Sunday, July 27, 2008

You're blessed when...

I accidentally left my Bible in Grants Pass so I've been reading The Message during my quiet times. It's refreshing to read the gospels in such modern language. It is easier for me to read several chapters at a time and pick up where I left off. I appreciate the storytelling gift of Eugene Peterson.
Matthew 5 --
3"You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
When I can't do anything more, God can.
4"You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
I imagine snuggling up for a giant hug.
5"You're blessed when you're content with just who you are—no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.
I'm okay being Elizabeth. Nothing more.
6"You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat.
A sincere longing for the fulfillment of Jesus Christ.
7"You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being 'care-full,' you find yourselves cared for.
8"You're blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
It can be very hard to see God in the world, outside of the work God is doing within me.
9"You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family.
Speaking Truth speaks volumes.
10"You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God's kingdom.
Kingdom-work is not in vain.
11-12"Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don't like it, I do! And all heaven applauds.

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