Happy are those…


Matthew 5:1-14

New International Version (NIV)

Introduction to the Sermon on the Mount

5 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.

The Beatitudes

He said:

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

As a child I remember learning the Ten Commandments. My first impression was that there were a lot of “thou shall nots” in the Bible. Also, as a child I could not see how some of these “thou shall nots” were relevant to me. Murder someone? Not me. Adultery? I am fairly certain I did not know what that was at the time.

Some have said what the Ten Commandments were to the Old Testament the Beatitudes are to the New Testament. While the Ten Commandments were given to us to point out our need for a Savior, the Beatitudes were given by our Savior. To me, The Ten Commandments were the skeleton for Christian living and the Beatitudes fleshes out how disciples are supposed to live.

When we read the Beatitudes, several things stand out:

  1. Each Beatitude forms a step that leads us upward to the pathway of holiness—when we recognize how bankrupt we are in spirit without God, we will mourn, and when we mourn we will become meek…
  2. Beatitudes are blessings dependent not on our circumstances, but on having the joy of God within our hearts
  3. Beatitudes teach us that salvation is not the end game, but it is the starting point in our journey
  4. Beatitudes, like the Ten Commandments, begin with our relationship with God and move into our relationship with others

Salvation, that wonderful free gift of God’s grace, brings us first back into a right relationship with our God, and then builds new relationships with others. Because that is what salvation is all about—that is what grace is all about. We are transformed into new creatures in Christ and that transformation brings about new relationships. Our ultimate reward surely is in heaven, but our present reward is in the way we live for God and for our fellow man here and now.

PRAYER: Father, each morning I awake with the knowledge of who you are and what you have done to redeem me and to enable me to seek after holiness. Each morning, I pray that I will do no harm, do good, and love you with my whole heart. Some days I am successful, other days I fall short of the mark. May today be the day that I live the Beatitudes, that my happiness depends not on my circumstances but on the joy you have planted deep within my heart. Amen

http://www.iamgracie2009.wordpress.com

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2 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this post…I am in the process of being transformed now, the Beatitudes are the confirmation I needed. God is so good! Patty

    • Praise God from whom all blessings flow. God is indeed good. Carol

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