The Sermon on the Mount: Day 2

The Beatitudes

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Today's Text: Matthew 5:1-12, Psalm 69:29-33, Isaiah 61:1-3, 1 Timothy 6:11-16

Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:1-12, Psalm 69:29-33, Isaiah 61:1-3, 1 Timothy 6:11-16

Like many of you, I have spent the last week glued to the news about Hurricane Harvey. I live about two hours west of Houston and have been unable to wrap my mind around the devastation.

I was texting with a Houston friend yesterday, checking in to see how her neighborhood is faring. She and her family are okay, but she knows many who are not. While volunteering at an evacuee shelter, she noticed how exhausted many of the mothers looked. They had been sleeping in large rooms, on cots with multiple kids, babies, and families around. So my friend had the idea to set up a night nursery. She and other volunteers would take the nightshift, watching the small children and babies in one room, so tired moms could sleep in another.

Taking the night shift means nobody will see her volunteering, except for the babies whose diapers she will be changing, who she’ll sing lullabies to and rock to sleep. It is the opposite of glamorous work, but it is the exact definition of kingdom work. Quiet, unseen, faithful.

In theory, I love the Beatitudes. I love the way Jesus turned expectations upside down when describing who would inherit the kingdom of God and how. In practice, however, I live by a different set of attitudes.

Blessed are the poor in spirit? How about blessed is she who depends on herself for her own needs? She will go far in life, never relying on others.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness? How about blessed is she who hungers and thirsts for more social media followers? She will increase her platform.

Blessed are the peacemakers? How about blessed is she who is always right in an argument? She will be called “the winner.”

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake? How about blessed is she who does whatever she can to maintain her comfort? She will be… comfortable.

When I really look at my heart, I find these are my true attitudes, the place from which I live my life. I am individualistic, out for my own glory, trying to save face, and hesitant to step outside my own zone of comfort.

There is nothing like seeing your friend step up to take the night shift during a natural disaster to put your own heart in check. It forces me to ask, What am I seeking? My own glory or His? Who am I looking to for approval? Others or the Father?

Jesus entered into our world in an unexpected way. He wore no crown. He had no throne. He simply got to work. He took the night shift. He healed and performed miracles, as the Pharisees looked on and judged. He spoke truth even when His disciples abandoned Him because of it. And He died on a cross as Roman soldiers scoffed at the sign they placed above His head: King of the Jews.

Jesus turned it all upside down—the way we thought the King would come and the way we thought we could secure a seat at His table.

We want to be big fancy warriors standing by His side. But His command to us is to fall back in the ranks and tend to those who have fallen. To kneel down low, as He did for us. To take the night shift and “be glad and rejoice, because [our] reward is great in heaven” (Matthew 5:12). We may never receive a medal or a trophy for our work, but we have already received the greatest reward of them all: eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

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  • Bevvie Byrom

    I love this whole days study. Im a few months late reading it. But every word brings me conviction. The Father is speaking to my heart about my attitudes more than anything. Like i was telling my mom today. Sometimes i do the ‘right’ thing, but my attitude is totally wrong. Amazing how conviction brings us closer to God and how condemnation drives us further away from Him. So good.

  • Hi, where could i find the reflection questions?

  • Sheryl Potts

    THIS. ❤️

  • Kristen Clegs

    My summary of these verses came down to this:
    Blessed are all these, for CHRIST IS THEIRS! This is not a list of how-to achieve blessedness, but a list of the blessings that are already mine thru Christ!
    – The faint and fragile and impoverished in spirit are made happy by the promise of Christ’s Kingdom where there will be no tears, no lack, no weakness.
    – Those who mourn are made happy in the tender care and love of Christ who knows their tears and suffering.
    – The meek are made happy because they find their identity as heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ.
    – Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are made happy when they gain Christ and are found in Him, for His righteousness is ENOUGH!

    Christ is always the answer here. He is our reward, our identity, our righteousness, the One Who Knows. God Who Provides provided us His Son, who is all we need.

