Daily Devotions: Matt 5

June 1, 2007

OK, so this is way late – but I was on the road with the family…

3 “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
4 God blesses those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 God blesses those who are humble,
for they will inherit the whole earth.
6 God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice,
for they will be satisfied.
7 God blesses those who are merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
for they will see God.
9 God blesses those who work for peace,
for they will be called the children of God.
10 God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

11 “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. 12 Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.

The Beatitudes, the first part of the famous “Sermon on the Mount” given by Jesus Christ (thus the red lettering). You’ve heard it before probably, but “Attitude is Everything”, and Jesus chooses to share this message at the beginning of his public ministry, probably teaching and training his disciples in this very important lesson on your attitude towards ministry and life in general. As I was studying this portion of scripture here’s what really stuck out to me:

This is a code of ethics; a standard by which to live our lives. As my commentary puts it, “these are not multiple choice – they must be taken as a whole”. The questions I can ask myslef are simple – the answers profound.

  • Do I daily realize my NEED for God in my life?
  • Do I mourn? (to me this means is my heart tender towards other people – am I touched by their situations?)
  • Do I live a life of humility or has pride taken hold on my life? (probably the most important question – ask someone else to give you an honest answer to this one!)
  • Do I have a genuine concern for justice in the world? (definition of justice: the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness: to uphold the justice of a cause.)
  • Do I show mercy on a continual basis in my life? (definition of mercy: ccompassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one’s power; compassion, pity, or benevolence: Have mercy on the poor sinner.)
  • Do I continually strive for purity of heart? (of course the Bible teaches us that the heart of man is not pure, but the Bible also says that we can receive a new heart; check out this verse:
    “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God. I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses….” Ezekiel 36:26-28
  • Do I seek peace, am I a peacemaker? (definition of peace: a state of mutual harmony between people or groups, esp. in personal relations: Try to live in peace with your neighbors. It takes a lot of humility and mercy to achieve peace – is making peace that important to me?)
  • Do I live my life without fear of being persecuted for doing what is right? (the pressure to conform to the world is ingrained so deeply within us that sometimes just doing what is right in a situation can bring persecution. Compare and contrast this with what is happening to the persecuted churches worldwide, check out this link, and it might bring clarity into our lives and challenge us to do what is right more often.)

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