The Blessed, Look Like This!!

There have been thousands of books written about being successful, rich, happy, fulfilled, and the list seems to never end.  Everyone seems to be looking for that formula of life that will bring the blessings of peace and joy.

Jesus began a sermon with some verses we call the Beatitudes (Blessings).  It is not a formula but a lifestyle likened unto Jesus.  For the follower of Jesus, these are not optional nuggets of wisdom but the principles for our lives as we journey with Jesus.

No doubt the Sermon on the Mount, that fills three chapters (5-7) in the Gospel of Matthew, is the greatest sermon ever recorded.  If we use this sermon as a standard for our Christian journey we will shine as bright lights in this dark world.

 

(V. 3) “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Jesus did not say, “Blessed are the poor.”  He said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.”  It is actually an attitude of our reliance upon God.  If we realized how truly helpless we are outside of the sustaining power of God, then we would understand how much we need to rely upon God.

Generally speaking, if we go thirty days without food our organs begin to shut down.  Most cannot go even three days without water without dire circumstances.  And if we go even three minutes without oxygen we die.  I would also add, if we go one second without God thinking of us and acknowledging us, we are back to dust.

Self-sufficiency is a tall idol we worship in the Western World but it is not honored in the Kingdom of God.  We pray for daily bread.  Our labors are evidences of God’s blessings of health and the ability to work.  Truly, our next breath is in His hand.

 

(V. 4) “Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.”

Jesus does not want us to be sad; He wants us to have joy, since joy is a fruit of the Spirit.  However, the Lord wants us to have a mournful heart when we see the broken, battered, oppressed, and lost people of this fallen world.  We need to shed tears in prayer over the plight of this broken world.

Jesus cried over Jerusalem in Luke 19:41 when He foretold of its rejection of the Savior and of its destruction.  We cry over those whose rejection of our Savior puts them in eternal peril.

We cry over the the sick, the hungry, the oppressed, the widows, and the fatherless.

We allow our tears to water the seeds of compassion in our heart to put our hands and feet to action.

 

(V. 5) “Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.”

Meekness is not to be mistaken for weakness.  Meekness is gentleness from a place of strength.  We hold back our words of anger and the fist of violence even when it appears expedient to the world.

The meek can be gentle defending themselves but warriors when standing in the defense of those with no voice or for those who have no advocate.

 

(V. 6) “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.”

We long to be like Jesus.  Our pray to the Father, is for our lives to resemble that of His Son.  Please let our lives live up to the Name we claim.  The Holy Spirit wields the sword of the Word to open the hidden contents of our hearts and to remove the cancer of sin through the work of sanctification.  Our hunger overrides our hardness of heart.

Those who hunger for righteousness, humble themselves to receive the blows of correction of a brother who loves us and speaks the truth.  Our hunger overrides of defensiveness.

We have a teachable spirit to humbly receive understanding from a brother of lower learning yet who walks closer to the Savior than us.  Our hunger overrides our pride.

 

(V. 7) “Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.”

Mercy is always given to those deserving of rebuke and punishment.  It has been said, “Mercy is not getting what we deserve and grace is receiving what we did not deserve.”  (Not sure who first said that but it was not me.)

The merciful allow the cornered to pass by.  Some things are best ignored.  Wisdom knows when to leave the matter to God and when a brother needs loving correction.

When confrontation is needed, mercy can still play a role.  The boiling kettle of the merciful is allowed to cool, so confrontational words will be bathed in kindness and love.  Mercy speaks to the offender with soft words and calm emotion as if the “shoe was on the other foot.”

 

(V. 8) “Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.”

Some would dismiss this verse with the question of, “Who can be pure of heart?”  Just remember, we get closer to the bullseye if we aim at the target.

The pure in heart are pure because God dwells in them.  The influence of the Holy Spirit aims our arrows at the goal of “pure in heart.”

The pure in heart sees with right motives and looks for the right motives in others.  The pure in heart sees God in others.

“To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled” (Titus 1:15 NKJV).

 

(9)  Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.

Peacemakers go out of their way to make peace.  Peacemakers bear much pain and hurt just to keep the peace.

Our culture is entertained by trouble.  Crowds will gather around a fight.  Millions will tune into reality shows to watch contention.  Peacemakers are not entertained by trouble but find solutions to disagreements and misunderstandings.

These spiritual principles outlined by Jesus are core principles of Christian discipleship.  By the way, they are not suggestions but directions.  We, who intend to follow Jesus, must apply these principles to our lives every day.  These lessons are not just good Sunday School lessons but life lessons to be lived out among the broken in this dark world.

 

Matthew 5:3-12 NKJV

(3)  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

(4)  Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.

(5)  Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.

(6)  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.

(7)  Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.

(8)  Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.

(9)  Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.

 

Yours on the Journey,

Harry L. Whitt

 

2 Replies to “The Blessed, Look Like This!!”

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