Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven . . . Matthew 5:12

Red Letters–Fiery Words

Blessed

are those who read Gospel conversations,
divine pronouncements,
and follow the trail of Truth back to the nature of God.

“Greater than the Temple,”
“Lord of the Sabbath,”
His words revealed
Divine Prerogatives
and a set of priorities wholly out of step with the elite.

No Mr.-Rogers-with-a-beard,
Jesus used the sharp edge of sarcasm to slice through hypocrisy,
Scalding words to remedy a lukewarm righteousness.

And reading today, I am both warmed and singed,

rejoicing that my reward is great in heaven,
while knowing full well, in the meantime,
there are
enemies to love,
cloaks and tunics to surrender,
and a radical holiness to be lived in the unseen places,
One Spark,
One Smoldering Offering at a time.

***

Discovering what it means to be “blessed,”

Photo credit

If you enjoy reading Living Our Days, subscribe to get regular content delivered to your inbox. Just enter your e-mail address in the field at the top of this page.

I link-up with a number of blogging communities on a regular basis. They are listed in the left sidebar by day of the week. I hope that you will take a moment to enjoy reading the work of some of these fine writers and thinkers. You can look for me this week at Purposeful Faith#TellHisStoryLet’s Have CoffeeFaith on FireFaith ‘n Friends and Grace & Truth.

60 thoughts on “Red Letters–Fiery Words”

    1. I’m getting so much out of this trip through the Gospels. It’s going to take most of the year to read (chronologically) through Jesus’s story and his teaching, but I’m thankful for the slow pace and the deep read.

      Like

  1. Enemies to love… I just posted a thing I saw on Instagram that said the example of true love is to remember Jesus washed the feet of the one who knew would betray him. There you go – loving your enemies.

    Like

    1. Great example! And as Jesus said: “If you love only your brothers, what more are you doing than others?” Love in hard circumstances is a strong argument for the existence of another kingdom.

      Like

  2. Wow! I loved this Michele! So few words yet you communicated so much. I value what you describe- challenging Words that feed my soul. It’s like I thrive from the simple, powerful Truth Jesus freely gave to those who would listen. Thanks for sharing this in a beautiful way!

    Like

    1. This was the reason I took on the challenge to read through the gospels this year. I need to stop and spend time hearing the exact words Jesus said and tracing his footsteps through a given life.

      Like

  3. I do at times chuckle at how Jesus responds to the pharisee’s. I picture it and it’s of course a reason they hated Him, because He didn’t let their wrongs be swept under the rug! He being the light exposed the darkness in their hearts. He loved them, just not the double standard. Oh how Jesus knows my heart and loves me in spite of me, I’m so grateful for His grace!!

    Like

  4. Michele, I so appreciate this post. We are blessed, even when we are singed by the red words, aren’t we? Because we are loved, we are corrected. Because we are loved, we are encouraged to draw closer to our Lord. That is truly a blessing.

    Thanks for making me think today, friend!

    Like

    1. That’s what kept impressing me about Jesus’s interactions with the Pharisees. His priorities were so inscrutable to them–and of course, by their thinking, if they couldn’t understand, HE must be in the wrong.

      Like

  5. One time someone speaking at my Christian college said that in his early Christian life, he was offended by people saying Jesus said things he was sure the Jesus he knew would never say. Then someone challenged him to read through the red-lettered words in the gospels. He was surprised and challenged – and thankfully, adjusted his view of Christ rather than closing his mind and continuing on with the image of Christ he had conjured up on his own. We so need to let our thinking be transformed by Scripture. I like the dual imagery of warmed and singed. How we need His grace for that radical holiness.

    Like

    1. How prone we are to remaking God in our own image and turning Jesus into a pale shadow of the real God Man.
      I’m thankful for this year of reading in the Gospels. I had become separated from some of the stories.

      Like

  6. Such a beautiful foray into poetry. These words are perfect for deeper reflection:
    rejoicing that my reward is great in heaven,
    while knowing full well, in the meantime,
    there are
    enemies to love,
    cloaks and tunics to surrender,
    and a radical holiness to be lived in the unseen places,
    One Spark,
    One Smoldering Offering at a time.

    Like

  7. A few words…powerful words…to the bullseye…and worthy of Amen and Amen! WOW!…Michelle. Grateful to know Whose I am and singed as you that I still have life here to walk in the light of Jesus. Thank you and glad you are a near-neighbor at Unshakeable Joy.

    Like

  8. Smiling. Also, I know it isn’t part of the poem, but “discovering what it means to be blessed” is such a thought-provoking phrase. I’m holding onto it. Thanks Michele!

    Like

  9. After spending weeks with our small group studying the Sermon of the Mount I have been forever impacted by the lifestyle of the kingdom that Jesus expects of us.

    Like

  10. Your last words sum it up…we are told to love our enemies, how hard can that be? Very hard, but God leads the way in his word and the Holy Spirit left to remind. But the human has many stumbling blocks to break through. Surrender, dig out unseen places, holiness. As always, I am a work in progress. Always enjoy reading your insights that stir my brain. 🙂

    Like

    1. Yes, how hard can it be???
      And yet God “demonstrated his love to us in that while were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
      We’ve been on the receiving end of “enemy” love in a huge and cosmic way!
      And yes, I am also a work in progress–and sometimes the progress is so slow . . .

      Like

  11. Following Jesus and living out “radical holiness” isn’t always warm and fuzzy – it’s fiery and challenging!! But how can we do anything else when we see his greatness and his love for us?

    Like

  12. Wow–I love your poetry, Michele. Sometimes the fewer words, the more powerful they are! I need to remember this. 🙂

    “And reading today, I am both warmed and singed,”…that sounds like my readings often too. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

    1. It occurs to me that if we are being both warmed and singed in our reading, we’re probably “getting it.”
      On the days when I walk away unscathed, I’ve probably missed the point!

      Like

  13. I love the red-letter fiery words you chose to post. What a great reminder reminding us our reward is in heaven yet we have much to do here. I needed that today.

    Thank you for sharing with Grace & Truth Christian Link-Up.

    Like

  14. I introduced grandson to the red letter edition Bible – he had never seen such a thing. He reads an NLT, which is fine, but there is something about my NKJV with red letters that I cannot part with!

    Like

    1. Yes, and I know the words are just as awesome in black ink as they are in red, but there’s something about looking at a two page spread at some points in the NT and thinking, “Wow, these were Jesus’s words, right here on the page!”

      Like

  15. I love this, he knows what’s in our hearts. I was recently told very matter-of-factly by a relative that I was not going to heaven. I asked if judgement was her position, she said it was because how else would others know they are coming up short. I often wonder how some can read the red words in the bible and just ignore them completely. #GlobalBlogging

    Like

Leave a Reply to meemanator Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.