...to live long enough to begin to truly understand what I thought I knew when I was so young and smart. Ah, with age and experience, the blossoming of wisdom. Wisdom that reveals the depths of your shallowness.
For instance, my recent ah-ha on love. Our love has not become God's Love until we are unable to contain ourselves from doing for others without wanting or expecting something in return. Just for the heck of it love. Maybe that should be "Just for the Heaven of it Love".
In the most famous message that Jesus delivered to his followers, he condensed his teachings into what have become known as the Beatitudes. You know, where he says "blessed are...", as he points to the most unusual suspects: the poor, the hungry, the weeping, the hated, the shunned... and he reassures them that the tables will be turned, the typically inevitable outcomes inverted.
He promised his closest disciples (he had "fixed his gaze on them") that they too were going to experience an inversion of the celestial kind. Did they?
Look at his promise that those who were poor were going to be rich. Peter, later, as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles addresses a beggar with,"Silver and Gold have I none, [what? still not rich?],but such as I do have, I give it unto you." What did he have to give? He helped a lame man walk, leap, and most importantly, turn from a whiney beggar into a jolly praiser!
Which is more precious, Wealth, Health, or Robust Ecstatic Appreciation?
Which one makes you richer: Having Millions or Being Forever Forgiven?
What was the blessing that would be the ultimate blessing of all time? The blessing that would come through the work of Jesus. Listen to what Peter said as he interpreted this miracle of healing; this Peter who's conscience Jesus had branded with the promise of blessing for the unblessed.
"For you first, God raised up His Servant and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways." Acts 3:26 [context]
In this is the grandest blessing! To be turned away from wickedness by the call of love! What happens to poverty, sickness and oppression in the presence of overwhelming love? Even if they linger, they are forgotten within the ultimate diversion of Eternal Love. They are inconsequential consequences to a heart ennobled by Love.
Jesus showed us the Love that loves beyond the lovable. Go back to Luke's record with me.
"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. "
This is our call. It is also the litmus test of faith. To love the unlovable. To love the unlovable out of the unlimited reservoir of the love that is only found in Christ. To love out of a new nature turned toward love. To love because you just can't help yourself.
Wow! Now that is being Blessed!
There will never be a recession in authentic, eternal blessings...