A Cycle -4th Sunday in Ordinary Time 17

I was watching for the umpteenth time a DVD titled “How Great is Our God” featuring Louie Giglio.  It is an evangelistic presentation of the enormity of God who created the stars with a breath and a word.  I know most of you who read this blog have never heard of Louie and his presentation to the youth of America.  I find his presentation more than enlightening; it will fill your heart with awe and wonder.

We have this tendency to shrink God down to our size in order to relate to his majesty and might.  Louie does the opposite; he shows the enormity of God by showing his audience the size of various stars in our galaxy compared to the size of our earth which is miniscule compared to other stars in our galaxy.

Once he has shown you about the enormity of God who holds the heavenly host in his hands he makes a sudden shift.  He turns from the galaxy to us.  We are amazing and our life begins when two chromosomes come together in our mother’s womb. Louie show us that moment when he shows a newly formed embryo, so small it fits oh the head of a pin. Yes all the galaxies give glory to God by its majesty and beauty. Yet, we are not only created to reflect his glory we were created to receive his love.

God’s creation is dynamic and ever changing but it is not the recipient of God’s love – we are.  God is passionate about his desire to bless us and flood us with his love and we fail to understand this passion of his

I love the passages in Deuteronomy 28 where God tells us he will open the treasure houses of heaven to those who obey him.  Long before Jesus speaks the “Sermon on the Mount” his Father in Heaven speaking to Moses list blessings for those who listen to him. The blessings listed in Deuteronomy end with this statement by God: “The Lord will establish you as a holy people to himself…”  What God desires for us is simple and direct – listen and trust him no matter what is happening around us.

Would we expect Jesus to tell us something different than the ancient texts have already told God’s people?  What God expects of us is to trust God’s plan is for our welfare not our demise (Jer. 29:11).  The beatitudes make sense when you think of how we in comparison to all God created were made to reflect his glory and receive his love.

Blessed are the poor in Spirit Jesus tells us.  I must admit if I am at that point of a broken spirit I would find it hard to feel blessed. Yet Louie’s words helped realize that the concept of being poor in Spirit is not a beaten down, lost hope type of condition.  Instead it is a realization of our creation compared to the majesty of the universe.  We know how far short we fall from living up to God’s glory.  We are unworthy and not deserving to be blessed by God.  When we are poor in spirit we have an attitude that keeps us humbled before God and grounded in our significance which comes from being a child of God.

To be poor in Spirit is to understand that God created us for a holiness that comes from his Spirit dwelling in us and not from our own efforts to be holy. Poor in Spirit is a totally opposite attitude from those who believe they deserve blessings because of their righteousness.  We fail to understand all blessings are undeserved and are only ours as a gift of love.

In fact, I believe that the beginning point of our spiritual growth happens when we realize we deserve punishment rather than blessings.  Spiritual growth happens when we know that we will never rid our hearts of sin and still God blesses us.

Spiritual growth comes out of our failures to be who God created us to be.  It is then that we realize what God desire to lavish upon us is because of who he is not who we are.  Holiness is an action of the Spirit working within us as we empty ourselves of our own self-serving desire to be holy.  God tells us in the Book of Revelations that he desires us to hot or cold but because we are lukewarm he will spew us out of his mouth (Rev. 3:16).  It is easy for us Christians to become comfortable in our practice of the faith and stop opening ourselves up to the transforming power of the Spirit.  Apathy is a tool of Satan to lull us into a place where we no longer hunger for more of God’s presence in our lives.

So if we want the blessings God desires to pour upon us it all begins with us realizing our significance is because God created us to be one with him.  We need to pray and ask God to show us our arrogance and how much we are missing the point of our existence.  If we do then we will begin to realize how God is active in our lives and in the world today.

God desires our focus to be on seeking his presence in our life.  We confuse living a full life with the pleasures of this world and miss out on the blessings of being single hearted with our only quest being to discovering the joy of living knowing we are heirs of God’s kingdom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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