8 Simple Lines: I want to see God

In my household, 3 of 4 people need glasses. If you do the math, you’ll know that 1 of 4 don’t. That ‘1’ is me. If you don’t need glasses or contacts, you don’t really understand what the other vision-deficient people deal with. Only those who wear glasses understand what it means to not be able to see clearly.

As we arrive at the 6th simple line Jesus shared with a crowd on a hillside (Matthew 5), he says something quite astonishing: ‘…you will see God’ (if you’re heart is pure)

To be more specific, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

How many people in history have prayed these words to God…or said them, even if they weren’t intended to be a prayer…
“Can I just see you?”
“Can you please show up?”
“If you’re real, show yourself to me”
“I want to see you”

Exodus 33 tells us that ‘The Lord would speak to Moses, face to face.’

How? What’s going on here? I wanna see God. Don’t you wanna see God?

But Jesus says I have to have a pure heart to see God. What? Impossible.

Many people read this and think they’re cancelled out of the equation. Why? Because they’re not perfect. Their hearts aren’t pure. There goes my chance!

Jesus, what are you trying to say?

Let’s define our terms: Heart / Pure / See God


Jesus’ words about heart were revolutionary for his Jewish listeners and even for future readers.

Jews had rules upon rules upon rules upon rules. The OT is full of the most detailed set of rules you could imagine. And just when you thought you figured them out, they added new ones.

What was their purpose? To keep you clean. To keep you righteous. To make you good.

But Jesus blows this idea up by shifting the focus from the outside to the inside. Their were hints about this (e.g. Samuel: God doesn’t look at the outward appearance, he looks at the heart), but it’s Jesus who introduces this with a splash.

Mark 7 & Matthew 15

14-15 Jesus called the crowd together again and said, “Listen now, all of you—take this to heart. It’s not what you swallow that pollutes your life; it’s what you vomit—that’s the real pollution.”
…his disciples said, “We don’t get it. Put it in plain language.”
…“It’s what comes out of a person that pollutes: obscenities, lusts, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, depravity, deceptive dealings, carousing, mean looks, slander, arrogance, foolishness—all these are vomit from the heart. There is the source of your pollution.”

But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”

Jesus is talking to a group of people who think their outward appearance is what makes them clean or unclean. Instead he says, nope, it’s your heart, it’s your insides, it’s your inner self.

Our heart is a combination of feelings, thoughts, motives, agenda, character…the core of who we are. And just like soil/earth, be careful what you plant there – cause eventually it grows up.


So when Jesus talks of a pure heart, he’s saying, it’s not so much about perfection as it is about purpose.

Biblical Commentators are divided on a pure heart being about moral purity or being about single-mindedness. One is about your inner morals, one is about who or what you trust.

The Psalms is a good place to see this balance. 3 Psalms in particular: 24, 51 & 73.

(24) Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?
Who may stand in his holy place?
The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not trust in an idol
or swear by a false god.

(51) Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

(73)  Surely God is good to Israel,
         to those who are pure in heart.

(from their we read about the difference of those who trust God and those who don’t, and then we get here…)

Whom have I in heaven but you?
         And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
                  My flesh and my heart may fail,
         but God is the strength of my heart
         and my portion forever.

(a Pure heart is a heart that follows God, that desires God, that leans on God, not perfect, but persistent, not unblemished, but unwavering)

Know this too: a pure heart is also an open heart to God. (sang this earlier)


This kind of heart is what opens our eyes to God.

We see God when the eyes of our heart are open to see God.

We are so distracted – not able to stay focused on anything for too long. Our attentions are divided.

The writer of the old hymn, Come thou fount, addresses this well in one of his verses.
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,

We might say we wanna see God, but deep inside, there are other things that get our attention. We might say we wish God was there, but deep inside, is there something else we put our trust in? We might say we can’t believe God didn’t show up, but was it really him we wanted or some other thing to lean on?

Jesus says, if you have a heart that is pure, a heart that is focused, a heart that trusts, that loves, that is merciful, you will see God.

