19 thoughts on “Our First Beatitude

    1. The picture above could perhaps make one think that you are blessed if you are maybe sad? Look how the heart of the purple character seems to project out of the body with a “sad face”. How could this be “blessed”, one might think?
      I did find on the website: billygraham.org the following:

      By Billy Graham • September 1, 2004 • Topics: Jesus Christ

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      What does it mean to be poor in spirit, as Jesus said we ought to be? I don’t understand this, because it seems to me that we ought to strive to be rich in spirit, not poor. Or am I missing the point?

      Your confusion is understandable; after all, the Bible does warn us against being empty and impoverished in our souls, and urges us to seek spiritual riches instead. Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).

      But Jesus also said that there is another kind of spiritual poverty—one we should seek. He said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). What did He mean? Simply this: We must be humble in our spirits. If you put the word “humble” in place of the word “poor,” you will understand what He meant.

      In other words, when we come to God, we must realize our own sin and our spiritual emptiness and poverty. We must not be self-satisfied or proud in our hearts, thinking we don’t really need God. If we are, God cannot bless us. The Bible says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).

      Pride can take all kinds of forms, but the worst is spiritual pride. Often the richer we are in things, the poorer we are in our hearts. Have you faced your own need of Christ? Do you realize that you are a sinner and need God’s forgiveness? Don’t let pride or anything else get in the way, but turn to Christ in humility and faith—and He will bless you and save you.”

      1. Debi gave us a glimpse of chapter 2 from Flora Slosson Wuellner in her introduction blog on our book 📚 which I think aligns with Dr Graham’s thoughts. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:2-3. The author gives us a more accurate translation of this scripture that she found from the root meanings: “Blessed are those who recognize their total need of God.”

        Now, that I have a glimpse of my total need in communicating this truth at all times, now what?

  1. In reading the first Beatitude, I have been thinking on, “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” and the prayer Jesus said to pray like…”Our Father Who art in Heaven…thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us…etc”. Looks like there may be a correlation between forgiveness and the kingdom of God coming. Flora says in the first Beatitude chapter, “we are not the source of our healing. Truly the kingdom of God is within us as Jesus told us. But that kingdom is God’s presence, and we need God’s help to experience that inner glory.”
    Flora Slosson Wuellner also says in her book intro that she was going to write a book on forgiveness and that God instructed her in a dream to write it on the nine Beatitudes. She then states: “Amazed, I realized that my forgiveness outline flowed, point by point, along those nine steps of deepening blessedness!”
    I am wondering if because the Beatitudes may be ‘steps’, that when we look at the second Beatitude it may help provide an answer to what Sara said above, “Now, that I have a glimpse of my total need in communicating this truth at all times, now what?”

  2. Tammy quotes above, “in other words, when we come to God, we must realize our own sin and our spiritual emptiness and poverty. We must not be self-satisfied or proud in our hearts, thinking we don’t really need God. If we are, God cannot bless us. The Bible says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).

    A few years ago Tammy and I had a shared “need” and we had many tears, discussions, prayers and lots of Hope. We both had been unfairly treated. We were on a ‘forgiveness journey’. It involved others as well. I really believed the many hours spent in conversations as we studying God’s Word and wanted a Christian solution we got one. For those that are studying from our text book, I’m on page 26, 4 questions. I think we made it through that rugged terrain. Maybe a few scratches and scars.

    The later vital question outside the 4 Flora speaks of, “what are my choices at this time?” This brings me full ⭕️…Am I “self-satisfied or proud in my heart ♥️? Seems when the needle needs to be threaded over and over on this or like issues I find myself in the making excuses column. Well, my friend Tammy has no trouble remind me I’m wrong. I become painfully aware of my need for God over and over again. “Poor in Sprit” seems to become to me something as simple yet life needful as my food pantry. It runs low and at times pretty empty. I know without a doubt I need and I want and I have a passion for food. Do I feel the same passion about the need for the Holy Spirit to be on dutifully fulfilling His promises in my empty spirit pantry according to John 14:16-17 [16] And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever — [17] the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
    The Holy Spirit dwells in everyone who belongs to Christ”

    1. Sara, I like how Wuellner describes this “forgiveness journey” we have been on for some time now, on page 22. “The journey of unfolding forgiveness is not a neat, tidy one. Nor does it necessarily move along the path in the order described in this book. We may find ourselves beginning at different places. We may need to return several times to certain stages. As we proceed, we may find we need to forgive a whole community rather than one person. Our journey may become one of self -forgiveness when we realize we ourselves have wounded others. ” BTW Sara, page 24 in my book is blank😮

  3. What joy to know we can forgive ourselves and truly know we are forgiven by Our Lord. Truly a lot of heart and head truths on pg 22 to integrate in our inner being. Thanks Tammy.

    1. “Truly a lot of heart and head truths on pg 22 to intgrate in our inner beings”…. Amen to that. And can you imagine how much more there is to come?😱 Guess I better get busy reading and studying🤓📝✝

      1. I’m going slow. Like a turtle. 🐢 I have been thinking I have read and heard the Beatitudes many times and mostly saying happy/blessed am I for mine is….then like a 🐇🐇🐇 on I went! Reading along with our writer and pausing to think about the words of Jesus along with Wuellner’s thoughts and stories begin to make traction in my thinking.

