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May The Force Be With You!
Topic Started: Feb 14 2010, 09:49 AM (626 Views)
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"How happy are you who are poor: yours is the Kingdom of God" (Luke 6:20).

Jeremiah 17:5-8; Psalms 1:1-4,6; I Corinthians 15:12,16-20; Luke 6:17,20-26

In the motion picture, "The Empire Strikes Back," Luke Skywalker lands his skycraft in a desolate, foggy swamp. There he meets with the "Yoda" for the purpose of learning how to deal with his enemies. Luke's skycraft sinks out of sight into the mud. The Yoda instructs Luke that the mighty power called "The Force" will enable him to lift his craft out of the swamp. Luke tries to follow the Yoda's instructions, but fails. The craft remains stuck in the mud. Then, the Yoda says, "No, no, my son, you are trying to use 'The Force'. You can't use 'The Force'. Let 'The Force' use you."

Likewise, Jesus resisted all temptation to use "The Force" (which is God). Instead He let God use Him. He carried out His ministry in harmony with God's Will. "Not My Will, but yours," He prayed to the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane.

We must learn to allow God to use us. When we place ourselves in God's hands and submit to God's Will, His Power flows through us and gives us the strength to rise up from the level of mere existence to the New Life Christ is calling us into.

In today's Lesson, Luke tells us that Jesus stood with the twelve Apostles before a great crowd of His disciples, and that a great multitude of other people "who had come to hear Him and to be cured of their diseases" (Lk. 6:17). And He lifted up His eyes, and said, "How happy are you who are poor: yours is the Kingdom of God" (Lk. 6:20). That is the first of several "Blesseds," (or "Beatitudes") Jesus delivered as a prelude to His blueprint for living which we call "The Sermon on the Mount." With those "Beatitudes," Jesus says, in effect, "If you are going to live My kind of life, you must put your life in its proper, God-intended context. Blessed are you poor!"

You put your life in proper context when you acknowledge that you are not self-sufficient. You put your life in proper context when you acknowledge your absolute reliance on God, not only for who you are but who you are to become. You put your life in proper context when you acknowledge not only that God is the Source of your life, but also your way of life. Blessed are you poor! Blessed are you poor in spirit!

An ancient king summoned the wise men and the philosophers of his kingdom and instructed them to write down all the "Wisdom of the Ages." After laboring for twenty years on this awesome assignment, the learned men presented the king with a massive work consisting of fifty volumes. The king examined the books carefully. Then he said, "This work is much too long. Condense it." Five years later, the wise men and the philosophers presented the king with their condensed version of the "Wisdom of the Ages," in the form of a single volume of several thousand pages. Again the king examined the work, and again he said, "This work is much too long. Condense it." One year later, the scholars presented the king with a single sheet of paper containing only one short sentence. As the king examined it He seemed greatly pleased. "Magnificent!" He said. "I congratulate you on a job well done!" The paper read: "There are no free lunches."

What pleased the king, of course, was the profound implication in those few words that anything worthwhile has its price, whether it be in terms of money or time or effort or discipline.

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