“#Blessed: Matthew 5:4”

#Blessed: Matthew 5:4
 
The Good Life isn’t counting my blessings but counting on the one who blesses.
 
The Good Life isn’t pain free but pain freed.
-Pain is freed as it is acknowledged
-Pain is freed where there is compassion
-Pain is freed when it has purpose
-Brokenness is the gateway to God’s greatest blessing.
 
God, break my heart for what breaks yours.
 
 
Further Conversation
1. Share a favorite story about you and your mother (or another female care-giver)? What made this person special to you?
2. Read Matthew 5:4. Where & when is mourning appropriate? When would mourning be inappropriate? How is it a blessing?
3. What does the bible say is the source of all sorrow? In what ways do people try to avoid experiencing pain, brokenness, and grief?
4. Reread Psalm 51:1-4. Who does this Psalmist blame for his brokenness? How does confession/acknowledgment free us?
5. Read Psalm 51:8-13. What does David hope? How does God show compassion? What results from our comfort?
6. The Good Life isn’t pain free but pain freed. Where do you avoid or deny pain? Who needs your compassion & comfort?
7. How can you pursue brokenness this week? What breaks God’s heart? How can you be open to the same brokenness in you?
 
Daily Devotions: Go Deeper this Week
 
Monday – Ephesians 2:1-10
“Its a dog eat dog world.” This cliche captures the selfish back-biting competitive nature of humanity. People will do almost anything to get what they want. Paul remind’s us that we too were “just like the rest of the world”. He describes this way of life as dead. Something dead is lost and unable to change. Yet Paul reminds us that God, “rich in mercy,” gave us life in Christ Jesus. Where everyone else seems to fight and brawl to get what they hope might give them life, God freely and graciously gives us full and lasting life in Jesus. It is a gift. We can’t earn it. We can only surrender to God and receive it. Are you still fighting, trying to find fulfillment? Or, are you living into the great gift of love from God?
Pray: Loving Lord, you gave me life in Jesus Christ. May I find security in you, knowing I have all I ever need because of Jesus.
 
Tuesday – 1 Corinthians 15:51-58
Last year, 700,000 people attended the Super Bowl celebration parade in Philadelphia for the Eagles. But that is nothing compared to the nearly 3 million that flooded Boston when the Red Sox won the World Series. We love when our teams win. We feel a part of the team, like it is our victory. If we are followers of Jesus, if we have given ourselves fully to him, then we have the ultimate victory. When Jesus defeated death, he did it for all of us. When Jesus won, we won. Even though we may die, we will live because of Jesus! Think about that victory! How does this victory change how you live? How are you celebrating Jesus’ win?
Pray: Jesus, my Savior, you conquered death and won for us the victory! We will live because you live! All my praise is yours!
 
Wednesday – Genesis 27:1-45
Talk about family drama! Isaac is old and clueless. Rebekah conspires to rob her own son of his birthright. Esau wants to murder his brother. Wow! You think your family has issues. Who are these people? Ironically, this is the founding family of Israel. This is Jesus’ family tree. These ancestral stories remind us that God can take any brokenness and make it beautiful. There aren’t perfect families…only a perfect God who loves and restores.
Pray: Heavenly Father, thank you for your love that finds us broken but through your Son Jesus, makes us whole.
 
Thursday – Matthew 20:25-28
They are called “public servants”, but judging by the ranker in our political discourse, people do not generally believe their government leaders act like servants. The term “public servant” finds its source in this passage in Matthew. Jesus challenges leaders to be servants. A Jesus-follower takes the worst seat or the short straw so that others might have better. Jesus-followers help others win. Many don’t feel that way about their public leaders. But how do people feel about you? Its easy to abuse power and privilege to serve ourselves. Its hard to go against culture and give the best to the guest. Are you a servant to all?
Pray: Holy Spirit, help me see myself for how I really act. Help me see where I may abuse my power. Help me be a servant of all.
 
Friday – Romans 15:1-6
Compassion, real compassion, requires great strength. Many people pretend compassion but really only provide a weak uninvolved approval coated in syrupy language. We call it political correctness and tolerance. Instead, this passage suggests something much more difficult. We are called to love people as they are…but love them too much to leave them as they are. We are to be sensitive, earning the privilege to speak truth and gently guide people to what is right. Some Christians wrongly display strength by clobbering people with the Bible. We should show strength through love, relationship, and service. How strong is your faith? Are you showing weakness through unchallenged approval or challenge disapproval? Or strength through love and guidance?
Pray: Almighty God, you showed the full measure of your power Jesus Christ, who came to serve. Help me be similarly powerful.
 
Saturday – John 13:34-35
I make it pretty obvious I am a Steelers fan. I have Steelers t-shirts, cups, hats, a blanket. I’ve considered getting a Steelers tattoo! How do people know we follow Jesus? Its not the cross we where or the bible we carry. Jesus tells us that people will know we are his followers by how we love. When we offer others our best, when we let them win, we show others Jesus! Do people know you follow Jesus? Make it your goal to show others today!
Pray: LORD Jesus, You gave yourself for me now I give myself for you. Help me love others as you loved me..giving them the win!