I’m trying a “through the bible” devotional this year as I have never tried to go thru the bible in one year. One of my challenges this year is to read more and seek His word for me. The authors of the devotional use different translations of the bible based on the theme for the day and are very particular in using different versions if one version is worded for impact a bit more than another.
Today was a revelation for me as one of the passages we looked at was the Sermon on the Mount that Jesus gave. It’s that familiar “Blessed are the…” passage, where Jesus looks at people and explains why they are blessed. Ironically, before today, I never really put myself in those categories that Jesus was talking to me personally about being blessed. It was always about they or them, “others”. The devotional had me look at the passage in The Message version and WOW… Jesus wanted the Sermon to speak to US and how WE are blessed with God in our lives! Take a read…
“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope.
With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you.
Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less.
That’s the moment you find yourselves
proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God.
He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
“You’re blessed when you care.
At the moment of being ‘carefull,’ you find yourselves cared for.
You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right.
Then you can see God in the outside world.
You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight.
That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution.
The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.”
“Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.
Matthew 5:3-12 (MSG)
There’s an entire blog post tied up in each one of these separate blessings! I’m betting that at least one of those statements hits home with you today. I know it did for me. Especially verse 5.
“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
Matthew 5:5 (MSG)
Do you ever find yourself thinking and feeling like you are not measuring up, or are lacking, or insecure in other’s eyes? Maybe some of us do more than others. It’s something I struggle with on a daily basis and God states right at this point that if we can be content with who we are, we have everything that matters. We have Him and His love, what else do we need? Gulp… So much of our lives revolve around what “others” think, but do we allow ourselves to bask in how He made us. Remember, we are made in His image.
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
Genesis 1:27 (ESV)
Ladies, I know this is a struggle for us (again including me), but we are loved and cherished by Him. Don’t look past Him to look at what your peers think and try to measure yourself up to them. I’m well aware that this is a constant daily battle, but know that you are not battling alone. The ladies you are measuring up to, are most likely trying to measure up to you as well. Take the first step and let the one who you are trying to measure up to know that you love them just as they are, and remind them that God does so as well. They have already obtained the most valuable gift.
Tending to our flock includes supporting our tribe of other Shepherdesses around us so that we can all be successful with our flocks. Love well ladies!