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A Painting of Blessedness
by Terry Barlow
08/14/14
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   The apostle Paul’s epistle to the Galatians tells us that Christ became a curse on the cross. (Gal. 3 v.13) He became a curse so that we could not only receive blessing but BECOME a blessing as God promised Abraham he and his seed after him (including us by faith) would be in Genesis 15. What does that blessedness look like as we enter into it more and more? One little used adjective that describes it is “blithe,” which has a connotation of genuine merriness, carefreeness and lighthearted gaiety. There is precious little of this that is actually witnessed today in our societies. The Beatitudes paint that picture for us in Matthew 5 when Jesus proclaimed 8 different ways it is evident in our experience. Only these are not the ways we might have thought or hoped for.
This blessed state begins to open itself to us and in us like an unfolding blossom when we are poor in spirit, that is,  recognizing our profound need for God and his grace and mercy. Also when we mourn a serious loss it comes in the form of comfort. Also when we demonstrate meekness which is strength under control and difficult to provoke, and a love for the dealings of God, we become more and more potentially the masters of this earth. Also when we hunger and thirst after righteousness which cannot be obtained or grasped, but must be abundantly received as a gift.  Hunger and thirst imply that we need it at least as seriously as we need our natural food and drink.   Also when we show mercy to those in need of it, because that is how we are assured we too will find it in our time of need. Also when we are pure in heart,  willing one thing, for that is how our vision is sharpened to behold God in his commonplace divine disguises. Also when we both make and maintain peace, which may mean walking into the midst of conflict, like our big brother Jesus and the prophets, and early apostles were willing to do. Also when we are persecuted and slandered because of our love for Jesus, because we begin to see more of how we fit as things fall into place in the movement of His growing, gathering government on earth, and we glimpse a little of the glory to be revealed later.
So consider this picture here painted: poverty, need, mourning, provocation, dealings, hunger, thirst, conflict and persecution. There is such treasure in these dark packages! All the things, come to think of it, that Paul in Romans 8 said could not separate him from the love of Christ, but in fact had everything to do instead with rooting him ever deeper into that blessed love, that blessed life that he and Jesus and many others have modeled so well for us, but especially Jesus Christ, the crucified.



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