Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Blessed are...the humble, those who hunger and thirst after God, the merciful, and the pure in heart.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Blessed are the humble, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Matthew 5:5-8
This past Sunday Pastor Jim began a new series on The Sermon on the Mount called The Jesus Way with a look at the Beatitudes. The Beatitudes are the eight statements of Jesus found in Matthew Chapter 5 that describe the person who has the character of Christ. When we reflect the character of Christ, we are living The Jesus Way. We are taking a closer look at the Beatitudes and how we can live them out in our lives every day. 

Blessed are the humble, for they will inherit the earth.  Matthew 5:5 

The dictionary defines humble as having or showing a modest or low estimate of one's own importance. This is not having a low self esteem, this is acting in the way the Jesus modeled for us with His own life. He made the greatest sacrifice of all by giving His own life so that we could have salvation and eternal life. In some translations this passage reads Blessed are the meek… Meekness is often confused with weakness.  Meekness is not fear demonstrated by timidity.  Websters Dictionary defines Meekness as enduring injury with patience and without resentment. This is exactly what Christ modeled for us. Being humble or meek is not cowardice, helplessness, spiritless, fragile or spineless.  When we realize our need for God and our poorness of spirit, we realize our strength and humility comes from God. We can then exercise strength with gentleness before others – in His power, not our own. 

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.  Matthew 5:6  When we realize our complete need for God and begin to live our lives as His child, we will desire more and more of Him. This results in us knowing that Christ and the contentment and blessing in life He brings is the only true thing that will satisfy our longings. We often hunger and thirst after other things, thinking they will satisfy us thing such as money, being more popular, going new places, sexual exploits, sports, mind altering substances, getting more things, etc. But the longing remains.  To have a spiritual passion to know God reveals that we are in great need of God (poor in spirit!) and creates a constant appetite for God that can only be satisfied by God.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.  Matthew 5:7  As we grow and are transformed by Him, we will  develop a new heart of compassion and mercy toward others enslaved to sin or suffering from the trials of this world.  This will result in reciprocal gratitude and compassion from others to you. It's so easy to get a hard heart, but Jesus knew the value of mercy.  It brings great blessing to all,  showing love to the people that you are justified in giving the verdict “guilty” to.  Mercy is possible only when we have a right to sit in judgment with the power to act. True mercy requires power to forgive in being the one wronged.  Mercy comes from a heart that has first felt its own spiritual bankruptcy and mourned deeply over its sin. Having been broken, this heart is now open to the truth of the Lord and hungers for His truth which comes in His person and a new heart.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.  Matthew 5:8  The next beatitude is a singleness of motive and heart which seeks to please God in all things.  A person who is pure in heart has pure motives.  God desires fellowship with us and that we are enabled to see Him. And this is the promise to us - it is the result of becoming pure in heart. The pure in heart are a rare breed in our society today. They are even rare in our churches today. But I believe God is calling us back to that single-minded, unmixed devotion to Him which characterizes those upon whom He pours out His Spirit.  In the Kingdom, the way up is always down. We must fall on our knees in repentance before we can look up to catch a glimpse of His glory. 

Thinking of others over ourselves, hungering and thirsting after God, seeking to please Him in all things, and showing mercy to those who hurt us are characteristics of someone who is choosing The Jesus Way of life. As we are transformed by Him, our actions and words will reflect Him and The Jesus Way will become our way of life. 

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