What the World Needs…

Sometime the impact of something is lost with a lot of words… So today I’ve sought to keep it “short and significant!” (Perhaps “short and sweet” doesn’t necessarily apply here 😉)

The Bible reading from the Gospels in the Necessary Food Bible reading plan today?  Matthew 5:13-16

Here’s the “short and significant” version of it (let it sink in…)

“YOU are the SALT of the earth… Keep your ‘SAVOR’” (i.e. “savor” –  a characteristic taste, flavor, or smell.  Some translations use the word “saltiness”)

“YOU are the LIGHT of the world… Let your light so SHINE that others may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven!”

My response?  Oh Lord, I NEVER want to lose my “savor” as a Christian – a follower of Yours.  May my “light” ALWAYS shine in a way that glorifies You!

“…Bless You!”

We often throw around phrases on special occasions (and even out of mere courtesy) and we don’t really think about what they mean! The big one that came to mind during my Bible reading time today in “coffee with the Lord” was “Blessings!” or “Bless you!” (People say it even when someone sneezes!)

The passage I was reading? The “Beatitudes” in Matthew 5:1-12 (you really ought to read it!).What people generally think of when those words are used, and what the Bible teaches, are two very different things! After all, who is REALLY “blessed” anyway? What does “blessing” look like? And finally, who (or perhaps, better “Who”) really is the source of blessing?

I would argue that “blessing” ultimately comes from God – “blessing” is really a “God-thing!

And who is “blessed?” Not those you might imagine based upon the popular view of things: In the “Beatitudes” Jesus taught it was, “The poor in Spirit…those who mourn…the meek…those who hunger and thirst for righteousness…the merciful…the pure in heart…the peacemakers…those who are persecuted for righteousness sake… even when others revile you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things against you falsely” because you are a devoted, obedient, follower of Christ!

And what does real “blessing” – God’s blessing – look like? Well, not at all like we often imagine… It’s not necessarily gaining riches, position, power or fame – not even necessarily being healthy… Instead, it’s gaining “the Kingdom of heaven,” experiencing God’s comfort, “inheriting the earth,” spiritual satisfaction, one day seeing God Himself, being called a “child of God” – even being able to rejoice in the face of persecution when it’s for the right reason!

So here’s the deal… After reading Matthew 5:1-12 (often called the “Beatitudes”) in my Bible this morning and reflecting on what Jesus taught there, I paused… and prayed… and then I told the Lord, “I really don’t care about the popular concept of “blessing!” – I want YOU to be able to “bless” me, and to bless me abundantly for the right reasons!

I just have a feeling I’ll be reflecting on that concept for a while… quite awhile! And then spending some time seeking to be the kind of person that God can bless!

I’m a “Fan” AND “Follower” of Jesus!

I’m a “fan” AND “follower” of Jesus! I not only admit it – I’m prepared to proclaim it! In fact, I’ve devoted my life, to the best of my ability and His enablement, to doing it daily!

In the “gospels” in the Bible (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) there periodically are places that serve as summaries of the life and ministry of Jesus. I read one such summary this morning during my time of “coffee with the Lord”… It’s located in a strategic place – at the end of Matthew 4 and just before “the Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew 5. Here’s what the “summary” records about Jesus…

“And Jesus went throughout all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues [places of study and worship] and proclaiming the gospel of the Kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. His fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought to Him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, epileptics, and paralytics, and He healed them! And great crowds followed Him!” (Matthew 4:23-25 ESV)

Hey, what’s not to like about a guy like that – the “God-man” – Jesus Christ! He not only announced the coming of the “Kingdom of Heaven” – His life and ministry demonstrated it! Nothing was too hard for Him! And Hebrews in the Bible declares that “He is the same, yesterday, today and forever!” (Hebrews 13:8) His “Kingdom message” (check out the chapters that follow – Matthew 5-7) would transform the world if embraced and followed by those who claim to be His followers. His invitation – His call (more like a summons) to follow Him is powerful (read the passage before this one – Matthew 4:17-22)! But if you respond to His call, your life is forever changed – and for the better! Following Him beats following any political leader or celebrity “all hollow!” It’s the trail that results in life-transformation and ultimately leads you to “eternal life!”

I’m so glad that I said “yes” to Him when I heard His call deep in my heart! The trail has not always been easy, but He’s been right there with me all the way! I’d decide to follow Him all over again! Don’t you sense Him calling you? Seems to me, it would be a great way to begin 2021! Why not join me on the journey? What an adventure!!!

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