CAN WE SURRENDER the mantle of trying to be, as someone has described us in our drivenness, “General Manager of the Universe?” Many of us are so accustomed to trying to be good – doing what is right, covering everything on our to-do list – that we live our lives, even our spiritual lives, at a frantic pace. We cram every minute of every day with activity and achievement, measuring our worth by what we earn or what good deeds we have done. But this beatitude [“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3)] says that approach is all wrong. When we offer to God what we cannot be or do – our weaknesses – then the kingdom is ours. God says in this beatitude, “When you give up your illusions of control and power and acknowledge your absolute need for me, all that I have opens to you.”
– Mary Lou Redding
The Power of a Focused Heart
From page 22 of The Power of a Focused Heart: 8 Life Lessons from the Beatitudes by Mary Lou Redding. Copyright © 2006 by Mary Lou Redding. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
What does “poor in spirit” mean to you? Share your thoughts.
Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”
John 18:37, NRSV
This Week: Pray for those suffering from mental illness. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.
Did You Know?
In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is an intercessory prayer ministry staffed by Christian volunteers. Submit a prayer request, and our Covenant Prayer Groups will pray for you. Visit The Living Prayer Center website.
This week we remember: Ann Eliza Worchester Robertson (November 19).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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PREPARE FOR ADVENT: Explore how nativity sets, Advent wreaths, candles, carols, Christmas cards, and other traditions help prepare our hearts for the God “who bends low to enter our world and our lives.” The Living Nativity, a new book and eCourse by Larry Peacock, is available now.