The Beatitudes: Day 1

Present and Future Joy

by

Today's Text: Matthew 5:1-16, 1 Chronicles 16:28-34, John 16:22-24

Text: Matthew 5:1-16, 1 Chronicles 16:28-34, John 16:22-24

Blessed are the spiritual zeros—the spiritually bankrupt, deprived and deficient, the spiritual beggars, those without a wisp of ‘religion’—when the kingdom of the heavens comes upon them.
- Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy

As believers in Jesus and His gospel of grace, we stand with one foot in the present and one in the future. In the present, right-here world, life is volatile and uncertain. And yet, we know the saying is true: This world is not our home. Our citizenship is in a greater, coming Kingdom—a Kingdom we will only know in part while we live here on earth (Philippians 3:20).

So how do we do that? How do we live in two worlds at the same time? How do we live in the reality of this present, imperfect world in light of the heavenly life to come?

At the beginning of Jesus’ longest recorded sermon, the Sermon on the Mount, He speaks eight blessings to the crowd. These blessings, known as the Beatitudes, shed light on the tension you and I are living in as women who trust our Savior, yet face actual pain, poverty, emptiness, and all manner of brokenness in our right-now lives.

The temptation is to see this list of blessings as a formula to a better, happier life. But as Dallas Willard puts it, “The Beatitudes simply cannot be ‘good news’ if they are understood as a set of ‘how-tos’ for achieving blessedness. They would then only amount to a new legalism” (Willard, Divine Conspiracy). So if the Beatitudes aren’t how-tos, what are they? Put simply, they are facts. They are truths of the kingdom of God.

Because of the finished work of Jesus on our behalf, the Beatitudes are not a mere wish list or to-do list; they are the blessings that are already ours in Christ. In the vast love, grace, mercy, and goodness of our Savior, the least are given the Kingdom. Those who hunger and mourn, the poor and the meek, the “spiritual zeros”—we are blessed with the riches of Christ. Not just later, but right now, right here.

No matter how comfortable the house, we’ll never feel fully at home in this world; we were made for the coming one. But while we’re here, we have a job to do. Our job is not to earn our blessings; Jesus did that. Our assignment is to be salt and and light to the very world that makes us fidget with discomfort. As those who carry the life of Jesus around in us, we have a message of hope to offer a dying world (2 Corinthians 4:10). We hold out the Word of Life, inviting our neighbors “to taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8).

As we study this short but impactful passage at the beginning of Matthew 5, may our hearts assume a posture of gratitude toward the God who grants us His very Kingdom through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son. And as we give thanks for the blessings that are secured for us in Christ, may we be quick to scatter the knowledge of Jesus to those around us.

The Kingdom is His, and all are welcome.

SRT-Beatitudes-Instagram1s

  • This is my first time on this app and I’m so happy this is where I chose to start

    • She Reads Truth

      Welcome, Lauren! We are so glad to have you reading with us.

      – Stormye

  • Stephanie

    I love the beginning of the passage when it says that Jesus climbed the hillside and those committed climbed with him. And then once at the top he began to teach and share. I believe that sometimes Jesus says just enough for us to know at the time then we have to trust and follow him to hear more. I believe that he speaks a little at a time sometimes to reveal to us just how much we need him, to highlight our dependence on his word. :) just a thought I had

  • I love how it says that our job is not to earn our blessings because Jesus already did that for us. It is so easy to forget that and to feel like we aren’t doing enough to earn it, but we can’t. Our purpose is to be Jesus to everyone we come in contact with.

  • I’ve also heard this passage to be a walk through what happens as we come to Jesus.
    We are poor in spirit-knowing our need for Jesus. We mourn for our sins and recognize our need for a savior. We hunger and thirst for him and his word asa new believe. We become peacemakers, pure in heart and merciful bc of the life we have been given. And, like all believers, we have persecution. But we keep living our lives for Jesus and to see his kingdom come!

  • This devotional is what we all need. To remember when we feel those “discontentments” in this life it is expected, it is promised! We as believers are not made for this world, and it’s such comfort to remember that God has promised us trouble here, but everlasting love in Heaven.
    I’m so thankful that Jesus has given us this “list” of not what we should do, but what we CAN do IN HIM. Praise God this is good news.

  • Kenna Rue

    This gives me a new view of The Beatitudes. I thought it was interesting that they aren’t “how to’s” and more facts.

  • Can’t wait to get started with this new plan! It’s totally what I needed!!

  • Tiffany L

    New to the app and I’m so happy this is where I started. ❤️ Thank you for making a devotional time doable and impactful! I’m so excited about the Lent study!!

  • This feels like a continuation of a sermon a pastor at my church did two weeks ago. It was the most inspirational sermon I’ve heard in a long time and I’m excited that I got this app again and found this devotional. That is definitely what I need at this point in time. Thank you God!

  • Day 1 using this app. I LOVE it and will definitely be recommending to friends and family. Through The blood of Jesus, we are allowed complete access to God. With that being said. This app helps you apply that access and grow into a more personal relationship with our Father. May all the glory be yours Lord!

  • First time on this app and I already love it! Ready to grow closer to Christ!!