Seeing God is knowing Him
Seeing God is being satisfied in Him
Seeing God is being focused on the ways of his Kingdom and allowing those ways to take root in our heart.

It’s not just vision but impact and change.

I came across a line from a Canadian poet that says, “I am a museum full of art but you had your eyes shut” (Rupi Kaur)

Sounds about right. God is there. God is in front of us. God is working. It’s us who can’t see him. We need pray ‘Open the eyes of my heart Lord, I want to see you’.

When we say we can’t see God, it’s not because he’s not there, it’s because we’re focused on something else in the picture, in the scene, in the moment.


Eugene Peterson paraphrases this verse so well.

You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

Some good questions to ask…

  • What is your heart running towards?
  • Is your heart divided?
  • Has your faith been reduced to an exterior focus or will you let God work in you from the inside out?

When we see God clearly, we see everything else with more clarity. So may your heart be focused on God, pure, whole, so you can see God.

– – – – – – – – – –

(discussion questions)

Why do you think many people over the years have asked God to make himself visible? What is it about the idea of seeing God that captures our attention?

Take a minute and read the verses in Mark 7 & Matthew 15. What do you think about Jesus’ words here? Any thoughts?

Having a pure heart is combination of two things: wholeness & purpose, integrity & trust, clarity of desire and love. Do think we ever get stuck on the moral part of this? Psalm 24’s text is a good one to look at for this.

What are somethings that get in the way of you seeing God? What distractions get your attention away from what God is up to or doing? A divided heart? A scattered mind? Circumstances?

Last thing. Read this Beatitude from the Message. What comes to mind? What is it saying to you?
You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

8 Simple Lines: Mercy Mercy Me

We reach a part of the Beatitudes where things shift. We go from posture to action, from acknowledging where we are, to determining who we will be and how we respond to the new kingdom values that are making themselves at home in our heart.

Here’s where we’ve been so far in this series…

The 1st line? Blessed are the poor in Spirit (recap)
The 2nd line? Blessed are those who grieve (recap)
The 3rd line? Blessed are the meek (recap)
The 4th line? Blessed are those who hunger & thirst… (recap)

In Jesus’ 5th simple line, he uses Mercy to help turn the page from who we are to what we do…

 “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (NIV)

“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.” (MSG)

Again, we ask this important question: What are you trying to tell us Jesus? What are you trying to say?

This is the only Beatitude where the word in the first part is repeated in the second part:
Mercy (or Merciful) x2.

Any time in scripture when a word is repeated, we have to pause and wonder – what’s going on here?

What does Mercy mean?

  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer said that Mercy is irresistible love for the downtrodden, sick, wretched, wronged, outcast, struggling, etc.
  • We may be distressed & needy, but we take upon ourselves others distress, concerns, humiliation. We SHOW mercy.
  • (common definition) Compassion & Forgiveness shown towards someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm or judge. (Like a police officer not giving you a ticket you deserve)

What does it mean to be Merciful or show Mercy?

  • In order to show mercy we cannot be afraid of other people’s shame.
  • Some would say that being merciful is acting like God does, as the Hebrew word for mercy (chesedh) refers to the ability to identify the suffering of others, going through suffering with others, and entering someone’s difficulty…this word refers to God’s unique quality (in comparison to other ‘g’ gods in the Old Testament.
    • This is what God did/does for us through Jesus…
  • Being merciful also involves humility and meekness.
    • Humble people show mercy.
    • Meekness acknowledges our sin to others, and not just their sin to themselves.

I guess the question then is, to whom are we merciful towards?

(1) to me…

The first person I have to show mercy to is me.

Why? Because many of us get stuck right at this point – I HAVE FAILED. I AM NOT PERFECT.

Some of us really struggle with this, things like low self esteem. Our first thoughts when we wake up are: I’m horrible, I can’t do this, I don’t deserve this, if people could really see how bad, dumb, idiotic, sinful I am.

Now, to some degree this is true. You’re not perfect. I’m not perfect. You’ve failed. I’ve failed. But staying there doesn’t help anybody.

