My week has been filled with studying every night for the first time in a LONG time. It has been great! I really look forward to the quiet time, alone. I decided to pick a book of the New Testament and read through it. (I did not read through in one week!) It will probably take me a while :-) I chose Luke. No particular reason, just wanted to start there.
Luke 6:20-23 "Blessed are you poor, For yours is the kingdom of God,
Blessed are you who hunger now, For you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, For you shall laugh.
Blessed are you when men hate you. And when they exclude you. And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man's sake.
Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets."
The Beatitudes are a beautiful sermon that Jesus gave early in His ministry. In these verses Jesus reveals an example of how Christians are to live their lives to receive spiritual prosperity. These standards are the exact opposite of what the world believes.
Luke 6:24-26 "But woe to you who are rich, For you have received your consolation.
Woe to you who are full, for you shall hunger. Woe to you who laugh now, For you shall mourn and weep.
Woe to you when all men speak well of you, For so did their fathers to the false prophets."
In the secular world who would believe that the poor, hungry, sad, and hated are going to end up having a blessed life?!? That just sounds ridiculous... Yet Jesus says that we are to be careful if we don't live a humble life. We may feel blessed in a worldly manner but so did the FALSE prophets. Jesus says that if we live as he wants us too, as servants with humble and right hearts we will not only be blessed in Heaven but also here on earth. He wants nonbelievers to actually see our blessings as a way to be drawn to Christianity. Not only will He take care of you spiritually, but also materially. So when things are hard just remember that we are hardly enduring what the early Christians went through and our ultimate reward is in Heaven. As long as we look to God for everything he will bless us and get us through whatever trials we face. In times of sorrow, hunger, lack of funds.... He always takes care of us in the end. We just might have to hit some rough patches to get there.
P.S. I made a little header for my Thursday's Thoughts...Any of you are welcome to use it too. Just right click on it and save in your documents and load it like a regular picture.