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Blessings to us

Matthew 5 describes God’s radical reconstruction of the heart in his retelling of the Sermon on the Mount.

If we observe the sequence here, first of all, recognize that we are all in need – we are poor in spirit.

Next, we repent of our self-sufficiency – we mourn. We quit calling the shots and surrender our control to God – we are meek; so grateful are we for his presence that we yearn for more of him –we hunger and thirst).

As we grow closer to him, we become more like him. We forgive others – we become more merciful. We change our outlook – become more purer in heart.

We have a new found love of others – we have become peacemakers. We endure the injustice of others and we are persecuted.

It is no real shift of attitude. It is the demolition of the old structure and a creation of the new. The more radical the change, the greater the joy. And it is worth every effort, for this is the joy of God.

It is by no accident that the same word used by Jesus to promise delight is the word used by Paul to describe God: “The Blessed God” in 1 Timothy 1:11. “God, the blessed and only Ruler,” in 1 Timothy 6:15.

Think about God’s joy. What can cloud it? What can quench it? What can kill it? Is God ever in a bad mood because of the weather? Does God get ruffled over long lines or traffic jams? Does God ever refuse to rotate the earth because his feelings are hurt?

The answer is “no.” His is a joy which consequences cannot steal. There is a gladness that comes only from God, a holy blessed joy. It is within everyone’s reach and it is our decision to make or remake.

Let’s not put it off so we can receive all the blessings that God has for us.

Mary-Lou Branson is a retired captain in the Salvation Army and wrote this article as a member of the Fayette County Ministerial Association.