Mercy is moving on from the first Beatitude (acknowledging our spiritual poverty) to accepting forgiveness (Mercy) from God.

God Doesn’t See Us This Way!!!

(2)to others…

The other person I have to show mercy to is others.

  • show mercy to others who are suffering/struggling
  • show mercy to others who are trapped in sin

The Suffering…

When we show mercy to those who are struggling or suffering, what we’re doing is simply recognizing that we too could easily be in their situation.

It is so easy to forget what struggle is when things are going well.

The Sinful…

If you think people get stuck on their own failures, boy do they ever dwell on how others have failed them.

Instead of waking up in the morning thinking that you’re horrible, maybe you wake up thinking others are horrible. You just can’t get past it. Sometimes it makes us feel better to think about how others are ‘worse than us’. Weird!!! But very human.

That is a BAD place to live. We’re so stubborn because we actually can’t see ourselves in their shoes, and don’t see that we are capable of the same foolishness. The only difference is we’ve experienced grace.

“…see them as true victims, as slaves of sin and the way of the world. Come to see them, not as people to dislike but as people to be pitied. Come to see them as being governed by the god of this world, as being still where we once were, and would be yet for the grace of God…with that in mind we can be and must be merciful with respect to them…”
(Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones)

The problem with getting stuck here is that the inability to show Mercy/Forgiveness really does become a prison that we ourselves get trapped in.

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you” (L. Smedes)

We often draw lines between people that are ‘worse’ than us, and all that ends up doing is confining us to the boxes we ourselves have put there.

It’s easy to say, he’s this and she’s a that, she’s a CEO, they’re a prostitute, he’s a politician, she’s rich, he’s poor, she’s bad, he’s worse. Those are all lines that divide. Mercy says loud and clear, I identify with your pain, your problem, your poverty, your position, your sin. I will sit there with you, and will walk with you through it.

Two stories come to mind from the gospels. The unforgiving debtor & the prodigal son.

Matthew 18:21-35…a man receives mercy for a debt he owes, then turns around and DOESN’T offer mercy to someone that owes him money….

Luke 15…a son takes his inheritance early, spends it all, nearly dies, gathers enough courage to come back, his father forgives him, receives him, and throws a party for him, only for the older brother to complain that it’s not fair.

That’s point folks. Mercy isn’t about being fair, it’s about showing love. Mercy isn’t about getting revenge, it’s about showering with grace. Mercy doesn’t pick a winner, it actually embraces the loser.

We can all say that it’s not fair, until we’re on the receiving end of mercy, then…then of course we say it’s kind, and loving, and forgiving. And we’re grateful.

Micah 6:8 was a foreshadow of this beatitude. It’s a favourite verse of many people who read the scriptures.

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.

Mercy is a dance that goes back and forth. We receive and we give – we welcome it in and we extend it.

Mercy is forgiveness and humility wrapped up together.

For the follower of Jesus, being merciful is possible, only possible, because we’ve experienced mercy and forgiveness from God. We receive it and we give it.

Instead of forgiving and forgetting. Why not forgive and remember…all that God has done for you.

Take some time today to complete this sentence: I need to show mercy to _____________________.

– – – – – – – – –

Community group questions:

When was the last time you received some kind of mercy or forgiveness? How did it feel?

When was the last time you let someone off the hook for something? How did that feel?

Do you think that showing mercy to ourselves, forgiving ourselves, or at least embracing God’s forgiveness, is part of what Jesus might be saying?

What is easier, being merciful in someone’s difficulty, or showing mercy to someone who’s wronged you or sinned against you? How is the first action connected to compassion? How is the second action connected to our spiritual growth and maturity?

Showing mercy to someone trapped in sin is fleshed out in two ways. 1) For those who have sinned against you and 2) for those who are evidently sinning and messing up and saying all the wrong things to the wrong people. How can we and why should we show mercy in both those cases?

Let’s finish up by looking at Micah 6:8. Read it this way… “What does God want from me?” “He wants Justice, Mercy, and Humility.” How does that sound? About right? Too easy? Too hard? Plain & Simple?

