27 January 2007

Soul Surgery

My Bible Study group is going through the Sermon on the Mount, and we're just getting into the "Blesseds." "Blessed are the _______, for they shall _________."

I am struck with the sense that in order for me to be blessed, I first have to realize how in NEED of that blessing I truly am. To gain the riches of heaven, I must first comprehend that I am completely impovershed. To grasp the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, my own spirit must file bankruptcy.
Humility. Teachability. Soul surgery. That's what I need.

These are huge truths for me to ponder over the next several weeks. Truths the Deceiver would have me believe to be lies. Truths the Pharisees suffocated with red tape and loop holes. Truths to which I am somewhat numb as a result of my own consumption, gluttony, materialism, self-righteousness, and seeking the good life.

The 'ol iPod is going to be quite busy over the next 6 weeks, reminding me of my neediness, my poverty, the blessedness of being without my own resource. Now I can be filled up!

While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and
"sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this,
they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and
On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy
who need a doctor, but the sick.
But go and learn what this means: 'I desire
mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but
Matt. 9:10-13

Aarin freephoto.com

I'm sharing several of my soul surgery tunes with you to the right, if you'll just press "Play."


Blogger Carolanne said...

Definitely huge truths to learn and apply!

By the way, I do visit you regularly even if I don't always leave a comment. :) You are in my favourites list!

6:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm feeing the same way, Erin. I do every time I read through the Sermon on the Mount, in fact. What kind of person is this kingdom dweller? So selfless, so humble, so different than me. What kind of king is this, too? So glorious and yet somebody I'd love to play checkers with.

3:38 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Here's a good question... must we really want blessing to receive it? I only say this because both the "wicked and the righteous" are blessed every day by God's sustaining hand, and the existence of creation (including ourselves). Just something to muse on...

7:48 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

I love this post because with all the stuff we have around us, we forget how sick and poor and tired we are.

10:52 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

Carolanne- THAT is a compliment! (Which I seriously doubt I deserve.)

Charity- Checkers! That's funny! But it does really capture Christ's approachbility in this. Yes, we're bankrupt, but he wants to be with us anyhow. He might even let you win at checkers.

LL- I guess I make a distinction between common blessing and special blessing. The fact that ANY of us fallen, sinful people are walking around on the face of this planet is a blessing. When you think about it, we ought to all be completely pulverized. The wicked who prosper, the gleefully unrighteous that go unpunished (remember though, that's from OUR perspective)... I don't have a satisfactory answer for that. Truthfully, I also deserve what they've got coming.

The Holy Spirit does not go around filling people with His gifts willy nilly, though. So while the unsaved and unrighteous might seem to rule, they cannot expect to be supernaturally peaceful, patient and in control of themselves. Nor will they be found evangelizing, showing Christian mercy or teaching the Scriptures. And the blessing of eternal life and heaven. I understand those things to be special blessings, reserved for Christians- the ones who WANT to be filled with Christ.
There are some blessings reserved for the ones that ask, and seek. They shall find.

I just read, "Blessed are those persecuted for righteousness' sake, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them."

Why the qualifyer- "for righteousness' sake"?
Common persecution and special persecution, I think. Jesus surely condemns all human persecution, but to be persecuted specifically because you follow CHRIST gains extra emphasis.

Perhaps they're mirrors for each other. Those that benefit from common blessing also endure common persecution. Those that benefit from special blessing can expect a special persecution. But which comes first- blessing of persecution?

Heather- I see so much of our Western Christian delusion uncovered in your sentence.

5:05 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Eloquent, Erin. (your comment above)

9:07 AM  
Blogger gretalynn said...

Don't know if the other comment went through, so I'll leave at this:

Glory to God that He desires to work on my soul even when I judge my own sinfulness as a Pharisee would rather than simply enjoying the glorious fact that He sits and dines with me.

If the other comment went through, well, now there's a synopsis. :)

2:41 PM  

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