  • Where are the questions. I can’t find them.

    • Jdsomeone

      I don’t see them anywhere either.

    • Emily

      The questions are in the study book or in the study plan “Sermon on the Mount” that is on the SRT app. This post is a response/insight into day 2 of the study

      • Bianca

        Hello, I still don’t see them on the app. The first page is the scriptures, then it’s the blog post response and then it’s the comments. Would you mind sharing exactly where they are located on the app. Don’t want to miss an important part of the Bible study. Thank you!

      • Chelsea

        Did you find where the questions are located in the app?

      • Taylor

        I still can’t find them either :/

      • elaine

        I can’t either

  • Jess Comp-Lewis

    These reflection questions are tough today… lots to process.

  • Heather L

    I need help with the first question for today. Who is Jesus addressing and how does that help us interpret? Was it just the disciples? Or the crowd?

    • Jess Comp-Lewis

      I think disciples. I think he left the crowd and took them to the side. I know… I am struggling today with these

    • Elaina

      In Luke it says he stopped at a low place with a multitude of people. Some believe that each gospel, told to show Jesus in a different way, explains things differently here to show Jesus in a different light. Likely, still the same event. In Matthew where the author wants to portray Jesus as King it happens on a mountain. In Luke where Jesus is portrayed as for the people, he is in a low place( still on a mountain no doubt, as mountains have higher and lower places). The term disciples doesn’t mean here the inner 12. He calls many his disciples at times but they don’t all stay. Disciples just refers to one who follows. Since he doesn’t call anyone out by name he probably means all those who followed that day.

    • Kaylee

      I’m pretty sure he was talking to believers and not just disciples.

  • The night shift. Many people think I am loosing my mind because of the night shifts I am taking in life. Let me assure you, nobody but God has been changing my desires, from self-seeking to seeking others. In all my ways, I will acknowledge Him and He shall direct my paths. Proverbs 3:6

  • Marisol S

    Amen!

  • Marisol S

    I love the part of taking the night shift. It causes me to evaluate my service…when am I doing for other and why am I doing for others? Is it for others’ approval or is it for His glory? When the TRUTH reveals the truth to you sometimes it cuts you open and leaves you bleeding but THANK YOU GOD for your healing hands! For still loving us enough to stitch us up, mending us with each stitch, and putting us back together the only way you can!❤️

  • Just catching up with this study because my week has been crazy to say the least. No, I’m not near the hurricanes or the wildfires or the earthquakes.. but I am near to the turbulence in my own life as a single mom of a special needs child. Seizures and rashes an ER visit a misdiagnosis, several sleepless nights in a row left me doubting Gods presence. Doubting his love for ME. Wondering why I pray so hard and so much only to never have my prayers answered. Frustration breeds doubt breeds turning away from God. I love how SRT is right here in my phone and I can turn to this community and find reassurance through His word and the devotionals your amazing team of women write. I appreciate the honesty and vulnerability of you all. Letting us out here struggling daily to see that even you, who more intimately know the word, are still not perfect. I need to reach for this app more than I reach for instagram where I find myself defeated by comparing my life to those I follow there. Prayers for this weary mama-heart appreciated. Thank you.

    • Liz

      Elaine, I am praying for you and your little one!! Praying that your weary heart will be refreshed by God’s love and presence. Praying for healing and strength to continue. And I’m right there with you on the Instagram thing! I need to reach for this app over Facebook, insta, Snapchat, etc!!

  • This speaks to me in such a direct way. I’m a nurse, and I literally work the nightshift in an ICU. In nursing, there is something called a “Daisy award” which is given to a nurse who was nominated by a patient or family member for doing above and beyond what they are expected to do. This is something I’ve always wanted and I catch myself getting so frustrated because it always seems to be awarded to those who work during the day, because they’re the ones who the family sees and interacts with the most, so they leave the biggest impression, since most of our patients are sedated. I always say to myself “if only they could see me at night taking care of their family member, maybe then I could get that award.” But this puts things into a different perspective for me as a Christian. I went into nursing because I felt called to serve people in their most vulnerable times. The fact that no one is there to see how good of a job I’m doing with my patient shouldn’t change my mindset and how I serve people. God sees me, and that’s all that matters. Being there for my patients and caring for them when they can’t care for themselves, and then being able to watch them improve, or simply sit with them as they pass on to the next life is the only reward I need.

