Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Oh the Mount that I am trying to stand on!

So in the past two weeks I have been pondering what it looks like to hunger and thirst after righteousness and what it looks like to possess mercy. What I realize is that the only time I grasp any part of the Beatitudes is when I am actually studying them. Then they flit away. Let me tell you the beatitudes I have studied and what I have learned thus far.
Blessed are the Poor in Spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

How many times have I read those beatitudes and not paid any attention because as simple as they sound, really what the crap do they mean. This is me being real here. I love scriputre and there is so much that we really don't understand.
Ok so I am going to share with you what I know so far about these verses.

Blessed = Approved by God. As we strive in our relationship with Him and with others he is approving of us and he desires to reward us.
Poor in Spirit=Finally realizing that we are sinners and we all have fallen short. When we are broken in Spirit we realize that there is nothing that we can do to make us approved before God outside of Christ. (this is really easy for us Christians to say, but I really don't think we understand this.) We can not gossip, we can have great atttitudes, we can cheat or not cheat, but the only way that we can and will be approved by God is if we accept Jesus Christ as the Savior of our sins....Moving on. So we accept Jesus, we realize we are sinners and then we become broken by them.
Mourn=This really doesn't have to do with death and dying of relatives. I know that this verse is stated at funerals but from what I have been studying I don't think that it relates. To mourn as Christ was talking about here is to mourn for our sin to understand that we are sinners and Jesus is the only fixer of that.
Meek=This is a natural response to our mournfulness. Being meek is being humble and realizing out need for the Lord's power. Being meek is not abusing the power you think you have. It is finally coming to the conclusion that the only effective power in your life comes from the Lord.
Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness=This usually ties in with desiring the Lords power in your life. As I catch glimpses of my meekness (is that a word?) I desire more and more for the Lord to make me righteous. NOT self-righteous but for the Lord to make me right with him. I deisre to be the woman the Lord wants me to be. This is where knowing Him and being in His scripture becomes an addiction for me. I crave it. I crave Him!
Mercy=Still pondering this so work with me here. But mercy is an attitude not necessarily and act. Some CEO of a big business can show mercy on an employee after he has screwed up repeatedly by letting him keep his job. However there is no mercy when he complains about the employee and continues to make him fearful of losing his job. Mercy is realizing where people are in their inadequacies and trying to understand them. The proper way for this boss to show mercy would be to let the employee keep his job and then spend time training and equipping the employee to do his job properly. For me right now showing mercy is understanding people with extreme patience. I don't generally have that much power over anyone in my life so showing mercy is not something that I have to do on a daily basis. However today the Lord showed me that I continually have to show mercy to a person who has hurt me deeply. I have a very hard time forgiving this person and I want to live in my dislike for her. What I learned today that my attitude about her needs to change. I need to remind myself that she behaves and responds based on the hurt that exists in her life. So my mercy for her would be to live my life daily as though I have forgiven her and I no longer operate in the hurt. I don't encounter this person anymore so there is no reason to hold on to hurt other that to dislike her. So unnecessary!!
Well...did any of that make sense. Please comment with questions, things you take issue with things you agree with or things you just don't understand.

Been Awhile

It has been awhile since I had a post, which I figured would happen, but life as usual has been busy. Let me update you.
Grandma sick. My days consist of work, go to hospital spend time with grandma and work there, go home and work. It has been fun!!! Not really.
On Wednesday nights I lead a group of couples who have new babies and we spend time talking about how to improve their relationship. I love this group it is a precious group of couples and they all share well together. Sometimes it is the highlight of my week. This week it really is.
The past two weeks we have been talking about having productive fights, today we talked with the couples about identifying when we are reaching out boiling point and how can we demonstrate that to our partner without breaking and then respecting each other to take a break and discuss later. It was a productive conversation and I just really adore these couples.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thought Processes

I have been studying the Sermon on the Mount since July or August. This is a very complicated section of scripture for me because everything is very backwards. What Christ tells us to do is completely opposite of our instinct and what seems natural. Let me take you on my small journey of learning about this.
Lately the Lord has been teaching me to give up my need to be right and has been challenging me to adopt this thought process in every area of my life. For those of you who know me, you know that this is no small feat. On that note let me get back to the Sermon on the mount. I have done a few bible studies and now I am digging into each section. So far and have just been processing the first three Beatitudes.
Blessed are the Poor in Spirit. From what I am learning, being poor in spirit is actually being broken over our sin. Not just being aware of the fact that we are sinners but really being broken over our offensive sin nature. Being Poor in Spirit is recognizing you will always be left spiritually wanting, if you don't allow the Lord to work in your life and if you don't allow Him to correct you. I look back on my life and seriously question how often I have recognized how sinful I am. Usually I look back and realize just how right I am and how wrong others are. What's that called? SIN!!!!! (can you hear the game show buzzer going off in the background)
Blessed are those who Mourn. This is said at all funerals because the second part of it says that people who mourn will be comforted. In my reading and my spiritual walking I am learning that this is not what mourning means at all. What I am learning is that when we are aware of just how sinful we are every second of every day we will begin to mourn over it. God wants us to mourn because when we mourn we grow in our reliance on Him. We don't like to be uncomfortable, but I think that is exactly what we need. We need to be a little uncomfortable over our sin, otherwise we won't mourn about it.
Blessed are the Meek. This one has been the one that has taken me more to really grasp therefore I will need you to bear with me as I write this out. Being meek does not mean being mousy. Being meek does not mean not being able to be successful. Being meek means that you are capable of controlling your power and not abusing it. This means that once you are aware of your sinful nature and need for the Lord, you mourn about that sinful nature and everything gains a new perspective. No longer is there a need to prove you are right because the Lord will do that for you. This is backwards living. We are told that we are supposed to exert our power and push our way to the front. Let people know what they are doing wrong so that you can get yourself ahead. God wants just the opposite, put others first, be willing to be last, give up your need to be right.
If only this method was followed, do you think that we would be in the same state that we are in right now? If people had listened to Christ's words do you think that we would need to bail out these huge corporations? Would we really have to have discussions about CEO's being greedy? Would our government be in the deficit we are in? Would our divorce rate be so high? Would we have as many people in prison? Would we have so many people on welfare? In my opinion no. I know this is a huge sweeping statement, but think about it. If we would allow the Lord to work in our lives and convict us of our sin, we would be able to confess our sins, be forgiven for them and then allow the Lord to be the provider and the fixer of our problems. I have found that even when truly trying and failing miserably at it, if there is surrender in our hearts the Lord can and does move mountains. Now... if only I wouldn't suck so much at needing to be right! I am getting just a smidgen better though.