My Daily Journal:
We live upside down lives in an upside down and inside out world. In so many ways our ways and thoughts are different that God’s. We think of the bible message as standing the world on its head, but it is the opposite, we are already inverted and pointed the wrong direction from birth – the good news is that God wants to right things and put us back on solid footing.
Few places is this more evident than in the beatitudes. To demonstrate this, let’s look at each of them in reverse:
Do you want to receive the kingdom of heaven? Then be poor in spirit. Don’t hoard it, spend it, pour it out, it is not a collector’s item, it is seed to be planted and tended.
You want to be comforted? Then mourn. Come along side the sick, weak, poor, suffering. Open your heart and compassion and mourn with them.
You want to inherit the earth, to be great among men? Then be meek. Serve don’t be served. Humble yourself.
Do you want to be filled? Then fast. Go hungry and thirsty for the sake of righteousness. Pass on the junk-food of this world for the amazing banquet of the Almighty.
Do you want to be shown mercy? Be merciful
Do you want to see God? Purify your heart. (Growing up we would recite Psalm 51:10-12 as part of confession prior to taking communion.)
Do you want to be called a child of God? Then seek peace (not just the absence of war as in a stalemate or negotiated truce, but actual and lasting peace). Be a peacemaker not a warrior or diplomat.
Do you really want the kingdom of heaven? Then put yourself out there in this world for righteousness sake, with the knowledge that you are going to be persecuted. Be bold. Do not be ashamed of the gospel.
But all of this was and is the opposite of our thinking. We think to receive the kingdom of heaven we need to lock ourselves away in study. Self assurance makes a good leader, not meekness. We look to avoid mourning and hunger. We believe in the survival of the strongest; show no mercy; climbing the ladder no matter who gets stepped on. Peace? A strong offense is the best defense.
In other words, our ways are not God’s ways. Our thinking is not God’s thinking. And, FYI: Ours is wrong.
The beatitudes are upside down/opposite to man’s thinking: Is 55:19 My ways higher than your, my thoughts that yours, 1 Cor 2:13 not the words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Ghost teaches, 1 Cor 3:19 the wisdom of the world is foolishnes with God 1 Cor 1:18 the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but to us it is the power of God
Strong, Content, Proud, Unrighteous, Unmerciful, Stronghearted (self-sufficient), Warriors, Persecutor
Meek, pure in heart, peacemaker – Gives me calling to serve and great joy in that service