  • Looking forward to digging into this study. Since becoming a new mom my time with God has steadily been edged out. So glad my buddy told me about this app!

  • I often forget the beauty and the hope that Christ is for us. I’ve been so drained and distant from the Lord, feeling empty and lazy! I’m thankful He created the Word to put us back in a place of hope. ☺️

  • This sounds so exciting and really highlights some of the things that I’ve never really thought of before. It completely puts all of the earthly things into perspective.

  • I am so excited to really dig in to this study. I love the Dallas Willard quotes and the hope that this passage brings. I lead a study on The Beatitudes a few years ago with my Young Life group and it is always eye opening no matter how many times I read it. I learn so much through different studies of the same passage, but it always leads to the same truth. The kingdom is His and all are welcome. I love that!

  • Andrea Z.

    I love this reminder of the fact that all these things are given to us even if we are poor in spirit. I think a lot of times we compare ourselves to other believers and feel inadequate and like we are not going to be blessed the same way as them, but the truth is the kingdom is already ours. And instead of focusing on checking off the list we need to understand that our purpose to always to be a light. Love it.

  • Bride Of Christ

    Matthew 5:16
    Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

  • 9 “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.”

    It IS His kingdom, and all ARE welcome. Thank you for this most beautiful study.

    • Braden Prather

      It’s not a race or a competition, we are all working together to spread the light! ❤️❤️

  • Reagan Mitchell

    I was so convicted by Matthew 5:6- I think sometimes we mistake our snaking and grazing on the things of God to be enough- I know I do. When I read that piece of scripture I asked myself the question, “are you starving for Jesus?” or are you just snacking? Really cool picture of what the pursuit of Christ is suppose to look like. I love it- so convicted, so challenged, and so ready to see what happens when we as women start eating with an appetite for Christ.

    • Kylee

      SAME – my spiritual grazing has left me so hungry I didn’t even know what for, and this morning reading that it became clear my heart is hungering for Jesus — which is why nothing has been satisfying and I feel so empty this season. Increase my appetite for You, God!

  • Erika Mogg

    Lately, I have found myself desperately seeking for blessings. And for some reason (God knew) I felt the urge to open my bible and start doing devotionals. Andy his happened to be the first I did.
    Wow. It’s amazing how God works.

    We cannot crave blessings if we have not done God’s work he has planned for us, first and foremost. ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God and HIS righteousness.. and these things will be added unto you…’

    I hope someone gets as much out of this devotion as I did. God bless you.

    Xoxo.

  • Welcome darling. I too have just started this journey. I continue without the actual material. I live too far away to get it on time

  • This is a great question that I often struggle with. Thank you for challenging me, reminding me that my job in this life isn’t to earn the blessings that have already been earned, but to carry and expose to the beauty of the cross to others in this world. To be a light. Excited to continue on with this bible study!

  • Irene James

    Ah!!! I love she reads truth!

  • Daletia Chapman

    This was good!

  • Jacqueline

    This is my first devotional ever and I feel like it was the perfect start. Recently I felt very drawn to start daily devotionals the first one I read talks about the blessings I already have received from Christ, and how if I seek with a pure heart and believe in His truth, I’ll have an eternal joy no one can take from me. I’m glad I’ve begun because it was so nice to have a reminder of how His love is all around me, constantly working to make me into a more Godly woman. It feels great to know we are so loved by Him.

  • Carrie Rogers

    This was just what I was suppose to read this morning. Thank you for encouraging me to continue to share the Good News!

  • Jennifer B

    This reading shows us there is more to this world in present day. That there is hope for us through the love and mercy of God. We must remember when we are facing the trials of the world we live in that this is not the end for us but the beginning of an eternal life.

  • I’ve been studying the Beatitudes the past two weeks on my own, and I am beyond thrilled to complete this study! You always have the perfect things to say, making everything understandable. Thank you!

  • I Love how this is simply put. Very easy to understand,explain and teach to young adults.

  • I really appreciate this devotional, as I’ve had the Beatitudes put before me as a ‘to-do’ list before. Knowing that they are gifts we already have is a much less stressful and fear-based understanding. Thank you!

  • Doris Ashburn

    Uplifting and encouraging.

  • I’ve been wanting to study the beatitudes! So excited for this study sisters

  • Hi all! I’m not sure many of you will read this since it is posted so late, but I’m trying to jump back into studying the Word. I graduated college in May as a church worker, but have struggled to find my calling and have stagnated in my prayers and Bible study since then. I know that God is putting me through this season for a reason (younger sister got married, grandmother had a medical episode, my parents are adopting 3 foster children), but it’s been so difficult to turn to Him when I’m doubting and struggling. I’m hoping to get myself reoriented with this study and to find His peace and plan in my life.