Before someone in your group closes in prayer, take a few seconds and ask God to help you show mercy to someone who you have a hard time showing mercy to.

8 simple lines: hunger & thirst

How many foodies reading this post?
Notice how foodies seem to want to out do each other on their food-i-ness? “I’m more of a foodie than you are”

Or when we try and out do someone in our passion for a certain food. “I like this more than you do”  We might not say it, but we think it ;). I lived this with my twin brother. He’d always try and convince us he liked something more that we did so he could eat more of it.

When I was a kid, if there was something I didn’t like on my dish, and my grandfather got wind of me communicating that, he’d go into a line we heard him say many times. “If you’re hungry, you’ll eat what is in front of you”.

Now…nothing is wrong with having a favourite kind of food…and this is coming from someone who passionately speaks of foods that I love. BUT…once in a while we are struck with the reality that our basic need is simple food & plain water.

When we go without it, we understand the words Hungry and Thirsty so much better.

This leads us to the fourth simple, yet profound line, of Jesus’ Beatitudes. And this one is just as reversed in nature as the first three lines.

We’ve been saying that the Beatitudes reflect a reverse way of moving forward as well as anything else Jesus said.

How much more reversed can you get…Happy are…Blessed are…the poor? The grieving? The meek? The hungry?

The 1st line? Blessed are the poor in Spirit (recap)
The 2nd line? Blessed are those who grieve (recap)
The 3rd line? Blessed are the meek (recap)

Imagine you are part of this poor, grieving, humble and hungry crowd in Matthew 5…and Jesus finally moves to this line?

 “Blessed are those who hunger & thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.”

Out of all the things Jesus’ has said to this point, this has got to be the most ridiculous. How can this be Jesus? What are you trying to tell those listeners that day…and me today?

There are 4 key words to this text…

  • Hungry
  • Thirsty
  • Righteousness
  • Filled

Hunger & Thirst…

The first two words are pretty plain & simple. Hungry & Thirsty is the normal response to lacking something that is essential to living.

Hunger & Thirst are a result of two things:

  • elapsed time & used up energy.
  • We get hungry after not eating for a while and we get thirsty after using up energy.

Many of us in this part of the world don’t understand hunger. I should say, when you have enough, you really don’t get it.

But we must know that Jesus cares for those who are hungry and thirsty. He said as much in Matthew 25…
‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father…And here’s why:
I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.’
“Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’

Simply put. The hungry and the thirsty are blessed, as are those who feed them. Bono, the lead singer from U2, got it right when he said, “Don’t ask God to bless what you’re doing, find out what he’s blessing and be there…go there.”

Now…as true and important as that is, it’s not the end of the sentence is it?

Jesus says blessed are those who hunger & thirst for ___________.

For Righteousness

Righteousness = right relatedness…not with the bible, but with God…and with others.

This isn’t a righteousness you can buy (or sell like the Roman Catholic’s did in the 14th century), trade or work for, but one, as Bonhoefer said, is like a beautiful coat, that is put over us and our sin.

Paul says this about righteousness,I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.” (Phil 3:9)

So what is Jesus saying about this righteousness, this God-relatedness? You need to hunger and thirst for it in the same way you hunger and thirst for food.

Knowing God and the ways of his kingdom is so important that you gotta desire it…ache for it…long for it…for Him.

This begs the questions: What is it that you long for? That you hunger for? That you thirst for? That you ache for? This question tells us a lot about who we are; it tells us what consumes our minds & hearts

Jesus words are reminiscent of Isaiah 55:1-2,
“Come, all you who are thirsty,
    come to the waters…
Why spend money on what is not bread,
    and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
    and you will delight in the richest of fare.”

Remember…Jesus described himself as the bread of life…as living water…to eat & drink.

Let’s jump to Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:33 (on the hillside) where Jesus says, “Seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness…and all these things (food, drink, covering) will be given to you as well”

What is Jesus saying?

