8/09/2015

Jesus Says: You Are Blessed...


"I am blessed!!!"

Have you ever heard somebody say such about themselves?  Or have you ever said it?  I'm not sure where you are from, but where I live at in the South, it's a pretty common saying.

We usually say "I am blessed" as we reflect upon how wonderful we feel about our lives.  We feel that God in some measure has smiled upon us, and has thrown some pretty awesome things our way.  Things like a wonderful and loving family, a solid job, a nice home, a nice car, and a little leftover in our savings account every month.

In essence, if our lives are the embodiment of the American Dream, we consider ourselves among those whom God favors.

But did you know that in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus considered none of these things a sign that God was pleased with you and your life, and that Divine favor is resting on you?   

Looking at Matthew 5:3-11, in what theologians call "The Beatitudes" portion of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gives some signs of God's favor on your life.  None of them sound exactly as American as apple pie, but they are pretty good indicators that you are truly blessed, and that God likes you.

For example, Jesus says if you are poor and suffering from want, you should consider yourself blessed and highly favored by God.  And, Jesus said another indicator that God thinks highly of you is if you find yourself among those who have something to genuinely be sad about.  And, if that were not enough sign of Divine favor in your life, Jesus also said that if people verbally assault, talk badly about you, and even conspire to kill you, then you should really consider yourself among those whom God thinks about pretty highly.

These are not exactly the blessings one parades around on stage, or stands up and testifies of after your local prayer meeting.  And it is definitely far removed from the health, wealth, and prosperity stuff you hear so much about today.  They are not exactly something we intuitively crave by nature, and get in the way of living our best life now.

But, if these seemingly dreadful things are in your life, Jesus said they are the supernatural markings of God's favor on you.  Find comfort in that.  For it means whatever you are doing, you are doing something right, and you are in the company of the legendary men and women that God has used the most in the history of this world.  You may have to endure some pretty hard times, but that's ok, for the most brilliant diamonds in all the world are the formed under immense pressure.

And if the signs of God's blessing that Jesus expounds on in the Beatitudes are rather absent from your life, and everything is just full of sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows, then you should reconsider where you even stand in your relationship with God.  Perhaps God isn't so thrilled about where you are in your life.  Perhaps God has given you everything in this world, because you don't want Him.  And in absence of Him, the Lord has just chosen to give you nothing but stuff.

I don't know about you, but I don't want to go through this life and having nothing but stuff.  I want to have God.

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