Welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host for this daily challenge. It’s Thursday, the day we try to apply and live out what we’ve learned this week from the Bible. This week we’ve been studying the Beatitudes – a set of statements Jesus made about who is blessed in his kingdom, which will someday be the only reality, but for now is something Jesus invites us to practice.
Jesus is describing a bit of an upside down world – where the usual world order of who’s blessed and privileged gets flipped over. All what makes him worth following – that he lived so differently from the world. He didn’t’ just describe the world differently, he lived in a different world – the kingdom of God – and these blessed sayings were his descriptions and invitations to join him.
This wasn’t something for his benefit – he wasn’t getting a book deal or raising a fortune. He was right there with the rest of the broken people in this world…not appearing to be blessed in this world, but knowing he was blessed in God’s kingdom.
He represented this himself – he seemed to be nothing at this stage. He was a young Jewish man, who was born in a stable, lived as a refugee, and trained as a carpenter. When his teaching began to offend people, he ended up executed like a criminal.
As a crucified man, he was not obviously blessed – and yet three days later he rose from the dead. He proved that the way he saw the world, the kingdom of God, was actually the real world, and what we usually experience is the backwards version.
So, your challenge:
Pick 1. Live backwards/upside down for a day.
Why just one?
Don’t want to lead you to believe you are going to change in a day.
Become perfect. Especially under own strength.
Impossible? For us, yes, but nothing is impossible for God.
Stott: Standards…are neither readily attainable by everyone, nor totally unattainable by everyone.
Don’t be discouraged by the size of this task, and don’t be too encouraged by thinking it’s within your grasp. Instead be encouraged that it is big, important, transformative, and that God is able to take on that task, in fact he has, by dying for us in order that we might be perfected, transformed, made acceptable to him again.
The beatitudes, in fact the rest of SOTM in a few weeks, describe but not who we have been, but who we should be, what we were made to be before we rebelled against God.
This describes what we are becoming, not under own strength, but under God’s free gift of grace, if we have decided to open ourselves to follow him.
Ask him to do this. To transform you. Open your life for him to mold and shape. To lead you.
Give it a try today, then tomorrow we will pray for further strength, guidance to follow him and be transformed.
Challenge: Take some time to tell Jesus, in prayer, that you want to follow or keep following him.