    Anyways….I love the Beautitudes. I studied them in college with a mentor who gave me some insight into these passages, but unfortunately they didn’t really stick. I wanted to see what the SRT study would be about and I loved this part of the devotion, “Our job is not to earn our blessings; Jesus did that. Our assignment is to be salt and and light to the very world that makes us fidget with discomfort.” Not only is Jesus reminding us (and teaching new believers) about the truths and blessings of the Kingdom, he is giving us our assignment. We are to spread His love and grace to a world that is hurting. We are to shine light in the darkness and salt (preserve) His creation. To give hope to those who are looking for it in all the wrong places. To “worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness” (1 Chronicles 16:29b)

    • frances

      Hi Alanna,
      I’m very sorry to hear about your sorrow and lost-ness in this evil earthly, secular world. I really am new to this SRT thing, and I’m trying to somewhat get a hang of it. Your comment was the first one that popped up after reading this, and I want to reply to the “Not only is Jesus reminding us (and teaching new believers) about the truths and blessings of the Kingdom, he is giving us our assignment. We are to spread His love and grace to a world that is hurting. We are to shine light in the darkness and salt (preserve) His creation. To give hope to those who are looking for it in all the wrong places. ” I absolutely LOVE that. I think your words are chosen so specifically and perfectly. Thank you so much for sharing, you’re in my prayers.
      -Frances

      • Susan Dexter

        You are in the right place. I am praying for God to speak to you through this, just as I am praying that for myself.

    • Lisa

      Alanna,

      I understand trials in this world. Just this year my grandfather passed & 3 months later my father passed away unexpectedly. Also, the enemy has been attacking my marriage for years now. Through all of this, here is what I know. God is good! He is my comfort, my peacemaker, the one I take refuge in, & my joy. James 1:2-4 has been my mantra for years. “Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kind. For the testing of your faith produces perseverance & let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature & complete, not lacking anything.”

      This verse has shown me that I can choose to find joy through these circumstances. How? Through time spent with Him…even on days I feel drained or not into it. I have learned in my trials that I can’t operate on feelings. I operate in His strength.

      I am truly thankful for all I have been though. My marriage is getting stronger & my father’a legacy has exalted the Heavenly Father. I am so honored to have these trials because they bring me closer to loving God with all my heart & soul as well as loving people better. I am praying that in this season God grants you strength, peace, & joy. Just be still & soak Him in! It is through his strength we can find rest!

    • Megan

      Hi Alanna,
      I just wanted to welcome you (I am also new to the community) and to say, “I hear you.” I am in a season too, and I really appreciate your perspective. I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts on this study!

    • Ally

      Welcome to the SRT community :) This place has been home to me actually for all of my undergrad years! :) I graduate this coming May. I’m glad you found us :) Praying for you as you journey into this and am hopeful for how the Lord will show up.

    • Annusa

      Alanna,

      I would like to start by congratulating you on the graduation portion of your life. Completing college is a huge stepping stone and one you should be proud of. I truly believe the Lord gives us such opportunities to be able to go out and shine a light on his holy name through these experiences that he blesses each and everyone of us with. Women here are so fortunate to have the opportunities that we do when it comes to education because it allows us to connect with people and the world in ways we would not be able. Women in other parts of the world are not given the same freedom and opportunities. I think as graduates and Christians we feel as if we should know what we want. You “struggling” with what you want to do is a part of the journey. You do not need to know your so called “calling” right now. The good news is God already knows what it is and he is using this time to allow you to grow- with him. Just continue the path you are on. Working at the church is great. Trust in the process. Communicating with your God about how you are feeling is so important. Like a friend he wants you to want him to listen. He wants you to reach out. He is a jealous God- but in a good way. Asking him what HE wants you to do. We fall into this trap where we speak for ourselves and make our own decisions. I pray for the holy spirit to be your decision maker, your map and guide. Before making any decisions make sure you look to Jesus for confirmation. You will soon see that the path he has for you is the most perfect one. He knows you more than anyone does or ever will. He makes no mistakes thus making him intentional in everything he does. This alone should give you confirmation that his plan is something to look forward to.

      I know all of what was said above is easier said than done. I just want to leave you with this response to encourage and motivate you. You go girl! In order for us to grow in our own faith we have to and will hit bumps on the road at certain points. There will be times where we struggle, although when we come across those times we need to utilize them to ask questions and pray for clarity. To continue to realize the enemy is real and he will do anything to move our attention away from the goal. We have to stand together as believers and sisters in Christ with one another to encourage and love even from a far. Continue to study and see God in everything you do. Pray for wisdom. Pray to allow the Holy Spirit to live within you in order to walk a path that God is a part of and controls.

      You are so much more further than it feels. Imagine graduating and knowing exactly what you want in life but not knowing God. You can have a calling but if that calling is not from God then is it really a calling? You have God and that is knowing enough. You are right where you need to be.

      Blessings,
      Love Annusa
      xoxo

      • Nancy

        Your response to Alanna was what I needed to hear today. I am struggling with a situation at work. I need to pray to the Holy Spirit to be my decision maker, my map and guide in all I say and do especially before speaking. Thank you so much for posting today. You have been an inspiration.
        God be with you,
        n

  • Matthew 5:13,means we are His seasoning to go spread all he has done. Give others the knowledge and wisdom of His word. Be a light to the lost and not just to ourselves. Jesus sat amongst sinners.

