O LORD my God, You are very great;
You are clothed with splendor and majesty.
Psalm 104:1 NASB
God, listen to me shout, bend an ear to my prayer. . . You've always given me breathing room, a place to get away from it all...... And I'll be the poet who sings Your glory! Psalm 61:1, 3, 8 The Message
*previously posted on this blog December 2013
*previously posted on this blog December 2013
“Blessed are the...” begins the familiar verses in Scripture called the Beatitudes. “Blessed” comes from the Greek word MAKARIOS, a “poetic word” meaning happy or good fortune. Blackaby describes this concept as a “result of divine favor” but goes much further by defining this kind of good favor comes in a relationship with “God who satisfies our soul and promises future reward.” Such divine favor comes through a relationship with Christ, and is not found elsewhere.
Sometimes reading different versions of the Scripture can give new insights into the meaning. As I am reading in The Message “You’re blessed” over and over, I begin to contemplate how I am blessed. Certainly the tangible things in life immediately come to mind, like security and shelter, then health comes next, followed by loving relationships. Soon I realize the things that come to mind are all about me! In these verses, Jesus is teaching a “new awareness” or a “new consciousness” about what really brings us happiness.
Blackaby writes that to find happiness requires we “experience the Kingdom’s inner riches, in the midst of external poverty and distress.” WHAT? Reading again in The Message I begin to see phrases that reveal the truths for a disciple of Jesus such as - “less of you - more of God” and “embraced by the One most dear” and “content with who you are”. My favorite is verse 7: "You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being care-full, you find yourselves cared for.” Happiness is being in a relationship with Christ while life happens!
In the article, “An Inside Job...What Really Brings Contentment?” Martin Thielen, pastor in TN, writes, “Extensive studies have proven that external circumstances...account for only 10 percent of a person’s happiness.” He goes on to say, “contentment is an inside job.” This Jesus prescription for happiness is a “divine paradox”. The world will always be in conflict with God’s promises, and Christians must trust God to be both power and presence, even in the darkness of uncertainty. We are “blessed” especially when we find ourselves struggling and grieving, when we lay down self and disappointment, when we experience evil in the world or persecution for our beliefs. In all these times, Christ remains with us, always the comforter, always the encourager, always faithful and true. “To be happy in Jesus” brings more divine favor than I could ever need. -dho
A part from God’s Spirit, the brightest human mind will never understand the simplest spiritual truth. Truth is revealed through encounter, not through study, for Truth is a person. Jesus is Truth.So in our daily journey, our encounter with the Father, we should be seeking His will and purpose in life, listening for His voice to lead, and knowing His compassion as peace. We must trust God with thankful hearts ~ thankful God loves unconditionally, and trusting Him to work all things into His perfect plan. Because try as I might, I will never understand the mystery at work in all that God does. ~ dho
The aim is not external conformity, whether to doctrine or deed, but the reformation of the inner self - of the spiritual core, the place of thought and feeling, or will and character. Richard FosterMy heart's deep desire is to listen to God, to increase my awareness of Him in my daily life. Foster writes, "Challenge yourself to look for God in new places.” He stresses, "The Spiritual Disciplines in and of themselves have no merit whatsoever. They possess no righteousness, contain no rectitude. Their purpose - their only purpose - is to place us before God." I do pray that you will find a devotional or Bible study or some other ways to guide you in contemplating the Scriptures and God's presence in your life. We each must find time to study and listen for God’s voice, to find ourselves, like Job, speechless before God. THEN, we are to share what we learn, what we experience, and put our understanding into practical use. -dho
Holy Father,Open my heart, for I long to hear Your voice. I listen for Your instructions, meditate on Your wonders. I collate my random thoughts and lay them at Your altar. Through the silence, I hear Your whispers of mercy and compassion and tenderness. Inside my longing heart, prayers of praise rise to You. My soul finds satisfaction in the shadow of Your protection that exists nowhere else. Holy Spirit, bring His presence and His peace. Amen. ~ dho
“...You must all be quick to listen... But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says...” James 1: 19-26 NLT
A spiritual life requires discipline because we need to learn to listen to God, who constantly speaks but whom we seldom hear. When, however, we learn to listen, our lives become obedient lives. Henri Nouwen
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers [and sisters] to dwell together in unity! Psalm 133:1
A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.
Bless the LORD, O my soul! You are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty.” Psalm 104:1
The last walks on sandy beaches with warm, gentle breezes give way to the emerging beauty of nature’s newest fashion show, leaves of crimson and ocher and gamboge. With these few fleeting days, let recollections of laughter and leisure and love crowd your heart, cherish the smiles, chase the passing moments once more. Like childhood, summer will end, too soon for some. One fall night, we will sit beside a toasty fire and retell our great summer adventures. Under the beauty of a majestic, extraordinary canopy of stars and planets and galaxies, we will look up and know these ordinary days to be priceless! - dho