    • Lindsey

      Madison, thank you for your service to your patients. Nursing, especially on the night shift, is not easy, yet I can tell you love what you do. Your patients have hit the jack pot with you! Prayers being lifted up for you!

    • Liz

      Oh girl! Been there! But even in the day shift, families don’t always notice the little things you do that make a hide difference! It’s definitely a struggle to leave myself behind and put others first 100% of the time!

  • “Blessed are the poor in spirit? How about blessed is she who depends on herself for her own needs? She will go far in life, never relying on others.”
    This is me. Life is spinning around me and I am marching with my fist in the air holding onto the idea that I am getting it all done and keeping it all together.
    Except I’m not. And I’m losing the nearness of my Savior in the process.
    Thank you for this study. I’m praying it takes root in my soul to stop marching and start walking in meekness.

  • I love this reading. Puts it all back in perspective. Pride pushes me to seek big ways to spread God’s love forgetting humility. Taking the night shift will remind me to pause and examine my motives for what I am doing. Check my ego. Wonderful reminder.

  • The night shift. Working and serving while no one can see… or know. This spoke to my heart today. The human side of me wants to be rewarded and praised for every little thing.
    I’m constantly seeking that approval. But when reading it in this way that Jesus worked the night shift… he didn’t come in a blaze of glory and blast his purpose for every one. He simply was born and when the time as right he started his work. So heart convicting today as I get ready to go teach my littles today.

  • Taking the night shift. What a perfect way of serving. Blessed are the care givers for they truly are the hands of God. Lord, help me to come closer to your Way today and every day. Help me to reach out to you and follow your example. Thank you for your forgiveness of my stumbling. Thank you for your constancy. Help me to be a better person today than I was yesterday.

  • Reading the Beatitudes really spoke to me, just like Andrea, I feel like I have been zoning out everything that is going on in the world and only focusing on myself. I now realize that I should be focusing on things that matter. I do truly feel concern for those affected by hurricane Harvey, but hard to find ways to actually help besides donating. Prayer is strong and I will continue to pray for those families and as well as asking the Lord how else I can help and serve not only to this situation but also in my own community. And to those in my own life!

  • I also live in Houston and this really spoke to my heart tonight. It is so easy to fall into the trap of wanting to please others with the good things we’re doing, when our one and only focus should be on God and God alone. His approval is what matters! I pray that we all continue our quiet deeds with our eyes fixed on the Lord. We are here to serve Him. Hope you are all having a great week!

  • This spoke to me so dearly. Humility has been on my conscious because of the pride in my heart.
    Thank you Jesus for speaking to me through this message!

  • Annette Briones

    Great and timely word…What a fresh, new perspective of the Beatitudes! Love it and I will be checking out the MSG translation!!

  • aprilinsydney

    I read the Beatitudes in The Message translation — if you haven’t yet, do give it a go. A refreshing, modern language perspective.

    • Blakers

      oh, great call!!! i second this – the modern language is fresh and encouraging. a nice complement to the NIV.

    • Kristi

      Thank you for the heads up about The Message! I love the paraphrase.

      Father, thank you for this look at what you value. Help me to love, and to live, these same things, not my own comfort and power. Turn my world upside down as you continue to reveal yourself through your Son. And help us, your church, be one as we seek to live according to your kingdom.

  • A gut punching read. Thank you!

  • I feel I do a lot that goes unnoticed, where I’m persecuted or not taken seriously. I have this voice telling me that the problems I do face aren’t worth suffering because there are people that go through worse. While that may be true just like the volunteers in Houston we are called to help each other as Jesus helped the blind, lame, and weary. We also have to be willing to receive that help because we can’t rely on our own strength. I think that’s one of the biggest things I struggle with is letting someone be strong for me when I can’t.