  • LeTeashia

    Hello everyone!
    This is my first study with SRT! I am super excited to join everyone. I read my bible and study daily but this will be my first time with an online community. I received my book right on time. I find it difficult sometimes to be consistent with structured studies but I think having and actual book will help me personally.

    I think it is important for us to know that this is not our permenanrt home. All this is temporary. I think if people knew that, believed it and remembered it that they wouldn’t be filled with so much worry or anxiety.

    • Denise

      Welcome LeTeashia ! This is a wonderful online study and the SRT community of women are wonderful. I began the SRT study online in January and have come to be “addicted” to my daily dose of God’s Word and the reponding comments from the SRT ladies. We may never have met physically but the spiritual connections are so uplifting as we share our thoughts and needs with each other and lift each other up in prayer.
      The books are what really hooked me – I have been an avid reader from a very early age and as you can see a lot of thought and effort go into the contents and design of each study book.
      And yes, this world is not my home. I’m just a-passing through. If heaven’s not my home, Oh Lord what will I do ? . . . .

    • Megan

      Welcome!

  • Reading this was very reassuring, God knows exactly what I need. God has been revealing changes to come in my life, and I have been wrapping my thoughts up in what the future might hold. I too often am tempted by things of this world. What I really need to do is rest my eyes on Jesus. This world isn’t for us! Better things are to come! I pray Jesus would constantly remind me of this and give me the courage to share this with others.

    • Katie

      Amen, sister! I’m in a stage of my life where changes are continually coming at me; changes that I’m longing for– but I pray that God reminds us that He is greater than the changes He is bringing us!

  • This is my first study with the actual hard copy book. I am having difficulty with verse 13 the salt of the earth. If we lose our saltiness how is it restored? Can someone help explain? Thanks

  • Michelle P

    I am very much looking forward to this study. This will be my first study with SRT. I feel when our country is anxious and divided, this is a timely study. Gratefulness is often easy to brush over, but reflection makes it sink in. What a beautiful reminder that this is not our final home. And that His world is not built from the top down.

  • Does anyone have a link to the beatitudes hymn?

  • learning to float

    Today’s my first day doing SRT – have dipped into older studies but hopefully doing real time with all you guys will help me stick with bible reading!

  • Wow! This devotion gave me a whole new perspective on The Beatitudes. I had never realized how much they have become a “to-do list” in my mind. I have never thought of them as blessings that I already have in Christ. Thanks so much for this devotion. It was truly eye-opening.

    • Kellie G.

      I had the same reaction, Pam! A whole new perspective!

    • Tara

      I had the same reaction too! What a beautiful reminder that Jesus has completed the list for us and the blessings we have!

  • Jess Gardiner

    Beautiful start to one of my favourite passages in the Bible. Notice at the end of ch 4 the description of the crowds that followed Him: “all the sick, all those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed with demons, epileptics and paralytics.” The crowds that followed Jesus were full of outcasts. They were despised and judged harshly for their illness. They were broken, hurting despairing people. I see myself so clearly in those crowds. Jesus looks out on His audience and He speaks words of abundant mercy, grace and hope. *Stunning* I have no difficulty longing for my heavenly home. It’s my constant heartbeat. But I do fear a long life here. I fear living in this world. His words are balm on my heart. But they also give a clear command. Go and give. It is so difficult for me. I haven’t got a clue how to speak to others about Christ. Social anxiety means that even normal conversations with others put me into a panic. But God can do Tue impossible. I pray everyday that His boldness and love would flood my heart that I might be a light. It’s so funny how we’re all different? Many of my sisters here said that they have trouble logging for their heavenly home. I have trouble living here and just doing life with people. Jesus teach me how to be a light.

    • Mak

      God is so good to give us the desires of His heart when we ask. He is also so loving and careful in his design by giving us each special blends of gifts and personalities unique to each of us so that His Word can be shared in so many different ways. Sometimes it is about stepping out to speak directly but other times its the prayers we pray over the lost and the kindness shown to others by listening to the Holy Spirit leading us to give of our time, possessions or talents to love others. Jess, I’m praying for you that the Lord would show you how to emulate His love with his strength using the gifts that He has blessed you with. So encouraged by what you’ve shared today.

    • Bev

      Tess, you say you haven’t got a clue how to speak to others about Christ? You just did! You pray to be a light? You are! Your bold confidence in Jesus and His promises is a powerful testimony of the ‘peace on earth’ that Jesus preaches in the Beatitudes. Love it!

    • Katie

      Thank you so much for this!

  • I confess I have not kept up with my quiet times of late. (SRT is the main study I have followed for quite some time.) I just kept forgetting, then days turned into weeks. I hate that I forget and not remember until I’m closing my eyes. Lord forgive my forgetfulness. And praise you for still holding me in the palm of your hand and forever being faithful even when I am not. I’m excited to look closely into the Beatitudes and see more of our citizenship in Heaven.

    • Skigranny1

      Sarabeth, praying for you to have focus and the energy to have amazing quiet time. That the Lord will speak to you clearly and you will be anxious for each days time with Him.

