Youth News - May 2011
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YOUTH NEWS
May 2011
by Matt Kay

In our youth group this week, we had a great discussion on what it means to be blessed, and what our world thinks it means to be blessed. I asked the students to describe it by finishing these statements: (1) A person who is blessed is… and (2) A person who is blessed has… The list got very long!

A few examples from our group were: A person who is blessed is: accepted by all, accepted by God, loved, wise, etc… And a person who is blessed has: a Ferrari (this one made me smile), money, power, food and water, family, friends, comfort, success, recognition…

The word blessed in the Bible means – in a fortunate state before God.

Our values are determined by what we think it means to be blessed.

Some of the above values are also values that you and I hold as important in our lives, while others may not matter to us as much. But the bigger and more important question is, “What does Jesus value?

In Luke 6, Jesus begins to describe to His disciples the values of His Kingdom, which may be as shocking to us now as it was to the people back then:

“Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are you who hunger now,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
Blessed are you when people hate you,
when they exclude you and insult you
and reject your name as evil,
because of the Son of Man…”

What? How can hunger, poverty, grief and exclusion be considered a form of blessing? Jesus goes on in Luke 6.24-26 to pronounce woes (the opposite of blessing) on the rich, the well fed, those who gloat, and those who are received well by all. Jesus’ values were, and still are, directly opposed to the things people prize today.

What are we to make of this? A commentator named Michael Wilcock wrote concerning this passage that, “the people of God will prize what the world calls pitiable and suspect what the world thinks desirable.”

Too often our world encourages us to place supreme value on comfort, success, and the acceptance of our peers, but God’s people are called to a radically different way: our significance and worth are not to be found in these things, and we are called to not put our trust in them. 

We are also called to prize the moments in our lives when we find ourselves weak, in need, in grief, and excluded because of our faith in Jesus. It is often in our brokeness that we learn to live in God’s presence in a deeper way!

What are your values? Where do you place your trust? To what do you turn to find significance in life?

May you prize what the world pities, and suspect what the world prizes in a life of following Jesus and experiencing His love more deeply!

 

Grace & Peace, Matt

 
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