Day 27: The Difference in Blessings and Worldly Possessions.
Theme: Healing the Wounds of the Broken Hearted
Passage for March 27th 2017: Matthew 5:1-11
Bars from “Blessings
When the praises go up, the blessings come down…
I know them drugs isn't close, ain't no visitin' Heaven
I know the difference in blessings and worldly possessions
Like my ex girl getting pregnant
And her becoming my everythin
I think one of the most compelling ways I have heard the good news of Jesus communicated is from Dallas Willard. He wrote a wonderful book called the “Divine Conspiracy” where he spends his significant mental capacities looking at “The Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew 5-7). What he finds in Jesus’ sermon he describes as the best life possible. As I wrote today “thought” two or three times in my mind, I found myself simply trying to say what he did significantly better than I could. So, I am not going to pretend to make something up when someone has already said it wonderfully. It is a little bit longer than what we have looked at so far but I promise that it is worth it. And it pairs with what Chance is saying in one of my favorite bars from the entire record.
When reflecting on Matthew 5:1-11, commonly called the “Beatitudes.” Willard says this:
“[The Beatitudes] serve to clarify Jesus’ fundamental message: the free availability of God’s rule and righteousness to all of humanity through reliance upon Jesus himself, the person now loose in the world among us. They do this simply by taking those who, from the human point of view, are regarded as most hopeless, most beyond all possibility of God’s blessing or even interest, and exhibiting them as enjoying God’s touch and abundant provision from the heavens. The religious system of his day left the multitudes out, but Jesus welcomed them all into his kingdom. … Anyone could come as well as any other. They still can. That is the [good news] the Gospel of the Beatitudes.”
When taken to their logical extreme, this is incredibly inclusive message has implications that make uncomfortable. Willard continues:
“So we must see from our heart that: Blessed are the physically repulsive, Blessed are those who smell bad, the twisted, misshapen, deformed, the too big, too little, too loud, the bald, the fat, and the old—Blessed are The flunk-outs and drop-outs and burned-outs. The broke and the broken. Blessed are the drug heads and the divorced. The HIV-positive and herpes-ridden. Blessed the brain-damaged, the incurably ill. Blessed are the barren and the pregnant too-many-times or at the wrong time. Blessed. The over employed, the underemployed, the unemployed. The unemployable. Blessed are the swindled, the shoved aside, the replaced. Blessed are the parents with children living or the street, the children with parents not dying in the “rest” home. The lonely, the incompetent, the stupid. Blessed. The emotionally starved or emotionally dead… Blessed. Even the moral disasters will be received by God as they come to rely on Jesus, count on him, and make him their companion in his kingdom. So… Blessed are the murderers and child-molesters. Blessed the brutal and the bigoted. Blessed are the drug lords and pornographers. War criminals and sadists. Blessed are Terrorists. The perverted and the filthy and the filthy rich. To the worshiper of satan… to the robber of the elderly… to the cheat … to the liar the blood sucker … the vengeful …. blessed blessed blessed are all of those who fleet into the arms… of the kingdom who is among us who is Jesus.”
We the broken hearted and the wounded, The should be’s, and the should have beens… God is healing our wounds. We too can be called Blessed.
Here are the thoughts that I am thinking about today: Who are the people that I have put on the out side of God’s grace? How have I put myself on the out side of his grace?
Mediation: Psalm 121:1-2
This is the first day in this weeks theme. Read the meditation passage through slowly 3 or 4 times and focus on the one phrase that is sticking out to you. Say that phrase over slowly over and over again as you color today. As you do this, ask the Lord to reveal to you all the ways he has and is rescuing you. Listen to what He is saying.