Bless Your Heart!!
I live in Alabama and in the south there is a phrase people use for those who either do or say dumb things and it is "bless your heart!" Which in the south is our way of saying "you poor idiot." The term Bless means to confer or invoke divine favor upon; ask God to look favorably on. So, with that definition let's look at the following scripture in a very positive way.
Luke 6:20 Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said, God blesses you who are poor, for the Kingdom of God is yours. 21 God blesses you who are hungry now, for you will be satisfied. God blesses you who weep now, for in due time you will laugh. 22 What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man. 23 When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, their ancestors treated the ancient prophets that same way.
We all know that to follow Jesus means to put ourselves in a position at times for tough times because Jesus went through tough times and He is the Son of God. Jesus wanted those who were following Him to know that not all people will readily accept who He is and want to follow Him. And He also emphasized that we are to be heavenly thinking people per His model prayer as follows:Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
To be heavenly minded is easier said than done many times if things on this earth aren't going too well. So Jesus speaks to the tough times with a Godly blessing on all who were listening and that includes us too. Jesus said if you are poor then God bless you for the kingdom of heaven is yours. That is a great trade out and a great encouragement. If there are some who are hungry now, in time they will be filled. And when Jesus fills it means FULL!! If this life brings us to tears, after some time we will be laughing instead. When people hate you and mock you and exclude you and curse you because you follow Jesus, you will receive God's blessing or favor. And when that happens you will receive a GREAT reward in heaven. Jesus also mentioned we are in good company because the prophets were treated in the same way.
Jesus didn't say "in case this happens." Jesus said "when" this happens just know this that God's blessing is on your life. Of course, some of those blessings are reserved for you when you are heaven, but some are here on earth. Just know that God's blessings or favor give us the ultimate comfort and victory in all those situations. Sometimes the situations are so tough just knowing that God is going to kick in some blessing in time is not enough. Jesus was affirming that God is in control and that God is going to minister to us with just the right blessing at just the right time. So God doesn't just look at our situation and say the ole southern "bless your heart." God truly is blessing and will continue blessing our heart, our mind, our body, and our spirit. Jesus was asking them to give their all to serving the Lord and it is no different for us. Now Matthew 16:24 makes perfect sense where Jesus says 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples,“If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.
ˆThe Pilgrimage continues.....