Sunday, March 1, 2015

100 Days on Jesus’ Sermon Mount (Day 50)

Jesus said, “Then [when you fast for the right reasons, without seeking credit] your Father, who sees what is hidden from sight, will reward you.”
— Matthew 6:18b (USC)
Secrets are usually more likely to get us in trouble than glorify our faith.
But this is our opportunity to ‘impress’ God, who is not otherwise impressed, unless our hearts are temporarily of a holy disposition. The reason we can know this is the cool blessing we receive for having been at joy in secret: to do something of obedience, and for only God to know, there is the experience of blessing! A spiritual blessing, for our reward is an inside job. But it’s not natural to seek after God in order to seek to impress him and not our contemporaries.
Again, it helps to acknowledge, our hearts can only be temporarily holy.
No matter how long we’ve been Christian – no matter how long we’ve trained – we must still lean on God’s understanding.
There is no blessing but God’s blessing. And such a thing may only be known as an effect of obedience – when we have, in the instant, risen to a state of holiness.
When motives are, for just a time, meek, as in the Beatitude, we are on that very road to blessing. We only remain meek as our eyes are on the hand of the Lord.
That’s the thing with meekness, a.k.a. humility: we only remain humble as long as our eyes are on the Lord. The moment our eyes come back to rest on the self, then there is pride, and the very next step is a fall.
Only as we are meekly hearted can we keep the secrets of the Kingdom, which are always virtuous.
Only as we remain in Jesus, abiding in his will, mindfully and heart-oriented, are we able to tap into the private blessings of God. Our Lord cannot bless us in our disobedience. And although it might look that way in others’ lives (that they are blessed in their disobedience) it isn’t the blessings of the Lord they are receiving – these are the ‘blessings’ of the world!
The blessings of God are not what we often account for as blessings: success, position, stature, wealth. The blessings of God are spiritual; they are enjoyed in private.
We know God’s blessing this way: we grow in our relationship with him.
1.     How has your perception of ‘blessing’ been tainted by how your ego, the world, or Satan has informed you? What are examples of these true spiritual blessings of God?
2.     What can be done to retrain us in our wrong views of the blessedness of God as it comes to rest in us?
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.
Note: USC version is Under the Southern Cross, The New Testament in Australian English (2014). This translation was painstakingly developed by Dr. Richard Moore, a NT Greek scholar, over nearly thirty years.

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