  • churchmouse

    Sometimes I hold my Christianity close to my chest in a tight embrace, pretending it’s an impenetrable shield to protect myself and keep the world Way. Out. There. My faith settles me and nourishes me and yes shelters me. I admit it feels good to be wrapped inside of it. It’s tempting to become content being salt and light to my own little self and those in my inner circle. It’s comfortable and safe sitting in my Christian bubble wrap. But the world out there is unrelenting. It keeps pressing against me, often painfully so. Oh that I would remember that my faith is strongest and fiercest when I open my arms wide, break free from the bubble wrap and live confidently IN HIM. He is meant to be Out There. And He means for me to be there also. No holy huddle of bobble headed Christians. He would have an army of warriors doing battle for their King. Every day. It may not look like a typical battle plan because it looks a lot like LOVE. And I can’t do that all wrapped up in myself. Lord, give me the boldness, courage and conviction required to be salt and light in Your name here and now. Wherever my footsteps take me. Wherever You lead.

    • Hannah

      Amen

    • Alex

      boldness, courage and conviction. love that!

    • She Reads Truth

      Churchmouse, so grateful for your encouragement always, but especially today. Love to you, friend!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

    • Skigranny1

      I agree. It is easy to sit in our comfortable lives and love being with our Savior. I am in a country where everyone is Budhhist and most I am around right now do not speak much English. Their culture is so steeped in their religion …… and they are truly wonderful and caring people. No easy opportunities to share, but every opportunity to love.

  • Wishing everyone understood this truth. Our citizenship is in HEAVEN and not in or with anything else! Amen
    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • I pray as we scatter that our actions speak to God’s love and grace. Let us not be discouraged when we share the gospel & ‘nothing happens’ or we are met w opposition…because any prompting we act upon is anointed & let us be reminded God’s work never fails…so it may take time…days, weeks or years. There are family and friends I/we desperately want to know Christ & it’s sooooo hard to wait…wait for them to believe & receive. I pray we keep following what the spirit moves us to do, keep pursuing a closer relationship with God humbling ourselves, keep praying, keep sharing. I don’t want to worry about how to share or what exact words to use, I surrender it again and again- holy spirit lead the way. God is faithful, no matter what. His light will shine thru us, oh how it will shine!

  • Dana Smith

    “Our assignment is to be salt and light to the very world that make makes us fidget with discomfort.” How very timely for me this morning. It is hard to share the message of hope with those that hurt us but they are the ones that need it the most.

  • I am thankful for this new study. I’m not normally active in the comments section. But i know there are beautiful women of god present here. So I want to share my fears and my hopes.

    Ever since the election, I have been grappling with God. How, can the majority of evangelical Christian’s have decided that this was the best way to love one another? If god is good, and real, and god is love… how can we justify the deeply ingrained hate, racism, and sexism? How can we gather as a people of god, and push further down the poor, the needy and those we are called to love? How can we not only do this, but use the cloak of christianity as our shield to justify our cause?

    As a woman, daughter of immigrants, as a non white… I have experienced my fair share of sexism and racism. No matter how many times white people would tell me, I don’t see color, it only exacerbated the fact that they refused to accept me for who I am. “I don’t see color” to me meant, you should be like us. Color blind really meant your version of culture is incorrect, you should be white.

    The hatred that has been exposed deep in the hearts of Americans has scared me to my core. But I want to encourage you to explore; where is your fear coming from.? With whom does your allegiance lie? When we teach our children to love one another, did we whisper as an addendum : but only if they are like you. Why do we fear the other? Those different from us? What do we feel it robs us of?

    I say this to myself, as I found myself afraid of all white people, and what they were thinking of me. What are the secret thoughts they harbor in their souls. Do they hate me? Do I secretly inspire rage in their soul? I repent of this. And I cling to my lord and savior and I cry out to help for assistance. Lord, hear our cries and our sorrow. Wipe away our tears, for only you can make us whole.

    May we not only fight against this injustice together, may we not only fight for those that have been marginalized, but may we also pray for the healing and redemption of the broken hearts that lead to racism and hatred of the other. I renounce shame, for shame is not from the lord. I hope we as a christian community can cling to the promises, and the word of our lord.

    May we not pass over the Samaritan, but may we also not reciprocate the hate. May the lord unite us in love. The lord is perfect, and he can redeem even this broken world.

    Amen

    • Janet Gregston

      Shelly, thank you for sharing. Thank you for your transparency. I love you questions and your pondering. I am Caucasian 61 year old woman of faith and lover of all peoples. I never grew up to only have friends of one race or faith or socioeconomic situation. I have lived life with all. I am thankful for diversity and what it has taught me and the joy in my life. I am blessed to hear your story, your love for God. I pray your questions pull you into God’s truth and to people, community. Your question’s and a little of your life story is powerful for me to ask myself. Our groomsman in our wedding was Non-white. I have wonderful Jewish friends and people who do not believe but I pray one day will.
      Hate is not of God. We are all sinners., our need for our Savior Jesus Christ. I will love the sinner and despise the choice of behavior. This is a slight picture of analogy of ISIS of Syria and Iraq, the hate in their heart, how citizens of USA are acting and reacting to people, both sides. Christ came for a time as this, he came for people of ancient days of ruthless behavior. I will remember you, Shelly and stand alongside you; praying encouragement and love God gives to you know. I apologize for my wordiness.

