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God's Blessings...

The Beatitudes

Matthew 5:1-12 (NKJV)

1 And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him.
2 Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

THE Sermon on the Mount has been twisted to suit more divergent views than any other portion of our Lord's message. Some have made it the summary of His teaching, as though He said nothing else; while others have transferred it over into a future age with a purely Jewish application, as though it meant nothing for us today. It is true that His message has Israel primarily in mind and its literal fulfillment will be in the kingdom age to come when Christ rules over Israel, but it has a personal spiritual application for us now.

The well-known beatitudes set forth the characteristics of the citizens of His kingdom, and we who believe today should bear these marks of the Mount. The poor in spirit are those who know themselves to be nothing and that their only sufficiency is in Him. They are not necessarily the poor in pocketbook, though, doubtless, most of the poor in spirit are poor in purse. To be poor in one's own spirit should be the counterpart to being rich in His Spirit: "having nothing, yet possessing all things."

The mournful are not merely those who mourn in trouble, but rather those who lament their own spiritual weakness and poverty—whose cry is, "Woe is me, for I am undone." Such tears precede great blessing unless one wallows in self-pity and gets no further.

The meek are the lowly and gentle, not milksops and dish-rag characters as some think. These shall inherit the earth in spite of those who say the only way they could ever get it would be to inherit it. It is the Lamb who finally prevails.

To hunger and thirst after righteousness is a lost experience with most professing Christians—who are too shallow and superficial, or else too fed-up with the lollipops of earth, really to crave deeper blessing. A deep spiritual feast must emanate from a deep hunger and a big appetite!

The merciful are those who are long-suffering toward others, considerate of human weakness, full of love which "suffereth long and is kind." The pure in heart are those who follow holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. If the heart be pure there will be no trouble with the conduct, for out of the heart are the issues of life.

The peacemakers are not merely those who arbitrate and settle quarrels, although that is included, but those whose spirit creates an atmosphere of peace. Having peace with God and the peace of God, they make for peace wherever they go.

Few are the persecuted and reviled today for His sake. And, mind you, we are blessed only when we are evil spoken against falsely for His sake. "Falsely for His sake" brings in two important qualifications.

Christians are the salt of the earth, purifying, preserving, creating a thirst for the Water of Life. They keep the earth from putrefaction, as will be proven when the Church is removed. When it is without savor—an empty profession—it is trodden under foot in contempt. We are also the light of the world (Phil 2:15) even as He is the Light of the world (John 8:12), and our business is not to uniquely shine our light but simply to let it shine that others, seeing, may glorify not us but our Heavenly Father.

Reflections on the Gospels by Vance Havner

Prayer: Father help us to fully understand the Truth in your Word, help us when we pray for your Blessing to think what Blessing we are praying for and how you mean the Blessing to be understood and used. Lord we pray you will Bless us with your mercy, help us to be considerate in all we do for others, sharing your Love to your Glory. Help us Lord to realise you Bless us because we are faithful to you, you Bless us so that we may Bless others, to you be the Glory always, in Jesus Name. Amen

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