Re-Issued: Blessed Are…

At the end of last semester, Sarah Belles, the Methodist campus minister and pastor at my church, asked us at Methodist College Fellowship what Jesus would say today if he were to re-issue the beatitudes from Matthew 5. I wrote some of the things I think Jesus would say to remind us of God’s love for all kinds of people. I pray that you see yourself as blessed by God, after all, blessings manifest themselves in ways, and in people, we don’t expect.

Here are my “additional” beatitudes.

Blessed are the mediators, for God smiles upon you.

Blessed are the confused, for God gives direction.

Blessed are the weary, for God gives strength.

Blessed are the liberals, conservatives, libertarians, and unaffiliated, for God takes no sides and opens His kingdom to all.

Blessed are all kinds of bodies, for we are all created in God’s image.

Blessed are those who don’t comprehend, for God gives his eyes to those who ask.

Blessed are the world politicians and governments, for Gods kingdom rules.

Blessed are the ones with secrets, for God knows and loves unconditionally.

Blessed are the Atheists, Muslims, Jews, Agnostics, Hindus, Buddhists, and other non-christians, for God loves them too.

Blessed are the silent and silencers, for God’s justice transcends.

Blessed are those in war zones, bombed and defeated, for God has already won the victory.

Blessed are those that are “done”, for God will never be done with you, his strength extends to all.

Blessed are the radicals, for Jesus’ teachings and God’s love are called radical.

Blessed are the patient, for God’s plan is always on time.

*Thanks to Sarah for this amazing prompt! Also, credit for the featured image.*

 

 

It’s About Time

The first mental breakdown I had at Summer Beach Project (SBP) on the fourth day in Myrtle Beach led me to a question I hadn’t addressed in a while: Why am I here? I feel confident saying that I think we’ve all asked that question at some point in our lives, especially during times of trials or transitions. For me, I had lived in 5 states in the past year, missed my best friends in New Mexico more than anything, just finished my first year of college, and now I was in a grungy city in the deep south, alone (or so it seemed) attempting to figure out the meaning of life and God. I was a mess! However, God had a plan.

The Bible memory verse for the first week at SBP was Romans 11:33

“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgements and how inscrutable his ways!” (ESV)

While it might seem that this verse has nothing to do with my purpose on earth, it was the most important stepping stone in leading me to God’s truth. As I reflected on this verse I had a re-realization of the fact that God must reveal himself to us. We cannot simply create a checklist of all the things we want to know about God today, or this year, and attempt to check all the boxes so that we can say “I know God THIS much.” This mindset leads us to feeling as though we’ve failed to know the Creator; well, duh! God’s wisdom and knowledge spans far beyond our understanding. God’s ways are far superior to anything we can understand, so no matter how much we go to church, or read the Bible, or pray, or go to fellowship groups, we cannot figure God out! Relationships don’t work that way!

Now don’t get me wrong, prayer, scripture reading, and fellowship are all essential in our journey with God, but we have to change our mindsets about why we do those things. I was fortunate enough to have a team leader at SBP (shoutout to Emily!) that led me to John 17:3. The coolest part about this passage: it’s Jesus praying for future believers, so us! He says:

“And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (ESV)

Emily and I read the verse and then she said “How cool is it that God has given us the chance to practice that here on earth.” In that moment, it hit me! Our purpose on earth does not consist of success, attaining our goals, or even being the best Christian possible. Our purpose: to know God and Jesus Christ…that’s it! It sounds too good to be true, but Jesus said it Himself. Eternal life is to know God and know Christ, and our very short time on earth allows us to practice just that. Our relationship with God isn’t based on our ability to know the most about the Bible, pray the most, or even lead the most people to salvation (even though these are all very important!), but simply spending time with God and allowing God to reveal Himself to us.

We will never know everything about the ocean, we can’t even see it’s entirety in one picture, but that doesn’t mean we don’t know about certain aspects of the ocean. When we swim in the sea we don’t always know what’s going on underneath out feet or far into the ocean where our eyes see the sky touch the water, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy spending time in it’s presence. God works the same way. While he might be unsearchable and far beyond our comprehension, we can spend time with Him and enjoy His presence bringing us into a deeper, more intimate relationship than our vain searching ever could.

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The pier in Myrtle Beach behind our hotel.

After God provided this amazing revelation, my attitude, and the course of events, for the rest of the summer completely changed.