First Steps – January 11, 2021

Jesus said, 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:2b-12).

Continue to focus on The Beatitudes. It is a call to be a certain type of person. A Kingdom Person that sees the world the way God sees it. Granted, this can be frightening because it is counter to how so many live. For instance:

* In a world where wealth equals success, blessed are the poor.
* In a world where pride and assertiveness are prized, blessed are the meek.
* In a world where not getting caught is the aim, blessed are the ones who strive for righteousness.
* In a world where ruthlessness gets promoted to the top, blessed are merciful.
* In a world where ripping people off, lying, promiscuity, betrayal are common, blessed are the pure in heart.
* In a world that thrives on violence and hostility, blessed are the peacemakers.
* In a world where the goal is to live pain-free, blessed are the persecuted.

The Beatitudes call one to look at the values of his/her culture and compare it to God’s culture. As followers of Christ, we seek God’s culture—His Kingdom. Granted, it is counter to the world, but it is worth it. “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).

This Week’s Readings:
  • Monday – Matthew 13
  • Tuesday – Matthew 14
  • Wednesday – Matthew 15
  • Thursday – Matthew 16
  • Friday – Matthew 17
Please Pray for:
  • Families in crisis.
  • Loved ones battling illness.
  • Those seeking to find their way.
  • The St. Paul Church family and our ministries.
  • The United Methodist Church family.
  • Our leaders, our country, and our world.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done.” – Philippians 4:6