  • Valerie, I struggle with this as well… The main thing that works for me is to make sure that the messages coming into my head or ones from God. Speak The word out loud, sing praises to God out loud… listen to praise music, put all your energy into focusing on what God says about you. I am praying for you girl!

  • I appreciate this devotion today. My anxiety has been so bad lately because of this Harvey and Irma, and North Korea, and wildfires in my home in BC…a good reminder to rely on God and to step up and help.

    • Heather Dawn

      Anxiety has wreked our whole summer… our lives really… since our daughter died in April. Not even sure i can get much out of this study… my brain, concentration, focus, even my ablity to read is fading. But i keep telling myself to seek truth… God cant possibly want us to remain in this pit of grief and pain and confusion. Yet there also seems to be no lifting, no comfort, no calm. But as long as we can… ww kewp seeking… i guess ww just keep trying

      • Jeanna

        Heather, I read your honest post and can not imagine the pain you are in. I am so very sorry…. I too, have lost a child, though not to death, he is gone. I have no magic formula or phrase to move you through this gut wrenching grief but I can tell you that your mother’s heart can only find peace in His arms. Cry, He is your comforter. Yell, He can take it. Question, I lived here, He is the Way. Heather, I don’t know the circumstances of your daughter ‘s death but allow yourself to grieve. Don’t let anybody tell you how long or what that should look like. You grieve. But I will promise you this, He will walk you through the grief to the other side. He too, lost a child. Just by reaching out in this daily study, numb or not, you are fixing your eyes on Him. You will be in my prayers Heather. You will make it, I promise.

      • Faith

        Heather, I, too, lost a child. My son, Stuart, three years ago! This is a very difficult journey to say the least. Hold on the the One Who holds you. He will never let you go. My attention span is shorter, can’t read much at a time. It was over two years before I could comprehend anything I tried to read. Praying for you now!

      • Tammy

        Allow yourself to be numb, this is the point where the Lord is carrying you ❤️

  • Hello, just a girl who is struggling with her sin, again … “I do what I don’t want” I feel like I cannot tell to somebody, I feel like God is angry with me, I feel like my prayers will never be answered, I feel like I have the fault of everything, I feel like I cannot see God’s blessings, and that I’m stopping his blessings because of my sin.. If somebody see this and If I still have hope please please, pray for me…

    • Melissa Bostaph

      I see THIS and I am praying for you Valerie. God knows THIS and He loves you… your hope is in Him.

    • Rachel

      Praying for you, Valerie. “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” Romans 8:1. God loves you and has never given up on you. Praying that you know and feel God’s grace and unending love today–not tomorrow, not once your fix yourself, not once you’re perfect. You won’t change yourself by beating yourself up–but you will by receiving and resting in the love of God. “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” Ephesians 3:18

    • Ruth

      I am praying! Satan often puts all these insecurities in our heart to draw us farther from God. Rest on the promises from today’s reading that our Christian walk is a fight. But we have God fighting with us and for us. We will sin/ fail but God is our strength to get back up and fight the fight. There are many things I struggle with especially with my selfishness. This was a great reminder to refocus my attention/desire to be placed on Christ instead of myself.

    • Kimone

      I know your heart and can relate. But keep fighting the good fight like the Scripture says. I was reminded recently that our righteousness comes from Him and even though we fall we must get up, a righteous man falls seven times and gets back up. New mercies every morning. This is not a license to sin but to understand that He loves us regardless and if we truly love Him we will do what it takes to please Him. Prayers for you and all the best on your journey. No sin is greater than the Blood that was shed for us. Blessings.