    • Emma Williams

      Amen sister!
      I’m from Canada and have been feeling the same affects of the US election as you describe. I’ve been grappling with how evangelicals can justify those exact same thoughts “is this the best way to love one another?”. I love your honesty and openness with your heart about these issues. So thank you so much for sharing and encouraging us all. The Lord is perfect and can unite us in love.

      This past week the Lord gave me this piece of scripture through the SRT Hosea study. It gave me so much hope and echoes a lot of what you were writing about ,our call as christians :)

      The Year of the Lord’s Favor
      61 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
      because the Lord has anointed me
      to proclaim good news to the poor.
      He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
      to proclaim freedom for the captives
      and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
      2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
      and the day of vengeance of our God,
      to comfort all who mourn,
      3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
      to bestow on them a crown of beauty
      instead of ashes,
      the oil of joy
      instead of mourning,
      and a garment of praise
      instead of a spirit of despair.
      They will be called oaks of righteousness,
      a planting of the Lord
      for the display of his splendor.
      4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins
      and restore the places long devastated;
      they will renew the ruined cities
      that have been devastated for generations.

    • Veronica

      Thank you for sharing your heat today. I have struggled with the election results as well… as a white women I cannot understand fully the experience of racism, but I hurt for you. praying for you in these unanswered questions and soul searching. Praying that Christians stand up for injustice together, not holding one man above the rest but rather holding each other (and him) accountable for our words and actions. I pray you find love in your white brothers and sisters. Ultimately though, this message is timely. Although fervently I pray for Gods grace and love to become more evident in today’s day and age, take comfort first in your Savior. He understands your cries, he cares for your wounded heart. I wish I had answers to give you, i also wish i could sit down and hug you and chat. Know you are loved.

    • Madeline

      So good, thanks for sharing. Reading the beatitudes warmed my heart today and gave me hope. My brain has been telling me “trust in God”, but now my heart hears it.

    • Candy

      Dear Shelly,
      Thank you for pointing out the “colorblind” thing. I guess what I have always meant to say is I look beyond your physical presence and see you as my sister always. My cousin just posted on facebook about #safetypin. Where women all over wear a safety pin to say I will not judge or reject anyone because of how they look or what their beliefs are. I too wear a safety pin. I think that we have to remember that God is the real ruler of this world and we must look to Him in these uncertain times to rein in these hateful people in our government and world. We as women are warriors and we can help our world with our prayers, our love and our acceptance of all. I pray for your protection and that God will give you a peace that passes all understanding ’cause we sure can’t understand what lots of these people are doing!!

    • SusieP

      Shelly – thank you for your honesty. As a person who has always believed that it is not our “color” that matters, but rather our character, our hearts, I must admit that I was utterly ignorant of your perspective. Forgive me. I ache for all people who share the fear of being “different.” And I pray always for an end to the hate, racism and sexism you speak of. I, too, ask the Lord to unite us all in love and pray that I will successfully fulfill my calling to be salt and light to all.

      God bless you beautiful ladies.

    • Lindsey

      Thank you for sharing. I have had an anxious pit in my stomach since last Tuesday. I have grappled with fear, anger, disbelief. What will happen to the world? I am lucky to not have to live in America, but I fear that this presidency will have ripple effects far across the whole of the earth. It is true what has been said in today’s devotional though: we are made for a different world. In the fear and uncertainty it is easy to get caught up in forgetting that this is not all there is. Especially now, I have to cling to that and keep thirsting for righteousness. I am sorry we are all going through this, but it is comforting to know that other Christians are struggling with what happened last week. Even though we are coming together because of something negative, I am happy to know I am not alone.

    • Naomi

      Shelly, Christian evangelicals voted the way they did because there are certain issues that are Christian non-negotiables, and those are: social justice or injustice, economy, taxes, immigration, healthcare, education, and entitlements. But then there are certain Christian non-negotiables, and those are: protecting/defending the unborn; the sanctity of life, and the sanctity of marriage; a covenant union between one man and one woman. Hollywood and the liberal media has their version of reality and the truth. Unfortunately it is not reality, nor is it based on truth. And remember, we did not vote for a pastor, we voted for a politician; one who supports our Christian designed constitution, the sanctity of marriage, and one who is pro-life (having changed his stance, just like one of our greatest contemporary presidents, Ronald Reagan did.) But I believe we mostly voted AGAINST a candidate who’s extreme support of Islam, abortion, Constitution reform (new interpretation, may prohibit a pastor from preaching against homosexuality, and abortion, and may also require the Bible text to be modified), open borders, extreme support for alternative lifestyle that is contrary to the Word of God. They also voted AGAINST a candidate who is guilty of so many lies, treason, money laundering, and MANY believe, murder. As Christians we know that we are not of this world. John 15:19 tells us: If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
      And that is the crushing pressure that we Christians are experiencing the most. Unless Jesus of Nazareth is on the ballot, any election forces us to choose the lesser of evils. Across every party and platform, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. But in the end 1 Timothy 2:1-3 urges us to pray for those in authority.
      For me personally, I have more peace praying for a leader that is NOT pro-abortion, anti-religious liberty, and pro-gender-confusion.

