Not What it Seems

Blessed-AreOne of the things that we see with faith, is that things aren’t always what they seem. What looks to be good sometimes isn’t. Think temptation. It looks so good, and well, tempting, but in the end is a very bad thing.

And likewise, things that look to be awful and terrible can, in the end, turn out to be very good things. It’s those things that can cause us to grow and become more faithful.

It’s in the times of trial that our faith becomes real to us, and we better become the people that God needs us, created us to become.

Things aren’t always what they seem. Listen to what Jesus tells us in Luke 6: 20-26. These are words that you’ve heard before, but listen like you’ve never heard them:

And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.

Nothing here that He promised us or told us would be “good” is good, in our eyes. Jesus tells us that we are blessed when we are poor in spirit. When we are hungry. When we weep. When we are hated.

Why? Why would these awful things make us feel as though we are blessed? Why would these terrible things seem good?

Because great is our reward in heaven.

This world is not our home. This world is not our home. This world is not home.

Hear me friends, this world is not our home.

We were made for something better. We were made for something that is truly life. Something that can’t be taken or corrupted or destroyed.

We are made for our true home. Remember that today. This world is not your home. You are made for a better place.

Keep your eye on that. Live today. Laugh. Love. Serve. Enjoy every sacred moment that God gives you. Enjoy it all. Drink it all in.

But this world is not your home. Don’t be satisfied with the earthly, when the eternal awaits.

Remember, when things are tough, this too shall pass. Something better is coming. Hold on. Don’t give up. Keep the faith.

You were made for more than this. And blessed will we be when we remember that.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones, and you thought our app, you can now watch our worship services from Asbury too!

Blessed

You will be blessed today!  You will. But, what does that mean?  What does it mean to say that we will be blessed?  You are probably like me, when something good happens, we say, wow, we are blessed.  That is true, because the Bible teaches that all good gifts from above. So, those are blessings.

But, that’s not the only way that the bible looks at blessings.  That’s not the only way that the bible talks about blessings.  Listen to a passage that you’ve heard from many times from before, The Beatitudes.  Listen to what it says in Matthew 5:2-12:

And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

3106306_11563085_lzEach one of these things that makes us “blessed” this morning – poor in spirit, mourn, meek, hunger and thirst for righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, persecuted, revived, lied about, each of these things, we don’t see them as blessed.  We see these as being opposed to, or being attacked, or being hurt, or maybe even being punished.

Nothing on this list is fun.  Nothing on this list is easy.  Nothing here is something that we even want.

But yet, Jesus, in his teaching, says that when these things happen to us, we are blessed.  We should be thankful.

Why?

Because when this happens, when we feel this pain, when we feel this loss, when we feel alone, hurt, and forgotten, you know what?  We find that Jesus is all that we really need. When He’s all that we got, He’s all that we need.

When all the stuff of life is stripped away.  When all the busyness, all the distractions, all the things that draw us away from Him are gone, and we find that all that we really have in life is Him; we have everything that we could ever need.

We have life, we have peace, we have joy, we have hope, we have everything.

We are blessed.  Now, it may not look like the blessings of the world, it may look different. But it truly blessings that can’t be taken away, by anything.

Today, even if life isn’t easy, and in fact, especially if it isn’t, you are blessed. Today.  In Him, you are blessed.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones, and you thought our app, you can now watch our worship services from Asbury too!