Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Beatitudes

Last night my Bible study group had a lot of new visitors. We are taking on new members and we had a lot of new girls come check us out for the first time. It’s exciting, scary, and sad all at the same time.
We started a new study on the Sermon on the Mount. Specifically the Beatitudes:

The beatitudes are found at Matthew 5: 3-12

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they shall possess the earth.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice,
for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice sake,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

First we examined more about what the word “Blessed” means. It doesn’t mean God is going to “make it rain” for you and give you all the money you could want and everything you have ever desired. Being blessed means being close to God, having God’s favor. I have many times, used it in the context of “look what I have been given!! (As in my money and my house and my car or my super-hot boyfriend!!) I’m so blessed!!” I’m so freaking materialistic and selfish and envious and greedy and superficial! Really, I am. It’s a constant battle. I’m not kidding, the state of my heart is….always in conflict I guess you could say.

Next we examined the first beatitude and what it means to be poor in spirit. Basically it means to be humbled or surrendered.

Here is a parable that illustrates it perfectly from Luke 18:9-14:

9To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'
13"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'
14"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

The tax collector was “poor in spirit” while the Pharisee was probably a really “good guy”, but boy did he have a big head!! (As a side note I think arrogance is one of the most unattractive things a person can have!)
For me, sometimes it goes against everything I have ever been taught in order to be humble. I have to crush my ego to do it and lose my self-sufficient attitude. I have to recognize and admit all my faults, failures, and sins. Sometimes that is easy and sometimes it’s not. It all comes down to finding satisfaction not in myself, my relationship status, my home, my possessions, my friends, vacations, my family or my job but to let all my satisfaction come from God.

It feels good to surrender and find rest in the Lord. I just need to remember to do it more often!
I am looking forward to the rest of the study and getting to know these new girls and grow with them! Let’s just hope I don’t have to pray out loud anytime soon!

Sorry to get all preachy on you, but when I learn something good I want to share it with you guys! Don’t worry. I’m sure I will be back to my materialistic, selfish, envious, greedy, superficial self tomorrow! And don’t judge me…you know deep down you are too sometimes!

1 comment:

Deanna@MilesToRun said...

Loved this post. Thank you for the reminder.