Starting a new series in a blog is like starting a new chapter of a book. There is so much to explore, so much to get excited about - where will it take us? I will be starting a summer series on the beatitudes. I've always enjoyed reading them, but never took a deep dive - so I hope you will indulge me for the next few weeks. The beatitudes are taken from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount - his longest sermon.
Right out of the gate, there is challenge for us. The beatitudes are the wonderful way Jesus shared how to live out our lives here on earth. I don't know about you, but I know I need to be challenged each day to be a better person. As I read the first one, listed above,I immediately found it difficult to understand. How are people blessed who are "poor" in spirit? As I took time to research this, though, Jesus meant for us to be humble in spirit. In replacing "poor" with "humble", this takes on a challenge I know I need.
Truth be told, I am not always humble in spirit - in my relationship with God. There are many times when my pride takes over and my walk with my Lord is not as close as it should be. I have said to myself, "I've got this God thing", and have gone on with my day with no reflection on His word, no thought of my sinful nature, no prayer. Yes, I can excuse it out that I was busy, or there were more pressing things that needed my attention. What is more important than time with the One who created me, who gave me everything that I have?
Days, such as I shared above, become difficult days. I remember back a few months when I had such a particular day. My thoughts got sidetracked first thing in the morning and my "verse for the day", which literally takes less than a minute to read, was put to the side. My morning devotion from home, which takes roughly 5 minutes, was put to the side. Off to work I went and instead of reflecting and praying on the way to work, I focused more on what I needed to do that day - and that list seemed to get increasingly long. Yes, prayer was put to the side. Are you seeing a pattern - I wasn't!! The day ahead was filled with tension and a lack of patience. It was a busy day, but nothing that hadn't happened before. Little things that were "no big deal" found me frustrated and bitter. The ride home was no better. Traffic was all around me. That's not any different than any other commute home, but I was getting more and more irritated.
That's life when we put important things, such as a focus on God, aside for other things. Life gets difficult, frustrated, just plain yucky. Believe it or not, I don't have this "God thing". Praying one day a week, going to church one day a week is just not enough - at least not for me. All that heaven has to offer can be seen in a lifestyle where we focus on God. We can't see the goodness without seeing God. We can't feel the peace without spending time with God. At least I can't. When I humbly start my day in the Word, when I pray to Jesus all day long, my day goes better. No, it's not usually perfect, but there is a peace and an understanding that puts a smile on my face. It's going to be okay because I have a Partner with me throughout the day.
I hope that you look to be "humble in spirit". Take the time, some time, and be in the moment - share the spirit that God gave us. The rewards of a heavenly state of mind, a heavenly state in our soul, will quickly be upon us and we can soon realize the importance of His grace.
"Heavenly Father, help me to focus on bringing you into my life every day and often throughout the day. There are times when I think it's "not necessary" to take the time to be with you. Yet, when I don't, my life quickly turns to chaos. Bring your light to my world, Jesus, and help me to be that light to others. In your gracious name I pray, Amen."