    • TinaW

      Valerie, I am praying with you, for complete peace from only God above. There is no sin He won’t forgive other than unrepented sin… Trust God, though the day seems difficult, God has seen the end of this day, of every day. We just need to remain in His will, to trust and obey…
      God loves you, and He will never leave or forsake you. In Christian love, Tina

    • Alexandria

      Valerie, my heart and prayers are with you. I have felt this way before, and continue to fight it. However, this is what has helped me: His blessings do not depend on our actions. It is about what He did already. All Him! He will still bless you regardless of sin, or else we all will not be blessed. Yes, there are consequences to sin…but He still loves and wants to bless you. He cares about the details of our lives…this means even the smallest blessings of our day! I know this as I have sinned and struggled and look back and see His faithfulness in those days. The Devil wants us to believe his lies that God is angry and will stop…but ask Christ to conquer through you to conquer the sin. It’s a process and takes time but He will provide a way out, help, comfort, love, and restoration. Praying for you dear!

    • churchmouse

      Valerie, perhaps this season is a ‘dark night of the soul.’ I feel I have entered one as well. It. Is. No. Fun. I’m trusting there is purpose behind it. There are several things I could tell you to do which might help, might make you feel better. But, in my experience, those things are just bandaids applied to a gaping wound – the hemorrhage continues. And I feel guilty when they don’t work because then surely I’ve done something wrong. It’s a cycle, the hamster in the wheel kind of thing. Lately I find I’m free falling, trusting He will catch me before I hit the ground. I simply can’t bear the weight any longer and so I’m just releasing my grip on all earthly things. Let the wind blow me here and there and upside down. I carry only His Word, His promises. They are the only parachute I have. I pull on them when I am falling too fast and can’t catch my breath. I’ve tossed overboard some questionable though well- meaning counsel and good works that don’t amount to a hill of beans really – and just jumped. (did I mention I have a fear of heights? And of falling? Yet here I am). I’ve given up and I’m falling. His Word tells me that He will catch me. The ground may come awfully close. I may sweat buckets but like Peter said. “To whom else shall I go? ‘ In the dark night of the soul, there is only Jesus. All else is poppycock. And I have had quite enough of that. Just give me Jesus. Jesus is all I want. Today I hemorrhage but tomorrow it may all just stop. I wait for that tomorrow. I know it’s coming. For now, I fall and cling to Jesus. I push out all other thoughts. I yield not to reason or explanations. I fall and I cling. It is all the energy I have. Just give me Jesus. Jesus, have me.

    • Betsy

      I love your honesty, Valerie. I’ll be praying….

  • Wow. Just wow. Need to get a beatitude adjustment

  • I love this! So contrary to what the world teaches. Look to Jesus & do like he did is so simple it gets overlooked. I love the reminder! Don’t look to self, look to Him!

  • This is beautiful and really spoke to my heart this morning!

  • True freedom, joy and the only reward that matters is found at the bottom of the ladder… not at the top. I feel the current pushing me up, but I know the Kingdom is down. The thing about the worlds kingdom, the ladder, is that its so. tiring. It causes you to strive and clamor and compete outwardly with others and internally even more. These truths are what I need as a daily reminder because I don’t wake with upsidedown kingdom thinking and vision… I wake with attitudes the author lists above. Lord help me to “fall back in the ranks” and “kneel down” with love and joy.

  • Simone Karstedt

    This is beautiful & makes me cry, I sat with babies yesterday here in the Bay Area of Houston at our church close to Friendswood & Dickinson, hard hit areas where hundreds of homes were lost & lives were lost. Our church has organized relief efforts & as part of serving, some of us have been behind the scenes caring for the little ones as the parents go out & demolition the wet Sheetrock & serve food & supplies to neighbors. We are not in front of those hurting. As I see all the posts on social media of crews going out, it makes me cringe a bit. I’m almost sickened by all the photos of “Glory, look at me, & what I’m doing.” I just want to please God, not man. It’s refreshing knowing that you are part of this ministry & so close to Houston & that we are in your thoughts, prayers & now devotion.

    • Cassie

      Thank you for being the hands that hold when we can only pray from afar! Many blessings to you and your servant friends!