Long for, ache for, starve for, be hungry for…righteousness…Be Hungry for…GOD…Be Thirsty for…God!

they will be filled…

What is the promise for this beatitude?

Of course it’s going to be ‘and they will be filled’.

This is God’s promise to those who are physically hungry & spiritually hungry. YOU WILL BE FILLED.

What fills you? What satisfies you? What quenches you? What makes you feel settled?

Nothing is wrong if you say food & drink. But what Jesus is getting at is so much more.

Two Psalms help us out here:

Psalm 42,
As the deer longs for streams of water,
    so I long for you, O God.
I thirst for God, the living God.

Psalm 36,
Taste and see that the Lord is good;
    blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

Augustine wrote his own Psalm with these words, “You have made us for yourself, Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”

Ronald Rolheiser says something similar, “Spirituality is what we do with our unrest, with our hunger and thirst.”

Eugene Peterson paraphrases it so well, 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.”

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

Favourite food…all time…tell us passionately in just a few words?

What is the best part of food? Taste? Experience? Community?

Will we in North America ever truly understand what it means to be hungry & thirsty?

Connect these two words (hunger & thirst) to what Jesus says in Matthew 25. What do you feel? What do those words say to you?

Jesus obviously is trying to point our hunger & thirst somewhere…towards righteousness? What do you think Jesus is challenging us towards? What do we ache for? What to we really long for? Does God and his kingdom take first place?

How about the beautiful idea that we will be filled, satisfied, settled? Is that comforting? How do those few words make you feel?

Read the last few quotes & verses in the post. Any final thoughts?

8 simple lines: a night’s tale, meekness, Moses and Jesus!

Have you ever seen the movie, A Night’s Tale? It was (the late) Heath Ledger’s first big introduction to the movie world. Set in Medieval times, Ledger plays the peasant born William Thatcher who, against all odds, climbs up the competitive jousting ranks.

One scene always stood out to me: there is a romance developing between William and a certain fair maiden. He’s trying to communicate to her that he cares for her and asks what it will take. Her response? Lose for me. If you lose your jousting match, you’ll win my heart. WHAT??? He says no and storms out. Fast forward to the next scene and you’ll find William losing his matches willingly. His friends are perplexed and mad and ask why he’s doing this? His only response, “I love her”.

This is ridiculous isn’t it? Really? Is there any other way to show your loyalty? How about WINNING? I’ll win for you.

– – – – – – – – – – –

Here we are again – in the Beatitudes, where things are reversed – principals seem to be backwards – down means up and up means down. Losing is winning and winning isn’t what you think it is.

Jesus…is this really the way things are?

The Beatitudes reflect a reverse way of moving forward as well as anything else Jesus said.

“If you wanna be where others can’t get to, you have to do things differently than others are doing.”

Happy are…Blessed are…the poor? The grieving? The hungry? The meek?

What make’s more sense in our society and culture is to say…Blessed are the Rich, the settled, the filled, the powerful, the winners, the strong, the successful.

Jesus has something else in mind. This message to those listening (and to us) is good news. It’s the gospel in 8 simple lines.

The 1st line? Blessed are the poor in spirit (recap)
The 2nd line? Blessed are those who grieve (recap)

The 3rd line… 

“Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.”

Or as The Message paraphrases it, “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.”

Every week we’ve started with asking this very important question…What is Jesus talking about…what is he possibly saying?

He’s not implying what Charles Barkley means by this beatitude…The legendary Basket Ball player turned announcer used to say “The meek may inherit the earth, but they won’t get the ball from me”

Sorry…back to Jesus – What is he trying to tell us?

2 THINGS…(position & posture)

There are two people the scriptures attribute meekness to: MOSES & JESUS. Interesting. (More on that below)

1) Blessed are those who find themselves in a really low state of affairs! POSITION!

Let me remind you who is in this crowd. Broken people. Persecuted people. Disciples who gave up everything to follow Jesus and are living out their faith, even when things get difficult. You also have people who are coming to listen to Jesus that are at the end of their rope. They reflect the first meaning of meekness: a low state, below the standard, not quite where they wish to be, behind the 8 ball.

