Devotional ~ The Surprise of the Beattitudes
The Beatitudes are helpful because they highlight the contrast between God’s kingdom and the kingdom of our world. This contrast is crucial for our understanding because following Jesus places us in sharp contrast with the world around us. The first thing to notice about the Beatitudes is that Jesus didn’t actually say them the way we are used to hearing them. In the Greek in which Jesus’ words were written, the verb “are” is not present in the Beatitudes; that word was used to render his words into English.
Rather than statements— “Blessed are the poor in spirit”—Jesus gave us exclamations: “O the blessedness of the meek!”
This is important, because the Beatitudes aren’t statements about what might be, or about what could be. They are exclamations about what is. Jesus is announcing the privilege that is ours, to share with God in joy, to share the very blessedness that fills God’s heart. The New Living Translation uses the action word “blesses” rather than the adjective “blessed,” which helps us understand the “is-ness”—the present tense action—of what Jesus is saying. God blesses those who hunger and thirst for righteousness!
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Mark your calendar for our next 2018 Order of the Flame evangelism gathering March 12-16, 2018 on St. Simon’s Island, Georgia! New and returning members can expect enlivening worship, challenging speakers and supportive community as you connect with other pastors and spouses from across Wesleyan Methodist denominations. Featured 2018 speakers will include Bishop Sharma Lewis, Dr. Rob Haynes, Dr. Dave Smith, and Rev. Tom Fuerst.
Pray and plan for next summer’s Metanoia 2018, a global gathering of young Wesleyan Methodist leaders from around the world. Formerly ICYCE, from May 30-June 6 young adults from across the globe will gather in Costa Rica for a faith-strengthening, mission-empowering, horizon-expanding time of transformation.