harnessing the power of photography for good

Oaxaca 2012:: Rounding Third….

Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.
And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

(Matthew 5:1-12 ESV)

This morning Dave shared from Matthew 5, the Beatitudes.

It reminded me of something I heard and never forgot.  I was a young christian and going to Emmanuel Faith Community Church in Escondido, Doc Strauss said “there are lots of people who say they love God, but very few truly love Jesus.”  He was talking about having a passionate personal relationship with Jesus.  Being fully surrendered to the One who I owe everything to.  All that I have is His.

Dave shared how much of Mexico is culturally religious and in much the same way many Americans fall into the same category.  As followers of Christ, are we looking at the Beatitudes as a check list for our faith?  As if we will gain eternal life if we get all our boxes checked off before God calls us home.  Christians have been told that they need to “do things” for the kingdom in order to become more like Christ.  We pray before meals, go to church, attend Bible study, read our Bible…and somewhere along the way we were told we should evangelize and go on mission.  Romans 6 tells us that obedience leads to righteousness.

Dave really hit it home when he said that we need to have obedience with purpose.

Today is Thursday and in less than 2 days we will be on our way back to the states.  Are we really serving Christ out of a deep passionate desire to honor Him with our whole life?  Or are we here because it’s what christians are supposed to do? Where are you going?

The great thing about our relationship with Christ is that while God demands perfection from us, He sees us covered by the blood of the Lamb.  By God’s Grace, we are given the Holy Spirit to help us along the way on this process of sanctification, becoming more like Jesus each day.

I love the photo above.  It reminds me of what our relationship with God is like…

As I watched this scene unfold, I couldn’t hear what he was saying to his son, but it didn’t matter.  I know what was being conveyed by his body language an the fathers smile…what I saw was a picture of God reminding me that He is there for me.  Though I may mess up or fall on my face, He is there to gently remind me that His Grace is sufficient.  I don’t have to “try” so hard.  Obedience with purpose.

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