My Bible study is reading a book by Francis Chan called Crazy Love. If you haven’t read it, you need to. Here’s something amazing that Francis talks about:
The greatest good on this earth is God. Period. God’s one goal for us is Himself.
Do you believe that God is the greatest thing you can experience in the whole world? Do you believe that the Good News is not merely the forgiveness of your sins, the guarantee that you won’t go to hell, or the promise of life in heaven?
The best things in life are gifts from the One who steadfastly loves us. But an important question to ask ourselves is this: Are we in love with God or just His stuff?
…What a beautiful gift it is to have the one you love look you in the eye and say, “I love you. Not your beauty, your money, your family, or your car. Just you.“
Can you say that to God?
Our love for Him always comes out of His love for us. Do you love this God who is everything, or do you just love everything He gives you?
That whole thing got us onto the topic of being blessed. Katie, my Bible study leader, got us thinking about what it really means.
When we say that we are blessed here in America we are usually referring to things like this: Good job, nice house, financial stability, circumstances are going well. What is the focus? Our stuff. Is that really what it means to be blessed is to have a collection of things and an easy life? I feel like that is completely contradictory to what the Bible says.
- Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy, Matthew 6.
- Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions, Luke 12.
- Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” Matthew 16.
Christ calls us to pick up our cross. If life is always easy I have to question if we are really surrendering everything. Perhaps to be blessed is to be in a situation when we can know the suffering of Christ. Maybe, living here is the hardest place to live in the world because it’s the hardest to see God. Maybe here is not the most blessed because it’s harder to share in the suffering of Christ.
My mind turns to the beatitudes because we’re talking about them at church right now. Who is blessed? How are they blessed? (Matthew 5)
God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
God blesses those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
God blesses those who are humble,
for they will inherit the whole earth.
God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice,
for they will be satisfied.
God blesses those who are merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
for they will see God.
God blesses those who work for peace,
for they will be called the children of God.
God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
It doesn’t say anywhere in this that those who are blessed will be doctors and lawyers and have huge houses and 5 cars and go to the best private schools. The third one says, “for they will inherit the earth.” The Message puts it this way, “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.” It doesn’t mean that when you are humble you will have a bunch of stuff. I feel like what is said in the Beatitudes are the real blessings that we should treasure.
Last night my Bible study discovered what it truly means to be blessed. To be blessed is to know God, to suffer like Christ, and be crazy in love with God.