Friday, December 10
Matthew 5: 1-12
The Beatitudes give us insight into those values that Jesus honors in his followers. We have a glimpse of what meets God’s approval, the attitudes that bring delight in heaven and a smile to the Father. We see God’s personality in these verses. With His sanctifying grace we must make these principles become the essence of our souls as Christians.
Jesus presented to us characteristics of a blessed, holy person. He said that those who are poor in spirit, those who recognize their need for God, and who understand their own spiritual poverty are a part of God’s Kingdom. In their unworthiness, they depend on God for spiritual sufficiency. They will live in heaven.
Jesus spoke of those that mourn, those that have sorrow because of their sin, those that understand they have offended God. These people grieve because they realize their unworthiness and lack of holiness. Jesus promised them comfort in sorrow, healing in pain, and joy in sadness.
Jesus affirmed the meek. He blessed the humble, those who know who they are in relation to who God is. A ready willingness to submit to God brings its permanent reward.
He also promised that those people who hunger and thirst after righteousness will find that righteousness and be spiritually completed with it. When knowing God is one’s driving passion more than eating or drinking, more than being alive, that passion will be satisfied, filled, and honored.
Christ promised those who live life in the spirit of mercy that they will be blessed by the Father’s mercy. Sowing human mercy brings in a harvest of divine mercy. Those whose hearts are pure, whose motives are honest, who have an inward holiness not just outward piety will see God because they recognize purity when they see it.
The Prince of Peace blessed those who give their lives to the reconciliation of people with each other and with God. He gave peacemakers the special honor of being God’s children, because they look just like their Father.
Jesus also offered blessing and comfort for those who do not hide their faith to avoid persecution. He gave His support to those that bear insults, who are lied about and who watch people turn their backs on them. Jesus said to take each insult, each lie, each isolation, and consider it an honor. Persecution can bring joy when we consider the great faith of all the prophets and saints that have suffered before us. We are in holy company!
Living according to these values that Christ blessed all bring reward, all of them spiritual – the comfort of the spirit, the mercy of the Father, life in the Kingdom, joy in persecution, and an understanding of holiness. Being blessed is being filled with the peace of Christ, living beyond the restlessness of the world, and finally seeing the face of God.
Reflection – Reflect on how to make these eight values part of your spiritual journey.