      • Linda M

        Yes! Thank you, Simone! Our hearts are rocking those babies right along with you in our prayers…❤️

    • Hope

      Thank you! I’m a Houston Mama and this service has blessed me more than clothes, text messages, and sympathy. It has enabled me to attempt to fulfill my duties to provide a safe sanctuary (sometime in the future) for my children. It reminds me to put my mind and heart at ease because my children are cared for by those who worship the same living and true God. Blessed are the hands that seek my work for their fruit shall be multiplied. Love from around the block.

  • “Blessed are the peacemakers” Andrea’s take on that struck me, that is my take on that! I want to be right, I want to win, even if it means war. I’m newly married, a red head, and someone who doesn’t like to lose, so reading this sobered me up very quickly. God proclaims himself as a God of peace, not of chaos. My fighting and arguing and irritation toward my husband are chaotic, not at all God honoring. I absolutely abhor being the first person to admit that I was wrong, but that’s what this calls me to. Very upside down. Thankful that He was enough, is enough, and will be enough for the storms of life (and marriage).

  • Beatitudes–“a condition or statement of being blessed… of spiritual well-being and spiritual prosperity.”
    As I read the beatitudes over and over, I notice that this is the life of a true follower of Christ. Soon after He called His disciples, Jesus pulled them away from the crowd and began to teach them and show them what their life was going to be. It was going to be tough, but blessed. It would be filled with sorrow, but blessed. It would be humbling and leave them wanting, but it would be blessed. Their mercy, purity, peacemaking, and persecution for following Christ may never be given recognition by the world, but they would be blessed.
    They would soon understand that deep joy of the soul would not come as a reward for doing things that would make Christ happy, but rather they would endure these hardships and serve Him in this way in gratitude for God’s grace, in response to the gift of forgiveness of all their sin and the hope of living eternally with Him.
    We, too, as followers of Christ, should expect the same. No earthly reward will ever satisfy us in the way that living for Jesus will. He gave His life for me/us and for that I/we will “rejoice and be glad, for great is my/our reward in heaven”!

    • Emily

      Thank you for this. This is exactly what I needed to hear! Serving in response to the gift of forgiveness. Spot on!

  • What a blessed scripture reading and devotional. There was not enough note space in the book for all the wisdom that poured out of this community today. So grateful for Andrea’s words. For the conviction. For the lesson of quiet work. For phrases like learning to be hidden and serving silently. Will be rereading this passage and devotional and my notes from the comments all week. Such an important lesson. Thank you to everybody!

  • This is very encouraging to me, because I am a person who likes to do things right and perfect. But I am not perfect. Just recently, I messed up on one of my grades at school, and it hurt so bad. However, I know that God is in control, and that I don’t have to have it all together to love the Lord- He takes me right where I am, just as I am.

    • Kara

      Keely, one of the big turning points in my faith was when I made a really bad grade. It helped me know that my identity needs to be in Him, not in others’ measurements or approval. Keep studying but know that you are His first and foremost, and He loves you as you are!

  • Beautiful devotion! God bless your friend for all she has been doing to help those poor victims! They are on my mind constantly and now I’m worried sick about this hurricane Irma and the devastation she will bring. But in all of these horrible tragedies, we see the helping hands of God come through. The ones who want nothing in return. Truly there to save lives, serve meals, hand out blankets, or bring comfort to those who are simply broken. No matter what devastation happens, I’m always moved to tears by the amount of people who still love and care about one another. Sometimes I start to feel like this whole world is evil or crooked and we’re falling apart, but then…you see it. The compassion. The love. The gratitude. The kindness. And my faith I humanity is restored.

