Each year, I try to spend time focusing on Christ's sermon on the mount. His sermon is a call to discipleship for His followers. His sermon is the way to THE BLESSED LIFE. His sermon begins with crucifixion!
- Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
- Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
I've learned a lot by reading a book written by E. Stanley Jones in the early 1900's - CHRIST OF THE MOUNT. Here are some concepts I am meditating on today as I considered the life and will of our LORD:
- PAGE 56: "Self renunciation is far deeper than world renunciation, for one may give up the world and not give up (her)self. I have seen many a sadhu who was poor in material things, but not poor in spirit, for if you crossed (her), (s)he would flash back in anger. No (wo)man is free until (s)he is..."
- PAGE 57a: "...free at the center. When (s)he lets go there, (s)he is free indeed. When the self is renounced, then one stands utterly disillusioned, apart asking for nothing. (S)he anticipates the sorrows, the buffetings, the slights, the separations, the disappointments of life... it is life's supreme strategic retreat. You can then say to life: "What can you do to me? I want nothing!" You can say to death: "What can you do to me? I have already died!" Then is a (wo)man truly free... Asking for nothing, if anything comes to (her), it is all sheer gain. Then life becomes one constant surprise."
- PAGE 57b: "The gospel begins at the cross, so that a (wo)man chooses to be utterly vulnerable - (s)he wounds (her)self to death. Then, (s)he is impervious to wounds. You cannot defeat a (wo)man who has already accepted defeat; you cannot break brokenness. You cannot kill a (wo)man who has chosen to die - (s)he is now deathless."