Paraphrased Beatitudes

II Corinthians 4;7, says, “we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God, and not of us.”

As earthen vessels, we often feel small, ineffective, and unable to do anything of value in the kingdom of God.  But if we respond to God’s promptings, the Treasure is prepared to do through us far more than we could ask or think.

Normally, I play live music as we open each Gathering with a time of soaking.  But this week, Igot to do something I rarly get to do.  Instead of playing live music as we soaked in God’s presence together, I used recordings. I had to; a minor accident earlier in the week had sent me to the emergency room for ten stitches in my right hand, and they advise me not to play keyboard or guitar for another week or two, to give the wound time to heal.  As an earthen vessel, I was chagrined at my weakness.

But the Treasure had plans.It was an opportunity to do what I wrote about in the 31 day devotional, “Learn To Hear From God.”

I quieted my heart as I lay back in a reclining chair, and then I prayed silently, “Lord Jesus, where are You right now?”  To my surprise, I sensed Him standing in front of me, ready to teach.  A flow of words came, and He was paraphrasing the beatitudes for me.  I jotted down as much as I could, but it came so fast that dictation was impossible.  So I have to put the thoughts in my own words.

To keep things brief, I’ll list a few of the beatitudes, and the thoughts that came to me.  They may encourage you to step out in faith as you see opportunities to minister Jesus’ life and love to others.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God.  These are those who step out trustfully when they think they have nothing, and they shall see the flow of the Holy Spirit.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled .  These are those who feel unrighteous, and can’t settle for smug Christianity.  Instead,they  stir themselves to seek Him.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.  These are those who can’t bear to live without God’s manifest presence in their own lives or in the world around them, for the Holy Spirit will comfort them.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.  Not just for themselves, but for others, or even for a whole generation.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.  Those who have been so beaten up by life that they find it hard  to hope, even these will yet arise to possess the promises of God in the earth.

Too much was coming to me too fast as we soaked, and I could jot down only a few key phrases.  But with each beatitude, I noticed that it began with our feeling useless to God, and unfit for God’s higher purposes.  But the presence of Immanuel, God With Us, means His presence is prepared to overflow far beyond our expectations.   The recurring theme was a longing for His manifest presence, and that He would overflow.

I began to realize that Jesus was telling me what it feels like to move in the power of God.  We may not feel powerful at all.  At the moments when God is doing things that are beyond us, we may feeling weak and foolish.  Our doubts about ourselves don’t limit God, because our confidence is in Him, not in our earthen vessels.  So if God nudges you to step out in faith and you don’t feel up to it, go ahead.  Trust Christ in you, the Treasure, to do the real work, while your earthen vessel feels poor in spirit.

Stan Smith  ::  © 2011, GospelSmith  ::

9 responses to “Paraphrased Beatitudes

  1. It’s tempting to try to write a post for each beatitude, but the main themes I heard while soaking were (1) the imporatnce of a passionate longing for God’s manifest presence; (2) that God is ready to pour His love and power through us when we feel like the last people on earth He could ever use; and (3) that these blessings can make an impact far greater than we can imagine.

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  3. Thanks Papa Stan, your words encourage me again of the Lord’s blessed assurance. Love your testimonies and practical teachings. Pray your hand gets a quick recovery.

    • Thanks for your encouraging comment and prayers. The hand is healing well, but I have to give it time Patience, patience, ha! It would make a great rap song. [Driving rhythm, syncopated bass drum. Ladies singing, “Wooo-oooooo-ooooo”] Main verse: “Lord, I need patience and I gotta have it now, Gotta have patience right away. Lord, I need patience and I gotta have it now, gotta have patience today…!”

      It’s been a long time since I did rap. (Not my style.) But my translater in Peru sensed God was taking my preaching there, and soon she had the whole theatre full of people on their feet, shouting, “Aviviamente! Ahora!” It was the best part of the meeting. I can’t recall what I’d been saying in English, but when the Spirit of God started moving among the people, it didn’t matter anymore.

      I don’t know why I’m writing about rap and clowning around. Probably because you called me Papa Stan. I guess it made me want to sit around and clown around with family, as we often do at our Gathering each Sunday as we eat together. We laugh a lot…

      • Aw…Papa Stan that was great. I could just hear your rap song, and if I was there I would’ve probably joined in shoutin’ “Hey… Let all the ladies in the house say, Ho!” haha… I often make up a chorus to just about anything. I don’t play an instrument but i hear the music in me. Thanks for making me part of the family. 🙂

      • Part of the family? You started it by calling me Papa Stan. Thanks!

        It reminded me of one of my first ministry assignments after I graduated from Bible school early in 1975. I was sent to Pinecrest Retreats in Setauket, NY, and soon found myself leading a retreat weekend for Puerto Ricans from NYC. I don’t speak Spanish, but the retreat ws in Spanish and I had to lead worship. The Charismatic movement was hot in those days (1974-75) and someone translated a dozen choruses into Spanish and handed me a song sheet. All I could do was say, “Let’s sing #8,” and then I’d have to wait to find out what song it was. The zPuerto Ricans sqw my struggles, and soon came to my assistance. Within minutes, they made us all feel like one big happy family, and a good time was had by all. We laughed a lot, and God began to move.

        One of the Puerto Ricans lived on Long Island, where he owned a gas station or two. He was nearing retirement age, and was turning his businesses over to his sons. He received the baptism in the Holy Spirit that weekend, and soon was crying out, ‘Why didn’t anybody tell me until now? Why did I have to wait so long?”

        Once he discovered he could be led by the Spirit of God, he followed Him wholeheartedly. None of us knew this man had about a year and a half to live. In that time, he planted two churches.

        Who knows what God will do with any of us, if we dial into His presence and keep following Him?

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  5. What an awesome testimony!! Thank you.

    You know I could identify with you not knowing Spanish. I had thought i knew the language until I came to Pr. I was raised in the states, come from Puerto Rican descent but my Spanish vocabulary was very elementary . It was a long, difficult process trying to communicate n many times being misunderstood and/or not effective. In fourteen years, these r some of things the Lord has done.
    As a child, my dream was to be a teacher and a singer. The devil thought he could destroy my dreams when he tried to silence me in my fifth grade classroom using a teacher to discredit me and also years later amongst my family members, after I got saved.
    Today, God gave me the opportunity to become an ESL teacher, to lead worship, preach n teach in Spanish & English, all for the glory of God.

  6. Wow! God has opened great doors for you! I;m excited for you. I’m sure you’ll have great adventures with God as you get in the flow of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes in the flow, you’ll speak words of knowledge that will hit the mark. On your end, you’ll simply think you’re giving random examples to make the message come alive. But you’ll hit targets you didn’t even know to aim for — we don’t know them, but the Holy Spirit does. It’ll take the classes or meetings to a higher levcel, and the flow will grow and continue.

    At times like that, I’ve learned to direct peoples’ eyes away from me and towards His love for them: “What does it show us about God that He would cause someone like me who knows nothing about you to speak something only He could know? God must be very interested in working in your life>..” etc.

    Anyway, I’m excited for you…!

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