Pages

Friday, January 13, 2012

My Sermon on the Mount: A Paraphrase




Feel free to sit here and listen while I preach to myself.

Matthew 5:1-16 (This is not meant to be an exhaustive commentary, just some scribblings and ponderings.):

Blessed are those who know they have much more to learn than they have to teach, and who are more eager to listen than to speak. The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to the humble and the hungry.

Blessed are those who cry tears no one sees, for they have the best Comforter of all.

Blessed are those who do not need to be right, to have the last word, or win an argument. Blessed are those who are okay with being completely misunderstood and misjudged. This is meekness, not weakness. It requires divine strength.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness —pleasing God and doing His will—when everyone else hungers merely for knowledge, power or wealth. For these shall be filled to the full. Fulfilled.

Blessed are those who forgive when forgiveness is undeserved, and who recognize themselves in those they are forgiving. That is how they can feel compassion toward the people they find most difficult.

Blessed are those who understand that it takes more than an open mind to see God; it takes an open heart, offered up for cleansing. Clarity of heart gives way to clarity of vision.

If you really want to be called a child of God, be a peacemaker. Anyone can be a peace keeper. Get up and go and do and say the hard thing.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake—not for “being right’s” sake. You are not on a mission to convince or convict. Don’t take on the job of the Holy Spirit. Live righteously; if they reject you, they’re rejecting Jesus too.

When they poke fun at your faith and talk behind your back and take away your rights and don’t show you the same tolerance they expect for themselves, be glad. Many heroes of the faith have suffered all this and more. They cheer you on from above.

You are the salt of the earth. Salt is meant to be sprinkled, not unscrewed and poured onto a plate of food.* Be just different enough in your words and actions that others will recognize that you’ve got a certain unshakable hope that they need and want. God never called you to be weird, obnoxious or overpowering.

You are the light of the world. Let your faith translate into words and conduct that will point others to God in Heaven. This should be as natural as a city on a hill—living out of the amazing place and grace to which God has elevated you.


*I once heard my very wise Uncle Ben say this.










4 comments:

Grace 4 U said...

Well written! It gets my mind thinking!!

Heather L. Kopp said...

Faith, I've been here reading a bunch of your posts. You're a fabulous writer and I love your whole theme. Of course it resonates with me. I also like your piece on hypocricy. I wrote a post about that, too. About how I am one. I love your honesty and the way you want to live your faith is so genuine. Let's keep in touch. Thanks so much for reading my blog! And commenting, too.

Anonymous said...

Love this!!!! I didn't realize I'd missed so many posts -thanks for linking on Facebook so that when I happen to catch one I can be blessed.
Love to you!
MB

Faith Bogdan said...

Thanks, all, for your kind words. I could say the same of your blog too, Heather! So good to "know" you.