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Zion Apparel Co Blog #4 - The Values of The Kingdom are Different

I feel that we should get into one of the most challenging teachings I believe scripture has......The Beatitudes. The Beatitudes are almost like Jesus' declaration of independence; he gives us what it looks like to live under the rule and reign of His kingdom. It's also so convicting because each time you read the Beatitudes and measure yourself to Jesus' standard we always fall short. It also exposes any mindsets that aren't congruent with The Kingdom. Jesus in one teaching takes our value systems and flips it on its head.....Welcome to the Upside-Down Kingdom.

Time to be re-programmed

Let's jump in!! Diving into the book of Luke's version of the Beatitudes starting in Chapter 6 we will look at verses 20 through 23.

"20Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said, "God blesses you who are poor, for the Kingdom of God is yours. 21God blesses you who are hungry now, for you will be satisfied. God blesses you who weep now, for in due time you will laugh. 22What 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. 23When 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. (New Living Translation)

I was talking with my wife about this verse and there is such a tension between these verses with our current lifestyles. Jesus attacks the world's system of success. We say if you're a successful person you have a good income, which means you have a home, food, clothes, and a good life. Jesus says hey If you are poor, hungry, and are weeping all these promises are yours and the Kingdom of God is yours.

Now don't listen to what I'm not saying because Jesus doesn't lay a diagram explaining the income ratio of rich to poor. But what Jesus differentiates are those whose focus is eternal vs worldly. Just like he says in Matthew 6, Jesus says not to store your riches here on earth where they will rot but to store your riches in heaven where they will never be tainted.

Understanding the Promises

I read these promises like this, "God blesses you who are poor", which means that God blesses those who understand their lack and need for God. In Mathew, it says "Bless those who are poor in spirit", It's a position where we fully know that we don't have enough and it's God who fills the gap.

Then He follows up with, "God blesses you who are hungry", which describes the heart of a true follower of Jesus. We are to hunger and thirst for righteousness and even Jesus told his disciples in John 4, "I have food to eat that you don't know about". We through The Kingdom of God have access to a supply of food that will always satisfy us. A meal is great but spend one moment in the presence of Jesus and tell me which is better and which is more satisfying.

He then says, "God blesses you who weep now", to me I think he is talking about seasons. He follows up by saying in "due time you will laugh". We all are going to go through hard times but those times will pass and there will be a season of joy as well. I'm going on a bunny trail but I think we take joy for granted. We take the good times for granted. In fact, if we stay present in our lows and our seasons of weeping when our season of joy and laughter comes we will enjoy it that much more. For those of us who follow Christ, Joy is a part of the fruit of the Spirit we are promised.

My Prayer Today

Lord, I thank you for placing me here today for a reason and a purpose. I know I might not have everything that I want right now but thank you that I have all that I need. Thank you for being all I need and more. I surrender today to your process in my life. Help me to remember to look towards eternity and my actions today. Help me and teach me how to store treasures in Heaven. I love you with all my heart, my mind, and soul, In Jesus' name we pray Amen.

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