    • churchmouse

      Your honesty and openness is remarkable. It is sometimes difficult to share such things because of the potential conflict even honesty can elicit . There have been several times after an election that I felt fear. The options this year, to me, were both less than desirable. I kept praying for God to raise up a Joshua from somewhere. He didn’t. I prayed for God’s will. He reminded me, as He had after those prior elections, that fear is not of God and that I am not to give in to it. I’m to trust in the sovereignty of our God. Israel was never to have an earthly king. Even after they were warned of the destructive consequences, they persisted in their demand for a king. There were many years of terrible leadership and some years of good. Through it all, God loved His people and pursued them to repent and return as His beloved children. Jesus told us in this world we would have troubles and be persecuted. He also told us He is there with us. I do my best to not focus on fear but live in faith. I do my best to see others as bearers of God’s image. My actual world is very small and the influence I wield is meager. May I do the best, be the best I can. May prayer be my weapon as the battle is not against my fellow human beings but against the power and principalities of darkness. Let me be a Light bearer even if it is not cast very far. One never knows. It may make just enough difference. Thank you again Shelly for your words.

    • Carol

      my heart is with you.

    • Amarose10

      I think this election and the results of it gives us even more opportunities to be a light in this world because now we need it more than ever. No matter how we voted or what our reasoning behind it was, we can still choose to show love to the oppressed and to stand up and support them. We can be the church that loves unconditionally, not the church that judges and condemns. This beatitudes passage is all about how the marginalized and outcasts are blessed and loved by God.

    • Danica

      Thank-you Shelly! As a white Christian who doesn’t believe it is our job as Christians to legislate our belief system on the country, But rather, to follow Jesus’ example of knowing, loving and serving our neighbors and to render to Caesar that which is Caesar’s and vote accordingly, I too (like most) have been extremely disheartened by this election from start to finish. I have not questioned my love of Jesus, but I have most certainly questioned my love of His church. Comments like yours remind me that Jesus is indeed the great unifier and that He loves His church (which stretches to the ends of the earth and contains far more than just the white evangelical American church that I currently struggle with) and He will give me the grace to love his church as He commands. As you asked I am (and will be) praying for us as Christians and as Americans. For healing, redemption and listening ears to hear each other! Thank-you for sharing your story and perspective… It is needed!

    • Naomi

      I meant to say Christian negotiables are social justice or injustice, economy, etc…I did not mean to say “non-negotiables” there haha that changes the meaning entirely oops!

  • Elizabeth

    I have always read the Beatitudes wondering “Am I meek enough? Do I make enough peace? Do I hunger and thirst after righteousness enough?” just going through it looking for a superlative that might apply to me. The idea that Christ said ALL those things about ME, is a new and beautiful thing. It makes me feel so deeply treasured, like a beloved daughter, something I often struggle to comprehend.

    • Colleen

      These have so often been my thoughts too, Elizabeth. I often feel I have to ‘do more’ to gain God’s favour. Oh the grace of God that He would reveal the depths of our sin to us and then rescue us by His own hand, by His own goodness. Praying I can reflect His love and light.

    • She Reads Truth

      Yes, yes, yes. Grateful for this reminder, Elizabeth.

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • Elizabeth Wesselhoff

    Thank you for you continued faithfulness to speak truth and share the Lords truth. Absolutely love your work.

  • Never has this been more timely as we live in this present day. Our country needs prayer more than ever and we are challenged to be salt and light in this world. No matter what your political leanings are in this present age, we are called to listen to the outcries of those who are hurting. Don’t fall asleep and become part of the problem. ” Our assignment is to be salt and and light to the very world that makes us fidget with discomfort.” Good stuff that speaks to our hearts. Jesus, help me to fulfill this mission.

  • raschknits

    A friend lost her husband tragically almost five years ago. She blogged about how that experience changed her thinking on her earthly citizenship. Because suddenly, she ached to see her husband again in heaven, and finally understood that desire for heavenly citizenship. This gave me pause; I really have my feet on earth. While I have loved ones who have died, my husband and children — those people that truly mean the most to me — are here with me right now. I struggle to *want* citizenship in heaven, while at the same time trying to remember that life is fleeting and nothing is guaranteed.

    Lord, thank You for bringing this study at the right time. May we grow from it, even if it’s painful.

    • Jen

      I hear you. Last night I was reading early Christian writings and St Ignatious in a letter to the Romans begs to be allowed to be killed by the beasts because he so wants to be with Christ. I have to admit that I don’t get that at all!

  • Christine

    What a timely study to be doing, huh?! I love in the intro of the study it says that the Beatitudes “shift our focus from the values of the world to God’s economy”. To truly be God’s people in this broken world. To be salt and light. To not waiver on our convictions, but to never, ever, falter on our LOVE. To be Jesus “with skin on”. I was actually laughed out of a church yesterday becuase I didn’t want to stay for a political discourse. I came with an aching and heavy heart for this world and was not given any refuge. The church should be a place of hope and light. It should be a refuge from this world. It should focus on God’s economy, not man’s. If you could pray for my family this morning. My husband is full of anger at the church at large. He is also going through the He Reads Truth portion of this study. Pray that he has ears to hear and eyes to see. Same for me. Thank you sisters.