  • churchmouse

    I find every time I read the Beatitudes, my initial reaction is depression. I can’t do all this, be all this. And, truth be told, I’m not sure I even want to. There is this tension in my life between pursuing the American dream (pulling myself up by my bootstraps, make my own way, etc) and God’s dream (living for Him, with Him, doing life His way). I have yet to fully reconcile the two – I want them both. Bottom line : I don’t surrender well. I cherish my time in private prayer, devotion and worship – but it doesn’t always translate into my life once I step out of my prayer closet. That’s what I need help with. The quiet confidence I have in the Lord gets lost in the noise of the day. Sigh. I’m all too human. He’s so holy. Sometimes I feel like I’m out of His league. I know Jesus ended all the need for doing more, being more but still… There’s still this feeling of… I’m disappointed in myself as a Christian. There I’ve said it. It nags at me. I’m praying this study gives me some insight.

    • anne

      I am right there with you Churchmouse, thank you for putting my thoughts into word as well.

    • Cookie

      Churchmouse, you are not alone in feeling this way. I have been struggling with these exact feelings. Wondering how can I go share the gospel and do all the other things I’ve been commanded to do when I can’t even conquer my own sinful nature (wanting my own way, my own pleasures) on a daily basis. But then I was reminded of Paul who said that he didn’t even do the right thing all the time. He wanted to do good and instead he did what was wrong but he never allowed his failures to disqualify him from the work he was called to do. Instead he acknowledged his weakness and how it drew him into God’s strength. I’m thankful for his example because it encourages me that I don’t have to be perfect I just have to be willing and available and God will do his work in me and through me.

    • Lana

      My dear churchmouse! I feel your words intimately. For me, it’s an issue with perfectionism. But God has no expectations for us to be perfect. Remember King David. Life is supposed to teach us how to be better people. And we’ve got an excellent professor in Jesus Christ. We don’t need to teach the class. That’s not our job. We just need to take notes and do our best and ask our teacher for help. We should also point others to the teacher, especially when they need help. That’s what I’ve come to believe is expected of us. Not perfectionism. Just constant attempts at love and kindness, especially when it’s hard to do. Praying for you always!

    • Jacqueline Mace

      I am right there with you!! I need help choosing the quiet service everyday over the praise in front of others. It’s so hard.

    • valerie

      i am with you word.for.word.
      you explained my thoughts/feelings EXACTLY!
      praying for the same insight…

  • Gabriella

    Beautiful reading to start my morning!!

  • My mom is the perfect example of serving silently! She is always first to take the backseat in service and do the things that never receive any praise. Taking the night shift to watch the babies is totally an idea she would have had! I heard a pastor say one time, “You will either receive a reward here on Earth for the things you do for God’s kingdom or in Heaven but not both.” Am I more concerned about earthly praise or heavenly praise?

  • This made me think of something Ann Voskamp said.
    “If I’m willing to step out of normal and listen to what God wants me to do, then what kind of upside down kingdom thing could happen that would usher in more of the kingdom of God into the world right now.”
    Lord, help me to live “upside down” today.

    • Emily

      Kathy, this is good. Yes, Lord, help me to live an “upside down” life.

  • Alison MacFarland

    Aren’t we blessed. To have found the Lord in trying times is a true miracle. I wish all of my sisters good luck for the week ahead. May you conquer your goals with a jump in your step!

  • Karen From Virginia

    Learning “to be hidden ” and content there has been a lifelong journey with the Lord. Often found complaining because someone else was leading or using their gifts for all to see and the Lord would be drawing me to the hidden places, at His feet close to His heart. Jesus often challenges my motivation and to walk away the distractions. I want to be noticed to be set apart more of a place of honor. TheLord wants to set me a part –to be holy.
    My hope is in Him.

  • A gentle reminder to be thankful for everyday and that everything is noticed by our Lord the Father. I will often work away in the background on things but I do like to share well that I was involved.
    Dear Father, thank you for everything you do in this life. I am aware I stray from the path you set out and seek the approval of others when I do not need this. Lord I pray that you will guide me to live as you have instructed, and that I do what is your will. Help me Lord to seek you as you see me to seek you, and worship you as you deserve to be worshiped. Allow me to do your will here on earth. Your love is mighty and strong and Lord if you may see it be done please help me be steady on my path with you.
    In Jesus name I pray,
    Amen

