Jesus came and gave me meaning in my life. I might seem like any other person struggling to get through this life but I have hope. Hope is a powerful thing. It keeps you going, it drives you forward despite the circumstances. That hope I have found through Christ through His amazing Grace. It was freely given to me and I freely received it.

If you have never listened to the words of this song, take some time to sit and think about them. If you have not allowed the Grace to save you then think about allowing Jesus to be your saviour. If He already is your saviour, take a moment to absorb what He has done for you. Truly Grace will lead you home!

God Bless!

 

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!

Politically Correct

On the issue of being politically correct. I found myself very challenged after I had been somewhat of a hypocrite. I heard that Joel Osteen had been on T.V doing an interview and that he had refused to make a stand on his views and beliefs on homosexuality and some other things. Touchy topic no doubt. We wouldn’t want to cause any problems by making irrational public outbursts. A lot of people condemned Joel (myself included) for that and I suppose that as a leader of the church if he doesn’t take a stance then it reflects badly on not only him but the faith as well.

However, so often we find ourselves censoring ourselves and checking what we say amongst those who do not believe the same as we do. I’m referring to christians that is. We want to make sure that everyone is happy and that there are no hurt feelings. Loving your neighbour does not mean accepting what everyone believes. I was challenged whilst watching a movie on the Gospel of John. Jesus went into the temple and chased away all the people that were dealing and embezzling people for sacrifices. He did not wait to ask anyone anything, He just went in there and cleaned up the place. I found myself involuntarily wincing, thinking that He is not going to get any points for tact. In my mind I thought surely He should have taken it up with the authorities of the temple. That is what we would do today, go take it up with the elders or pastor who are probably fully aware of what is happening. I was actually sympathising with the people whose money was scattered, those were losses they incurred. In that same time the pharisees came and asked Him who he thought he was for trashing the place and He told them He was the son of man and He would tear the temple down and rebuild it in three days. We always read it and judge the pharisees badly but I think if Jesus came today and started shouting at T.D Jakes or someone big in the ministry some of us would actually rebuke Him and tell him to watch His words. We like to think we are righteous and we do not think like the pharisees but we should check our hearts really. If you had been there witnessing this, chances are you were probably waiting to see how this madman was going to get it from the pharisees, because honestly that was just crazy! I saw in me how I can easily get caught up in calling ourselves righteous when we are behaving just like the pharisees. I have let the rules that run the world sink into my mind so much that I obey then subconciously. Many of us have to admit we also do that.

There is a place to be politically correct and a place not to be. If we really look at the life of Jesus and then compared our lives to His we would be seriously challenged. We spend our time apologising as christians for offending people. We are apologetic about our faith when that should not be the case at all, if we believe that we are believing in the right thing. Like Paul said, if we are wrong then we should be pitied most of all (1 Corinthians 15 v 19)… but we have the conviction that we are right. It starts small hey, in the work place wherever you are, are you a closet christian or do people know what you believe, and are they convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that you serve Christ. If we are being mistaken for anything other than a christian then there is a problem out there.

So like I said. I have been seriously challenged.

Tell The Generations to Come

Tell it to your children, let your children tell it to their children and let their children tell the next generation (Joel 1:3). God has commanded us to tell the world. What do we tell them though? In the book of Joel a plague of locusts had come God was instructing the people, through Joel, to speak about what had happened. In many parts of the bible the Lord commands His children to speak about what happened. To preserve the story of what happened so that the coming generations would learn and so that they would have the right perspective. We have a responsibility to the generations that are to come. We have a responsibility to our children. So that they would learn from our mistakes, so that they would continue the good things that we have done, so that they would worship God. We need to pass the information on and thus making every single one of us a teacher. To him who much is given, much is required. It really is not a small responsibility. We need to speak and to keep speaking, to write it down. Whatever it is that God has told us, we need to pass it on. You don’t have to be a pastor or someone with some really great anointing, you just need to be willing to pass it on; to the person on the street, that person you meet in the bus, in your office, wherever you get talking to someone or wherever the opportunity arises.

We are responsible for the generations to come.

Thandie Newton’s Talk on Self!

 

I found this talk that Thandie Newton gave to be thought provoking. Escpecially with regards to identity and how identity is assumed. The first thing that struck me is that she actually sat down and analysed her situation and to understand it and propose a theory. I believe there is some truth in what she is saying and I also respect that it is a theory. I especially like the way she identified self.

Think!

We are living in an age where there are a whole lot of theories and ideologies that are floating around out there. It really does become hard to decide which one you should take. I don’t blame anyone really who decides that they are just going to live their life and forget about the whole meaning of life and the purpose of it. There is one problem with this though, and that is that we as human beings are created for a purpose. Whatever you may believe that purpose is and whatever religion you believe in we are created for purpose. Everything that we do in our lives is geared towards fulfilling some purpose and when we feel like we are doing that we begin to feel right. Take a look at Maslows hierarchy of needs. At the top of the pyramid of needs is self actualisation. Maslow suggests that after an individual has met all their needs self actualisation is left. I’m not sure exactly how Maslow interpreted it but then I believe that self actualisation is a need that is always there. It begins to be more prominent after fulfilling all other needs because there are no more distractions. To me self actualisation speaks of reaching a stage in your life where you are now solely seeking to fulfil your purpose on this earth. So we are always looking for the answer and today there are many proposed answers out there. If you know what you believe and why you believe in it then all the proposed theories and religions out there should not be intimidating. Christians get swayed often because they have not taken the time to understand what they believe and why. Some believe that after having chosen to follow Christ it is sinful to ask why. But then that is a big problem because then when someone else comes to question your belief, you will be swayed. One thing that can be noticed in the new testament is that when the apostles wrote their letters they always spoke of the reason that they believed and what they believe in. They knew and were therefore able to distinguish any false teachings. Today some of us are afraid of finding out what teachings are out there and why they are different from what we believe. I used to be like that. I felt that to engage my mind to think of what is being said out there would be wrong and sinful. That’s crazy because firstly my ignorance to what is out there disqualified me from being relevant to my age. Secondly it spoke of an insecurity in what I believed in and showed that my spiritual foundation was faulty. God says in His word come and let us reason together. He gave us a brain, we have the ability to think reason create and all sorts of other things. Blind Faith is sometimes taken too far and we start living in a bubble. Of course the bible also speaks about having wisdom and operating in wisdom. It also tells us that we shouldn’t get involved in useless arguments. We are in the world but are not of the world.