    • Pam

      Will pray for you both. Don’t give up on the church-remember the church is the bride of Christ made up of imperfect people but He still loves us. We need you there!

    • Kellie

      Prayers for you, Christine. ❤️

    • Jen

      My heart is with you. I applaud you for remaining true to the convictions Christ has put in your heart. May anger be transformed into actions of love , mercy and a humble stance before God.

    • Janice

      I pray that he will see Jesus, in spite of the failings of Christians, and that we as Christians would represent Christ and be more like Him. May the Lord use this study to help all of us do that. Have a magnificent Monday!

    • Amanda

      Christine, I will be praying for you both! I have been humiliated in front of a small congregation as well for a petty non-salvation issue… I was in high school and I broke up with a boy I dated for almost a year and the leaders in that church didn’t approve of me ending the non-sexual relationship. Had to put that in for any wonderers… anyways, it hurt terribly to be called out in front of that whole church. I have peace from God knowing that His church is bigger than that one small congregation and we are all broken and make mistakes while living in this broken world and I know that one day, the Church will be made perfect and our love for each other will be made perfect. I can love that small congregation that hurt me because my God is bigger than they are and He loves them just as He loves me, little ole me with all of my mistakes. I love how yall are turning to God for healing instead of turning from Him. I will pray for open eyes and ears and also Love, Peace, Healing, and Grace that can only come from Him. ♡

    • Elizabeth

      I am so sorry Christine, that should not have happened. But I have to say that my heart just breaks for that congregation. What you experienced sounds like a result of them being more interested in earthly citizenship than in their heavenly citizenship. I will pray that you and your husband find a community of brothers and sisters that are joyful seeking His kingdom. And that meanwhile, the two of you experience great unity and intimacy with each other and with Christ!

    • Emma Williams

      Lifting both of you up this morning.

    • Margrietvw

      Praying and blessing you in our Savior’s name. He knows your hearts and will comfort and guide you!

  • I am looking forward to this study was needing something for a dry season I have been walking.

  • Have been a reader and quiet observer as of late. Excited for for this study and a timely reminder to shine a light for those who don’t know God.

  • I certainly don’t want to be salt that has lost its flavor. Lord please keep me a blessing for others, a flavorful salt that spreads your word.
    Blessings Sisters!

  • This is my first “live” study as well and I am excited to be in it with so many of you. Thank you SRT for this way to study and connect! I was struck today by the question in Matthew 5:13 about what good is salt if it loses its saltiness? May I dearly hold to my saltiness and my duty to scatter it!

  • Love this. Hits the nail square on for me. Articulates my heart. Thank you. “To-do list vs. facts” Something about that comparison just says it all.

  • Mary Joseph

    “Our assignment is to be salt and light to the very world that makes us fidget with discomfort.” To the very moment, to the very real, uncomfortable, possibly dissatisfying present. I am in a space where I am uncomfortable with where I am. Praying for the Lord to reconcile mine and my husband’s view of the future. This is a reminder to be salt and light where I am. And a reminder that my thinking about “the future” is short-sighted when I look at 5-10 years as opposed to eternity. May our hearts be more focused on eternity and the kingdom as we trust God to put the rest in its place.

  • I am so excited to be doing this study “live” with all of you ladies! So far I’ve only done older studies that most of the comments have been given months ago. And they’ve all been wonderful but I’m excited to do one that we’re all doing together at the same time. I’m praying we all understand instead of wondering when God will bless us, realize that he already has, and that we need to be the salt and the light and spread that blessing to others. Use us Jesus!

  • I am the director of a pregnancy center and we begin each day with a devotion. We love She Reads Truth and I look forward to sharing this one with our staff. Scattering the love of Jesus is so much a part of what we love to do!

  • Sabrina Klomp

    I agree with Dana– I love how timely the Holy Spirit is! After some really bad struggles with anxiety and shame this week, it is refreshing to be reminded that it’s not up to me. It’s Christ in me, the hope of glory, who gives us the beatitudes like promises for the desolate. “Our job is not to earn our blessings; Christ already did that.” Praise you, Jesus, for being the source of our rescue.

    • theScottishSock

      Amen to that! Anxiety is a tool of Satan that wants to steal our joy and light, like the basket over our candle. As someone who is battling it with Jesus, keep fighting! There is a promised end to it <3

  • “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.” Ephesians 1:3

    • Sue D.

      Amen!

    • Cristy

      That scripture came to my mind as well. It’s already ours – not something to earn.

      Lord, help me to be a shining light for you each and every day.

  • This message is so timely! Especially the part where you said “may we be quick to scatter”! My husband and I spent Thursday through yesterday at the Organic Outreach Conference in Monterey, CA. This year’s main theme was Scatter. Can’t tell you how amazing this conference was!! I encourage anyone and everyone to attend this annual conference. Blessings on all of you! Go scatter!!! : )

Further Reading...