July 29, 2010

Radically Transformed

The Beatitudes

"1Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2and he began to teach them saying: 
 3"Blessed are the poor in spirit, 
      for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 
 4Blessed are those who mourn, 
      for they will be comforted. 
 5Blessed are the meek, 
      for they will inherit the earth. 
 6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, 
      for they will be filled. 
 7Blessed are the merciful, 
      for they will be shown mercy. 
 8Blessed are the pure in heart, 
      for they will see God. 
 9Blessed are the peacemakers, 
      for they will be called sons of God. 
 10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, 
      for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

Matthew 5:1-12


 

The Beatitudes are a model of perfection and describe the quality of life that God has intended for us. As a believer, I cannot accomplish these things on my own but through obedience to God. I will always have moments of failure but I am to press on and be obedient. When I respond out of love for God and am grateful for His grace, the ideals become easier for me to approach and accomplish.

The closer I come to His standards the more I will experience God's blessing in my life but it requires recognizing a need. Think of it this way. I am a ragged old house with crooked walls and peeling paint. My floors are squeaky and the doors are hanging by the hinges while my yard is filled with overgrown weeds. One day the builder of this house walks by and his heart sinks at the mess of his once beautiful creation. Because of the great love he has for his creation, his mission is to rebuild it. It is a process and it will take time.

It is the same with my walk. When I asked Christ into my life 26 years ago, I was not instantly made perfect. I was made pure by His blood but I was not instantly transformed into the perfect Christian, never to fail again. Little by little, God is changing my heart and molding me into His image. He is totally reconstructing my heart into something new.

The process involves:

  • My need for a Savior (the poor in spirit)
  • repenting of my self-reliance (we mourn)
  • giving up control of my life and surrender(we're meek)
  • yearning for more of Him (we hunger for Him)
  • forgiving others (we're merciful)
  • my perspective changes (we're pure in heart)
  • loving others (we're peace-makers)
  • accepting injustice (we're persecuted)


 

This simple shift of my attitude does not occur overnight. Instead, it is a complete elimination of my old self, which then allows something new to be created. When I recognized my great need for Him that process began. Now I am finding true joy and happiness that comes from the blessings He has promised to me because of my obedience to Him.


 

5 comments:

  1. "As a believer, I cannot accomplish these things on my own but through obedience to God." I can completely relate to that quote in every imaginable way.

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  2. We are all ragged and crooked like that old house and need Him to accomplish the things He requires of us. No one can do it on their own but many fool themselves. Such a good word today!

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  3. I haven't been on here in a while and am so amazed at what all you've been sharing. He always brings me to your blog when I need to hear something true. He is using you in my life and I am thankful for your obedience to Him! Can't wait to meet you someday in heaven :-)

    Love your sister in Christ,
    Tabby

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  4. Thanks for all the encouragement guys!
    Keep me in your prayers please and Tabby we don't necessarily have to wait for heaven :)

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  5. Your house analogy reminded me of this excerpt from C.S. Lewis's "Mere Christianity."

    "Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what he is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is he up to? The explanation is that he is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but he is building up a palace. He intends to come and live in it himself.”

    Praise the Lord that He will faithfully complete the good work He began in us.

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