The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Readings for Sunday, Feb. 11, 2007

with 5 comments

Plain of GenesseratWe’ll be starting the Beatitudes – the Blessed-are-you’s – this Sunday.

I’m finding them disturbing!

Luke 6:17-26
You’re Blessed
Coming down off the mountain with them, he stood on a plain surrounded by disciples, and was soon joined by a huge congregation from all over Judea and Jerusalem, even from the seaside towns of Tyre and Sidon. They had come both to hear him and to be cured of their ailments. Those disturbed by evil spirits were healed. Everyone was trying to touch him—so much energy surging from him, so many people healed! Then he spoke:

You’re blessed when you’ve lost it all.
God’s kingdom is there for the finding.
You’re blessed when you’re ravenously hungry.
Then you’re ready for the Messianic meal.

You’re blessed when the tears flow freely.
Joy comes with the morning.

“Count yourself blessed every time someone cuts you down or throws you out, every time someone smears or blackens your name to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and that that person is uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—skip like a lamb, if you like!—for even though they don’t like it, I do . . . and all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company; my preachers and witnesses have always been treated like this.

Give Away Your Life
But it’s trouble ahead if you think you have it made.
What you have is all you’ll ever get.

And it’s trouble ahead if you’re satisfied with yourself.
Your self will not satisfy you for long.

And it’s trouble ahead if you think life’s all fun and games.
There’s suffering to be met, and you’re going to meet it.

“There’s trouble ahead when you live only for the approval of others, saying what flatters them, doing what indulges them. Popularity contests are not truth contests—look how many scoundrel preachers were approved by your ancestors! Your task is to be true, not popular.

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

1 Corinthians 15:12-20
Now, let me ask you something profound yet troubling. If you became believers because you trusted the proclamation that Christ is alive, risen from the dead, how can you let people say that there is no such thing as a resurrection? If there’s no resurrection, there’s no living Christ. And face it—if there’s no resurrection for Christ, everything we’ve told you is smoke and mirrors, and everything you’ve staked your life on is smoke and mirrors. Not only that, but we would be guilty of telling a string of barefaced lies about God, all these affidavits we passed on to you verifying that God raised up Christ—sheer fabrications, if there’s no resurrection.

 

If corpses can’t be raised, then Christ wasn’t, because he was indeed dead. And if Christ weren’t raised, then all you’re doing is wandering about in the dark, as lost as ever. It’s even worse for those who died hoping in Christ and resurrection, because they’re already in their graves. If all we get out of Christ is a little inspiration for a few short years, we’re a pretty sorry lot. But the truth is that Christ has been raised up, the first in a long legacy of those who are going to leave the cemeteries.

 

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Jeremiah 17:5-10
God’s Message:
“Cursed is the strong one
who depends on mere humans,
Who thinks he can make it on muscle alone
and sets God aside as dead weight.
He’s like a tumbleweed on the prairie,
out of touch with the good earth.
He lives rootless and aimless
in a land where nothing grows.

“But blessed is the man who trusts me, God,
the woman who sticks with God.
They’re like trees replanted in Eden,
putting down roots near the rivers—
Never a worry through the hottest of summers,
never dropping a leaf,
Serene and calm through droughts,
bearing fresh fruit every season.

“The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful,
a puzzle that no one can figure out.
But I, God, search the heart
and examine the mind.
I get to the heart of the human.
I get to the root of things.
I treat them as they really are,
not as they pretend to be.”

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Psalm 1 (New Living Translation)
Oh, the joys of those who do not
follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord,
meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
and they prosper in all they do.

But not the wicked!
They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.
They will be condemned at the time of judgment.
Sinners will have no place among the godly.
For the Lord watches over the path of the godly,
but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust.

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Written by Monte

February 5, 2007 at 6:20 pm

5 Responses

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  1. Hey, Jugnoo – good to hear from you again! Hope things go well for you. Thank you for your good comment! Very helpful!

    Monte

    February 15, 2007 at 12:43 pm

  2. No way to say that God is not good. God is one & God is great. No one can deny this

    jugnoo

    February 15, 2007 at 7:15 am

  3. What beautiful words. And it’s trouble ahead if you’re satisfied with yourself.
    Your self will not satisfy you for long.
    these words inspires me.
    God Bless you my dear :)

    jugnoo

    February 15, 2007 at 7:15 am

  4. God is good, no?

    Monte

    February 9, 2007 at 5:41 pm

  5. M,
    “soon joined…..huge congregation …….from Tyre and Sidon”
    Soon? I know word of mouth travels fast but this w a l k from Tyer and Sidon would take planning. i wonder if He repeated, or did He illustrate or answer questions.
    For sure I could not keep talking/preaching long enough for the folks from Kalona to get to church if it took word of mouth and a fast runner to get them started w a l k i n g.
    I talked with Darla (my daughter a sgt in USArmy stationed in Iraq) and she is very aware of the life style changes walking would require. By the by she is singing in worship services again. I’m suspecting God is up to something. I cannot imagine the USArmy would bring about such a change. I have hope in my heart. ‘more than I could ask or even imagine.’
    Sharon

    Sharm

    February 7, 2007 at 12:37 am


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