Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:3-12)
The Blessed Life
Jesus taught the multitudes in a manner that was very different from what they heard from the scribes. His message was a radical change from the stoic form worship so common. The Jewish leadership had made much of the worship to God a matter of salvation by works with its liturgy of keeping the traditions of the fathers rather than heartfelt worship. As the multitudes came to the Lord on the mountain, He began with a startling view of a follower of God. The disciple of the Lord would have a heart that sees how wretched they are before a merciful God. Entering the kingdom of heaven begins with the removal of self and acceptance of the dire state of sin found in every man. Poverty begets the riches of God’s glory. This brings about a spirit of sorrow in knowing how great the Savior is and how much we need Him. Living under the grace of Christ we see what our sin did to God’s Son in dying on the cross.
People of God are meek souls who know how much God loves them and how much life is dependent upon the love of God. This spirit removes pride and arrogance. Man has a tendency to serve himself first. Followers of Christ submit their whole spirit to the will of the Lord leaving nothing for man to boast. “Thy will be done” is on the lips of all those who seek Him in meekness. It is not about the worship of self but the praise of how much God has done for man through His Son Jesus Christ. Hungering after righteousness is the passion that drives the heart to long for a deeper relationship with the Father. In the physical body, hungering and thirst are powerful motivations. Jesus illustrates the need of having a desire to follow those things that are right and true. This does not happen on occasion but like hunger and thirst – daily.
Disciples of Christ are filled with the mercy of the Father. No man can fully grasp the measure of mercy given to man. We show mercy to others in the same manner the Father extends mercy to us. Forgiveness from God is seen in our forgiveness of others. Kindness, love, compassion and all the characters of mercy received from the Father live in our lives as we show the same attributes toward others. Born from a pure heart we see clearly the face of God. Longing to have a heart free from sin will only come with the heart is filled with poverty, sorrow, meekness, hunger and mercy. Purity of heart is derived from the desire to look deeply into the eyes of the Father and find the peace that passes all knowledge. Sons of God are those who seek peace, make peace and show peace. Persecution will not hinder the spirit of God’s child because he knows the reward to living a blessed life is found in the words of Jesus on a mountain long ago.
Be happy today. Do not let this day be a day of gladness – let it be a day of exceeding gladness to know the blessed life of serving an awesome God. Be blessed. Be a blessing.
To some, Christianity is an argument. To many, it is a performance. To a few, it is an experience. (Vance Havner; 1901-1986)