Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. – Matthew 5:6
I remember smelling mamma’s cooking and having to wait for what seemed like a lifetime to hear her say; “Wash your hands and come eat.” I remember when I was a little boy I’d play real hard. I’d play so hard that I would wait until the last minute, right before passing out, before I would stop to get a drink of water. What I remember most about these two occurrences is how that first bite of turnips tasted and how refreshing that cool water was when I took the first gulp. A sense of strength seemed to surge throughout my body and soon I was ready to get back to playing.
Jesus is telling us that just as we hunger for food and thirst for water, we should have the same desire for righteousness. Can you imagine the setting when Jesus preached the sermon on the mount? He was probably surrounded by a lot of people who were thirsty and hungry from walking to where they knew He was. Jesus seemed to always use the surroundings and situations to make the plain the point He wanted everyone to understand. In this case He used a need of the people to drive home the importance of living righteous lives. This teaching plants the notion that just as food is important to our natural being, living righteous lives before God is more important because it’s for our spiritual being. The bible says that God is a spirit and if we’re going to worship Him, it must be in spirit and in truth (John 4:24) Read more
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. – Matthew 5:5
What? You mean those meek, humble, always quiet and forever praying and fasting people are going to inherit the earth one day? But I was always taught to in order to have anything, you had to be tenacious, ferocious, and willing to step on other people to be successful. So what you’re telling me is people we see as weak and feeble are going to be the ones owning everything one day?
Well something like that. Jesus’ teachings have always contradicted the ways of man and the prince of this world. Isn’t that the reason the religious leaders were angry enough at Jesus to devise a plot to kill him? In this verse Jesus is saying the meek, not the strong, the meek, not the shrewd, the meek, not the man or woman with the plan, would wind up being successful in the end.
What is meek? According to a dictionary it’s defined as quiet, gentle, and easily imposed on; submissive. Another definition I found is: Read more
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. – Matthew 5:4
When you’re mourning you are in distress over a loved one dying. Maybe your children have become involved in some sort of dangerous behavior. Maybe you are sick and perhaps heard some discomforting news from your doctor. Or. Maybe you’re mourning because you see what’s happening to people being overtaken by evil and have become a part of Satan’s plan instead of God’s plan of Salvation.
Jesus’ teachings is the complete opposite of what we hear from the teachers of this world. We hear being blessed means you have it all and the pride of life (1 John 2:16) is enough to sustain you. Jesus is leading us into the truth and wants us to look past our pride and desire for this temporal world and see into the promised Kingdom of God (2 Corinthians 4:17-18). Read more
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 5:3
A few years ago I was teaching bible study with a youth group at the church I attend. When I read this verse, I was surprised at the reaction I got when I read, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” The word poor was a serious issue with the teenagers in the group. So we spent the remaining time on what it meant to be poor in spirit.
I understood why I got the reaction because in our society, the word poor is a negative word that gives the perception of us living in poverty, without luxuries and relying on someone to feed us. And to say one is blessed when he is poor will get anyone’s attention.
Jesus was an expert at getting the people’s attention during His earthly ministry, especially in this case. Our world today gauges happiness on how much money and material possessions someone has. The more you have, the happier you’re supposed to be. And it seems some, not all, people don’t see a need to rely on Jesus when they have all the things they want. Which brings me to the point.
When someone is poor in spirit, they realize they have a need for God. They realize they are feeble and helpless without God.
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. – Matthew 5:1
I’ve heard a lot of people, and I did it too, say how blessed we are. Someone asks how we’re doing and we say I’m blessed. Perhaps we say it because we woke up after a night’s sleep. Perhaps we’re saying it because we can see, walk and talk. Or maybe we’re saying it because we have the basic needs to survive. Or maybe we’re saying it because we have possessions far beyond the basic needs. All of these are good reasons to say we’re blessed. But are we really blessed?
Over the next few days, I want to share passages that describe how blessed we are, or how blessed we aren’t. Jesus gave a sermon that has been called “The Sermon On the Mount” and “The Beatitudes.” These passages are an eye opener and I know it made me revisit God’s definition of being blessed.
I hope you will come back and read these future posts. I am sure they will help you better your relationship with God.
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. – 1 Kings 19:11-12
August 19 2015 was a unique day. I got two surprises and one was a prize. I received a certificate of appreciation from my job for being faithful for 10 years (I’m working on a second pension check). That was sort of ironic since I have been filled with the Holy Spirit for 10 years. I never won anything in a contest where I sign up and my name is pulled. Now I can strike one down since I received a cooler, t-shirts, sun visors, drinking cup and a Frisbee™ as the grand prize. Then I was honored at my favorite lunch spot by the employees for being a regular customer (almost everyday). Read more