        1) politicial issues from news on my phone keeping me 🕐🕧 timely updated on conflicts around the world
        2) The MeToo movement where forgotten life stories are being revealed all too often
        3) Prayer group needs where lives seem to have needs that prayers need wise guidance to even utter words that the author of the Beatitudes might hear
        And, many other issues that in my humble opinion need to have a JesusToo movement applied where the power of Blessed are you takes on action that brings the healing some might be searching for.

        I’m with you Tammy it’s study time📝📕📚

  4. Oh my oh me! The Holy Spirit sure knows how to organize and work on our behalf’s. I spent last night and early this am trying to figure out to “Heart-mind” myself in our study. And, one of my online devotions seems to be delivered timely from The Holy Spirit. It’s times like this happiness ensues.
    “AS YOU LISTEN TO OTHERS, trust that God will help you tune in to what they are really saying. Be still; allow your heart as well as your mind to open up to the person who is speaking. Pray for guidance and understanding.”
    – Patricia Wilson
    The Mindful Manager: The God Factor at Work

  5. Tammy brought to our attention in her first comment, “Look how the heart of the purple character seems to project out of the body with a “sad face”.
    I have looked at that figure a lot. Tonight when I was reading on pg 20 and 22, I thought that the author had a good explanation for what the figure might represent (though I don’t know if she has ever seen the figure drawing). She said, “What then is forgiveness in Jesus teaching? I studied the whole Sermon on the Mount more carefully. It became clear that the central focus of that supreme teaching is what is happening in our heart’s core. What we do outwardly springs from what we are thinking, feeling, choosing inwardly.”…

    1. ‘Things I do outwardly springs from my thoughts, feeling and choosing….’let me see if I get the point….I see-hear something I don’t like in myself, a family member or friend, I believe not Bibical because of my teaching and training and faith…Therefore, I know it’s wrong, I go back to the root source, the scriptures to confirm my thoughts and feelings, but now the choosing…well🤔🤔🤔😖🧐 I’m back on page 26 with questions to name …then pg 28 with a head full of they, me, but, because..then still reading pg 28, Luke 12:2,3 appears…now comes our purple character above or more to today’s art, my selfie and things really starts to look…on to pg 30. Second to last paragraph, “a window is open, and we are able to see where we are.” Yeap, I have come to believe my phone camera 🎥 speaks loud when that selfie setting shows itself. 🤭🤫😴🤡

      1. I really need to keep posted in my head thoughts, I am blessed and happy because the kingdom of heaven is mine and dwells within my being. I’m not dependent on sour 🍏 ‘s but on the teachings and reality that Jesus Himself taught about the kingdom of Heaven. I think Lydia Grace’s prayer has the part, for yours is the Kingdom of Heaven…
        “LORD, I resolve to live more fully in [2018],
        each day brighter, more purposeful,
        full of faith and not of fear.
        Give me courage to accept life’s adventures
        and faith to avoid second guesses.
        Grant me strength to say YES
        to the life you want me to live.
        Help me to hope in your promises.
        If you are with me, who can be against me?
        Teach me to appreciate each day
        as a wonderful gift from you.
        This is the day and the year that the Lord has made.
        Let us rejoice and be glad in [2018]!”Lydia Grace, 19 [Muncie, Indiana], devozine

      2. Your step processing above, Sara, helps me see the ‘point’ more clearly.

        Two take-always I have focused on from the chapter are “Little can change until we have faced where we actually are” (pg 26); “…we need to stay with that special difficult focus of what actually happened, or we easily slip back into denial.”(pg 28); and …”to be as honest as we can within the enfolding strength of God.” (pg 31).

  6. Our week of First is nearing the end. A few things that have become my theme:
    1) Jesus began to speak and He taught them, saying, Blessed…I want my name in the column of Them…
    2)pg 29 of study book, the importance of communal confession
    3)pg 31…”no matter how blunt and harsh our language sounds as we name our problem, we are already within the great unfolding act of forgiveness.” This teaching from Flora’s book gave me hope in David’s honesty with God. Psalm 13…I’m reminded God wants to hear our genuine feelings…prayer of honesty seems and feels so healing. I just need to stay in contact by communicating with God on all levels🙃☺️😍😘😇😕🤩♥️

    I have had a very busy week with many new new things on my schedule…in the past I might have just dropped my study and responseed by dwelling on “my belly button” yikes….hope no more.😙

    Our study book pg 32 states my victory, “you and God look at this together. Decide {my choice] if you are ready to …release. Remember that the living Jesus Christ not only is beside you on this journey, 🎡🎢🎠🚜🛴🚖🚝✈️but also has gone ahead to prepare the way for you.” Then she states, ‘make a retry into your daily life.” Victory is mine!👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻✡️🌟

    1. My thoughts: Forgiveness is a journey, a “release from the prison and burden of the past, release from the chains of resentment and guilt that hold us back from entering God’s freedom”(pg 21). Forgiveness is “an ongoing, deepening process”(pg 22). “Forgiveness exists already–we do not create it; we enter it” (pg 22) We can’t do it alone. We need God to help us name our hurts and our needs. (pg 26) Sara said above : “Victory is mine!” I’d like to copy the last sentence from the introduction (pg 14), in Wuellner’s book: “The living Jesus Christ not only empowers us for healthy forgiveness but walks the path with us, enfolding us with God’s compassion, praying through the pain ‘that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15:11) ……………….. Sounds like “Victory” to me!

      1. Amen and amen Tammy! I must say it amazes me how this gifted writer so creatively jolted our thinking of what seemed a bit morbid to be blessed for into Victory!

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