When things just simply fall apart, who feels blessed? I sure don’t. We ask, why me, how did this happen and how is it going to get fixed. But none of those perspectives lead me any closer to stability.
Lately, I have begun teaching the Sermon on the Mount, from Matthew 5-7 in Bible Study. Thus far, it has really brought me to a better understanding of something my grandmother used to say, “I know I am one of the blessed ones.” Then she would rattle off ten reasons she was sure she was one of the blessed ones. It was always something about her health, her children and grand-children knowing Christ and living to be 90+. Then she would clasp her hands and walk off smiling, or just hug you real good. It has been about four years since she passed and I stopped hearing her tell me how blessed she was. But I think I am finally getting just what she meant. When you are in Christ, being blessed is a durable status not a destination. The blessings of God for our lives and marriages are found in how we stand in “life” not what we obtain along the way.
Check out how Jesus gets that same point across to us. He first lays out nine “blessings” that are realities for Christians. Together, they form what is referred to as the Beatitudes (From the Latin word, Beatus, which means blessed). In a very general sense to bless or a blessing simply means: to be happy or fortunate. However, as you look at these nine blessings they are not material, circumstantial or temporary. Instead each blessing that Christ mentions is the result of a secure state of happiness or fortune, rooted in our relationship with Christ and the security of our soul… Look at when a Christian is blessed – happy or fortunate.
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The poor in spirit are those that recognize the need to walk with Christ.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Those that mourn due to loss, will find comfort in Christ. The opposite of comfort in Christ is the elusive peace of the world.
5 “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.
The humble don’t seek attention or credit but give the glory to God. In turn they inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
I need to eat every few hours! That same innate, craving for Christ leads to a full – satisfied soul.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
None of us deserve the mercy of God. Likewise, when we give mercy to others, even if we don’t determine that they don’t deserve it, we receive the mercy of God.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
In Christ we can move beyond motives and our agenda and love from a clean heart. The pure lifestyle brings us into closer relationship with God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
We can demonstrate Christ’s love and keep the peace. By this we demonstrate the character and love of God, visible in His children.
10 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Our relationship with Christ just might cause division in our family, or tension on the job. But for what we lose or suffer now, leads to a kingdom inheritance.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Surely, Christ’s assurance of our enduring blessed status makes us peculiar. Insults, persecution and lies – because of your relationship with Christ are cause to rejoice and be glad. That’s different. But notice the rejoicing is because there is a great reward in heaven. It is through how we are t rested that we know we are in the long line of people of God that have endured the same kind of treatment, for the sake of Christ.
In the most challenging moments of life, those that follow Christ are rooted in the happiness and fortune of the Lord. The blessed position of a Christian does not hinge on rainy days or bad attitudes – it isn’t conditional. Regardless what the forecast is the fact that our souls have been secured, levels the playing field. We are reminded that Christ accounts for every mountain we will climb and every valley we will walk through. It is in how we stand in those tough places that we find the happiness and fortune of our salvation and relationship with Christ.
In marriage it is the strength to balance tough days with the joy of salvation and respond with high character in low situations. That miscommunication about what time he or she will be home for dinner doesn’t have to ruin our day. A disobedient child does not have to provoke a bad mood in us. Occasional disappointments don’t have to be met with a sharp tongue. In all of these things we have the choice to enjoy the happy, fortunes of God, in any circumstance.
So here are my personal Marriage Beatitudes:
- Blessed is my marriage when my wife and I don’t agree how to handle a situation.
- Blessed is my marriage when finances are tight, but we still can enjoy each other for free on the couch.
- Blessed am I when my job stress me all the way out. For God is in control.
- Blessed am I when my wife and my schedule’s don’t enable us to spend quiet time together. For that makes me appreciate the time we do have all the more.
How about you, make it personal, what tough things have you fought through that only can only be understood through your enduring happy, fortunate, blessed status in Christ?
What a perspective! Hey, enjoy your weekend, enjoy your spouse, smile and celebrate Christ through it – your blessed!
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Events & Speaking Engagements
April 27, 2013 Elevate Your Marriage Conference at Clearview Baptist Church , 8660 Winands Road, Randallstown, Md. 21133
May 13, 2013 10am CDT/11am EST Front Page Morning Show (Radio) with host Mark Halvorsen on WWIB 103.7 FM in Wisconsin. Outside of Wi. listen live online at wwib.com
May 16, 2013 7:40am EST, Mayhem in the A.M. Morning Show LIVE. Toledo, Ohio 89.3 FM YES-FM . Also tune in to hear the interview on yeshome.com
May 24, 2013 7-10am EST Ken and Deb Morning Show. Edward will be talking about Elevate Your Marriage book on Moody Radio 89.3 in Quad Cities Illinois.
May 30, 2013 11amEST/10amCT Tune in to the This is the Day radio program with Nancy Turner on Moody Radio - Chicago 90.1 WMBI. Edward will be talking about the recent blog post, "6 Things That Make an Exceptional Spouse".
June 1, 2013 Book Signing at A Quiet Place Bookstore, 4736 Liberty Heights Ave., Baltimore, Md. 21207
June 29, 2013 11am-1pm Mini-Marriage Seminar & Book Signing at A Quiet Place Bookstore, 4736 Liberty Heights Ave., Baltimore, Md. 21207. Marriage seminars will be held at: 11, 11:30, 12 & 12:30.
July 6, 2013 Elevate Your Marriage Conference, Sandersville, Ga. 9:30 a.m.
July 11-14th, 2013 Edward @ EYM blog will be hosting a Pastor's Roundtable on Marriage at the Better Marriages Conference in Raleigh on July 12th. Come join me. Mention Elevate Your Marriage when you register!
Sat, July 13th Edward and Kimber will speaking on Elevating Communication in Marriage at the Better Marriages Conference.
Fri. Sept. 20th Exhibiting at the Congressional Black Caucus, Washington, DC
Sat. Oct. 19th 10am-3pm, Elevate Your Marriage Conference at St. Mark's Church, 1440 Dorsey Rd., 21076, Hanover, Md.
Sat. Nov. 2nd, Elevate Your Marriage at Mt. Nebo AME, Bowie Md.
Fri. Jan. 17th, 7-9pm Elevate Your Marriage Conference at Bethel AME (Baltimore City Location), 1300 Druid Hill Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21217
Sat. Jan. 18th, 10am-3pm, Elevate Your Marriage Conference at Bethel AME (Owings Mills Location), 10989 Red Run Boulevard, Owings Mills, MD 21117
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