The Upside Down Kingdom

blessedOne part of The Forum (formerly Foundations) Bible class this morning was for each person to share a time when they experienced the blessing of God in the context of the beatitudes.  The Forum meets in a classroom with small round tables which seat 4-6 people each.  As the facilitator of the class I move from table to table during discussions.  Listening in to the conversations it was immediately obvious that the blessings of God in the context of the beatitudes were always when someone was struggling, questioning, hurting, or just generally weak in some way.

That is the beauty of the beatitudes.  God blesses us, not in our strength, but in our weakness.  As we enter into the sermon’s demanding teachings on not lusting, controlling anger, keeping our word, and so forth; it is a great encouragement to me that God meets us in our failures and blesses us so that we might continue to walk the narrow road.

The famous theologian/preacher G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936) is credited with saying, “The Christian ideal has not been found tried and wanting.  It has been found difficult; and left untried.”  For those of us committed to living the sermon on the mount this serves as a challenge.  Jesus has made provision for failure.  Because of God’s grace failures are not final.  They are the means by which we humble ourselves before God and begin the journey again.

As we travel the cyclical path of the beatitudes Christ changes us so that we become a greater reflection of him each time we recognize our failure, humble ourselves and surrender to his purposes for our lives.  We may make the cycle 500 times; but by the 500th restart we discover that we are long way from where we were when we first began the journey.  And so, let us begin again and again and again and again.

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Byron FikePreaching Minister

Byron has been the preaching minister at Clear Lake since 1999. He and his wife have three grown children, who have also devoted their lives to serving the Lord. In his personal time, Byron likes to read books, watch movies, and play with his little dog Willie. He also is an avid follower of Alabama football, having grown up in Tuscaloosa during the glory days of Bear Bryant.

Comments

2 Responses to “The Upside Down Kingdom”

  1. avatar Stephen Carman says:

    I like the idea of “roots and fruits” … looking forward to participating in this journey (from a distance). This sermon does take on new meaning having been over here for the past nine months.

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