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!