Think of the person who has to leave everything they have in hopes of a better life, but have to start at the bottom, again. They would be categorized as meek in their position.

  • The refugee
  • The oppressed
  • The bullied
  • The other, the outsider, the different

In this case, this Beatitude is for those in an awful situation who lack the power to do anything about it…but with great humility accept the invitation to carry on.

This brings us to Moses. The first person the scriptures attribute meekness to. We find this in Numbers 12:3 Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.” (NIV) “Now the man Moses was very meek…” (ESV)

I always thought this means exactly as it reads, that Moses was humble and that he was meek. However, the Hebrew word here for meek can also be translated as miserable (only in the OT text). It can actually read that Moses was the most miserable man on the earth.

How is that possible? Well, if you read Numbers 11, you get an idea of how difficult things were getting for Moses. People were complaining, things weren’t going well, his people weren’t co-operating, even his siblings were turning on him. This is the lead up to 12:3.

The other part of this word in the OT, can convey a sense of trust in God and an acceptance to your circumstance.

So…in Moses’ miserable situation, he still trusts God, he still remains faithful, he doesn’t waiver. Things might suck, but he isn’t giving up.

He has no choice but to accept his ‘meekness’ if you will. He’s acknowledging his position. Things are not good.

Now back to the Matthew 5. One of things Jesus is saying is that those who are miserable, those who are doing good, but have things stacked against them, they are the blessed ones. This is not the end of their story…or yours!

What else does this beatitude tells us? (remember there are two things)

2) Blessed are those who choose to be in a low posture, humble & meek…in order to put others first. POSTURE!

Here are some descriptions for the NT word meek…

  • When reproached, they hold their peace
  • When treated with violence, they endure it patiently
  • Self-control, humble, teachable
  • Fearless strength that doesn’t accommodate to the powerful or influential (think MLK)
  • Strength under control (meek is not weak)

Who does this sound like?


Paul’s words about Jesus in Philippians 2 might be the best description for meekness that Jesus was trying to get at in the Beatitudes.

…in humility value others above yourselves,  not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature
 of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!” (2:3-8)

This is the epitome of meekness:

  • Don’t be selfish
  • Exude Humility
  • Think of others higher
  • Put others interests/needs above your own
  • Jesus does all of this by lowering himself

This Beatitude is all about lowering rather than elevating…about choosing humility over flexing your muscles.

The difference between Jesus & Moses? Moses was handed his position, Jesus chose his posture. Some get their position handed to them, others choose their posture.

In the first scenario, God says, I am with those who have been dealt a bad hand. In the second, God says, you’re with me because you’ve chosen to live out values of love, humility, mercy, grace, and peace.

Either way – God is on your side!

The question often comes down to this…who gets the prize? The trophy? The Earth? The normal answer would be the winners, the successful, the strong, the popular, the lucky, the dominant ones, the loud mouths.

Not so fast. Jesus shows us a different way; A better way; A redemptive way.

If you’ve been put down while doing good…
If you’re doing good by reaching down…
You’re Blessed!

E. Peterson paraphrases it so well, doesn’t he? “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.”

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

community group discussion:

If you’ve been able to catch 8 Simple Lines from the first week, can you say which Beatitude resonates with you most so far? Blessed are the Poor in Spirit / Blessed are those who Mourn / Blessed are the Meek? Any initial thoughts about our recent Sunday conversations?

We looked at two ways to view this beatitude: Moses (position) & Jesus (posture).
– what does it look like to be stuck, cornered, miserable? how would you describe this position of meekness? What do you think of Moses possibly saying he’s the most miserable man in the world?
– what does it mean to intentionally put yourself in the posture of meekness & humility? Why does this describe Jesus so well?

What does meekness look like today?

What do you do when you’re confronted with a situation where strength and arrogance can easily win, but you want to show a better way?

Is Jesus’ reverse way of doing things actually possible? Do you fight it? Is it too hard? Have you seen it resisted? Have you seen it in action?