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The Standing Firm Newsletter

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The Standing Firm Newsletter

Over the next two weekends, we will be studying the lessons from Jesus' "Sermon on the Mount," commonly known as the "Beatitudes"(Mt.
5:3-10). The Sermon on the Mount challenges us to live in heartfelt
obedience to God's commands, contradicting the world's view of how
to live one's life. The Beatitudes tell how to be blessed, more than
a sense of happiness, but how to experience hope and joy independent
of outward circumstances. Hope and joy, the highest form of
happiness, can only be found in following Jesus no matter what the

Our study will focus on a promise of God given for each beatitude
(think of this as an "attitude" or behavior), an Old Testament
scripture reference prefiguring the Beatitude, the contrary world
value and a scripture reference on how to develop this attitude. The
best example of these traits is found in Jesus Himself. If our goal
is to be more like Christ, the Beatitudes should challenge us in the
way we live each day.

This week, we will look at the first four beatitudes: Poor in Spirit
(Mt. 5:3), Mourning (Mt. 5:4), Meekness (Mt. 5:5) and Righteousness
(Mt. 5:6). Next week, we will look at the last four Beatitudes:
Mercy (Mt. 5:7), Pure in Heart (Mt. 5:8), Peacemaker (Mt. 5:9) and
Persecuted (Mt. 5:10).

Beatitude #1 – Poor in Spirit

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:3

God promises the kingdom of heaven to the poor in spirit, the downtrodden, the forgotten and the lowly members of society. The world, in contrast, honors pride and personal achievement as the symbols of success. God promises comfort for the contrite of heart.

"For this is what the High and lofty One says – he who lives forever, whose name is Holy: 'I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.'" Isaiah 57:15

To develop this attitude, draw close to God in humbleness of spirit. He will revive your soul.

"Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up." James 4:7-10

Beatitude #2 – Mourning

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." Matthew 5:4

God promises comfort to those who mourn. The world, in contrast, honors happiness at all costs, no matter who is hurt in the process.

"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn" Isaiah 61:1-2

To find comfort, one needs to develop an attitude of mourning towards personal sin. God desires a heart that seeks to be right with Him.

"Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me." Psalm 51:12

Beatitude #3 – Meekness

"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth." Matthew 5:5

God promises the earth as an inheritance to those who are meek. The world, in contrast, honors the powerful over the mild and the proud over the humble of heart.

"Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land."
Psalm 37:7, 9

To develop an attitude of meekness, submit your life to the kingship
of Jesus.

"'Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.'" Matthew 11:28-30

Beatitude #4 – Righteousness

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they
will be filled." Matthew 5:6

God promises to fulfill those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. The world, in contrast, honors the self-made, the independent and the rugged individualist that "did it my way." God honors those who do it "His way."

"With righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist." Isaiah 11:4-5

To develop a spirit of righteousness, one needs to thirst for Christ above all worldly pleasures, seeking Him with all one's heart. "But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to
attain to the resurrection of the dead." Philippians 3:7-11

©2007 Rejoice Ministries, Inc