40-Days of Prayer: Day 18 – June 18, 2019
Matthew 5: The Beatitudes
I think about heaven “A Lot.” I often ask God if ‘my’ heaven could be made just for me. I want lots of really fattening deserts – because I won’t have to worry about my health or getting fat; I want all the people I love so much to be with me; and I want every dog and cat I had in my lifetime to be there where I can continue to love on them.
However, I read the Beatitudes, and I get worried. Wonder if I don’t get to heaven? I mean, have I fought for justice like I should? Am I hungry enough for God’s Word? Am I even physically hungry? Do I stand up for Jesus in front of others who put Him down? Have I even really been persecuted for boldly proclaiming the Word of God as I am called to do? Jesus’ blessings are for those who are weak, lowly, hungry, and for those who put themselves out there for justice and righteousness for all people! In all honesty, I feel unworthy of these blessings that Jesus has bestowed upon me!
I wonder then, if that isn’t the point here. Do any of us deserve the blessings that God gives us? Not really!? I have been accused of asking for more in my congregations. I always say, “We can do more!” When is it enough, they ask? “Never,” I say! We are not done until our day is done! There is always more work to be done in the name of Jesus Christ! There are those who are hungry physically and spiritually. There are those who are heart- broken from the loss of loved ones. There are those who suffer from terminal illnesses. There are women and people of color who are treated unfairly and need justice! The list just goes on and on!
None of us deserve God’s amazing grace and blessings that He gives us each day. However, for those of us who are able, are called to reach out to those who need the loving arms of Jesus Christ. Knowing that our salvation is at hand, do we have the courage to extend God’s blessings to others? Let us pray for that!
Gracious God, you have blessed us in so many ways. That is not to say that many of us are suffering, need justice, cry in pain for those we love, and are physically and spiritually hungry. We are grateful for the blessings that you give us. In the meantime, please help us to extend your blessings to others. Give us courage to fight for justice in the midst of persecution. Help us to feed those who are hungry and ache for your Word. Send us out into our communities – and take all our fear from us. Jesus, our Lord and Savior, we love you so much. Amen.