  • My grand daughter aged 8 called me the other day and asked for my help in making a sick relative a cake… I got to the house and she had set out all the stuff for cake making. I was impressed! Taught her well. I thought. Lol. She pulled up a recipe on her trusted I pad and began weighing out the ingredients .. as I was standing over her shoulders as she weighed, I noticed she wasn’t doing exact measurements, so I mentioned this… she got cross, and selective hearing came into play.. each time I offered help, she ignored me or said ahh ha.. she carried on in her own strength not really listening or heeding what I was saying. Cake mix went into mixer, whizzed a few minutes, if that, and was turned off ready for tin.. She has always been determined, independent, knows best.. etc so in the end I walked away, let her get on with it… i even told her parents if I should ever become a teacher, I don’t want her in my class!!!
    Cake wasn’t the best, but she was super excited to deliver to sick relative, who praised her and thanked her and told her she was a better cake maker than his wife.. her head was swollen with pride when she got back. I asked her why she called me to help if she didn’t really want my help. Her reply..’ I wanted all the praise for myself. ..,’ Priceless. Speechless.
    Thing is, as I wrote each word today, I saw me in scenarios in my life, Miss independent. Miss I can do it myself. Miss ‘I want the praise…’
    Ughhh. What convictions..
    At least the granddaughter is only 8. What’s my excuse.?
    Oh Lord God..Thank you for that gift of this super wonderful granddaughter. That her heart is in the right place, and that her intentions are good and honouring and kind.
    Thank you that you don’t walk away. That you don’t give up on me/us. That you continue to lead guide and direct us. Lord, I pray today, that I am lead by you in all my actions and words, that I do, because you first did for me, that I love for no other reason than because you first loved me.. and as for the praise and glory Lord God, may it be sent heavenward to you..
    Thank you Lord God thank you for everything.
    Amen.
    Happy Tuesday sisters with love…

    • Emily

      Wow, Tina! That arrow stuck straight in my heart! I am that independent, I can do it all myself, control freak, but if I really dig below the surface, it IS because I want all the glory! I want people to praise my job well done without ever having to share the spotlight! Ugh! So convicted this morning, and thankful that God used your granddaughter to point this attitude out in my own life! Please pray for me as I humble myself and learn to serve alongside others for God’s glory–not my own.

    • Ashley

      Love this ❤️ Thank you for sharing

    • Lana

      Tina, I can’t thank you enough for your story. God bless you and your little granddaughter. And thank you for the wonderful prayer.

  • I am struck by my own sinful heart – on reading about the lady who set up this night nursery my first thought was, wow, what a great idea followed pretty closely by feelings of jealousy that I wouldn’t have come up with that idea if I was there…the temptation with the ministry I am involved with is to boast about it…but the actual heart work is unseen. He sees me and that is enough. Help me Lord to make it about worship for you.

  • Jen Gladwell

    I am struck by my own sinful heart – on reading about the lady who set up this night nursery my first thought was, wow, what a great idea followed pretty closely by feelings of jealousy that I wouldn’t have come up with that idea if I was there…the temptation with the ministry I am involved with is to boast about it…but the actual heart work is unseen. He sees me and that is enough. Help me Lord to make it about worship for you.

    • Marisol S

      I understand exactly how you feel. I often times think why can’t I come up with great ideas like the last leader or I’ll doubt my ability to serve him like others but then TRUTH sets in and He reminds me that He created me to be the leader He has called me to be, not the the leader that he called before me to be. He reminds me that I’m putting trust in my ability when I need to put trust in HIS ability and what HE had put inside me to do His work. Do not be jealous because He had created you and put ideas in you that will also bring Him glory! God bless you.

  • When I first started in ministry, I struggled with the idea of “serving silently” especially working with high school students and starting during the rise of social media. Now I look back and even reflect on the present, and I am once again humbled by the power in it. The empowerment He instills in us when no one else is watching, the truth He speaks to us one on one and the light He increases within us to shine on others gets brighter. We don’t need to boast about what we are doing, because the work He is doing in us showcases Him perfectly.

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