Afraid of God’s Blessing?

Matthew 5:3-12 (The Message)

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.

I know I’m not at the end of my rope, but I’m trying to get out of the way to let God work in me.

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.

What does it mean to “feel like you’ve lost what is most dear”? My family is most dear to me. Why would it feel like I’ve lost them?

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 don’t want to be content with who I am. I’m overweight, and under motivated.

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.

I’m trying…….

7″You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.

I want to be more “care-full”. I want to put others before myself.

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.

I’m trying…….

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.

I feel good about this one!!

10″You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.

(Shiver!!!!!!)

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. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

I don’t think that I’ve ever spoken about my faith in a forum that allowed people to treat me this way. Perhaps I need to be more vocal or spend more time “in the world”………

This passage makes me so uncomfortable. Right now, I feel unwilling to be or do these things in order to be “blessed”. Am I afraid to be blessed, or too selfish to be blessed?

Father, help me to understand what it means to be blessed. In Your name I pray, Amen.

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2 Comments

Filed under "Heart" issues, Life change

2 responses to “Afraid of God’s Blessing?

  1. Dan

    When you read verses 3 and 4 in another version, it is: 3Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

    I have heard the mourning in verse 4 as mourning over your sin. Knowing that your sin has caused a separation between you and God, and if you are truly mournful because of it, you will be blessed. I guess that could translate into feeling you’ve lost what is most dear — God’s trust in you.

    And vs. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. I’m not sure how that translation went from “the meek” to being content with who you are. Perhaps it has something to do with being content with who God made you to be, not who you are now.

    I’ve never really been a fan of The Message bible. While it does make some things clearer and more understandable, I think sometimes it takes a different spin on scripture — like it did here in the Beatitudes.

    I’m praying for you my brother!

  2. I found the Message paraphrase a little confusing to follow. From the New Living Translation:
    3 “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,[a]
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
    4 God blesses those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
    5 God blesses those who are humble,
    for they will inherit the whole earth.
    6 God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice,[b]
    for they will be satisfied.
    7 God blesses those who are merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
    8 God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
    for they will see God.
    9 God blesses those who work for peace,
    for they will be called the children of God.
    10 God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
    11 “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you[c] and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. 12 Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.

    It just seems that Jesus is telling us that when we find ourselves in circumstances that have up to that time been considered bottom of the barrel, that we can actually take hold in those times because God gives what we lack: true riches, comfort, ownership, vindication, mercy, vision, identity with God, reward, knowledge that you are not alone-a long line of people have endured and prospered through the same things. I’m not a bible scholar but I don’t think the passage is about us acting in a certain way so we can receive a blessing as it is encouragement to those already in those situations and feeling hopeless. Just my take.

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