Anytime I am involved in Bible Study, I pay very close attention to the red words that show up. Why? Because this is the voice of Jesus speaking. Jesus’s words are something all of us should pay close attention to. His words provide a guide on how we should act and behave. There are some things Jesus told us about being blessed. In the Bible, they are called the beatitudes. I did some research on the beatitudes and felt it was a great reminder to God’s people how we should continuously act. Today’s times are very overwhelming. We can become easily frustrated and angry. We should count our blessings and also know we are blessed for the way we act and the thing we do. Let’s take a look:
The beatitudes can be found in Matthew 5 and in Luke 6
We must first take a look at who quoted the words of Jesus. These are from two separate people who were both disciples: Matthew and Luke. Therefore, we have two witnesses from two books proving the words were spoke by Jesus. Their writings are similar when speaking on the beatitudes, but are also uniquely different. One thing I love about reading the disciple’s words is you get it from their viewpoint. You see what they found most important about their walk with Jesus. They often will repeat the same message, but it will be in their own words. Some will add more to what they remember which makes the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (the four gospels) fascinating.
Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.
When you dig a little deeper, you will find the poor in spirit means those who lack certain things. I am sure many of us are lacking things in our life at this moment. Some are even worse off than normal. Perhaps you are facing a very rough patch.
Maybe poor for you is lacking the funds you need to survive. Luke quotes Jesus saying those that are hungry will be satisfied.
Poor in spirit can also be emotional problems: feelings of inferiority, depression, low self image, conflicts with friends or family, and so on.
If we keep our eyes on God during these times, He will carry us through. Thank God even when times are tough.
We have the blessing of the Kingdom of Heaven where we will never face these problems again.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Some of us our mourning at this very minute. Perhaps you have just lost a loved one, someone is suffering, or you feel the world is tumbling around you. We also mourn when we have done things wrong. Sometimes we have convictions and regret. These are all forms of mourning.
Cry out to God, He will comfort you. Pray in your time of need. If there are regrets or convictions in your life, take them to God. Ask for guidance and forgiveness.
Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the Earth
Being meek means being quiet. A person who is meek is gentle. They do not protest when things go wrong and they keep their eyes on God. They are submissive and obedient people.
Sometimes I have a real problem keeping my mouth shut when things go wrong. Think about things before you speak. Sometimes we are better off not saying anything at all especially when our words are not beneficial.
Taking to heart what God says and obeying His commandments is often easier said than done. We are to be obedient to God and gentle to others.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Righteousness means morality. In the world we live in today, morality is dwindling away before our very eyes. People say one thing and do another. Certain people are allowed to speak while others are shut down. We need to go back to God and the morals and values he set for this world and His people. You can find them littered throughout the whole Bible. Churches and Christians have gone soft. We worry about offending others. We watch what we say and do when we should be telling the truth. We are getting shut down on social media left and right. We must spread the truth of God’s word honestly and precisely. If we don’t, who will?
When we act according to God’s will, morality is something that comes with ease. Do not bend or twist your values to fit in with the world.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy
Merciful people forgive and show compassion toward others. They are gracious and tolerant. Sometimes it is hard to show compassion to others especially when they have done us wrong. However, we must remember we are all human and make mistakes. Reflect on those times you have done things you regret. It will be much easier for you to be compassionate and forgiving if you do. God is in constant forgiveness of us. Daily we do things wrong. He is tolerant and understands our nature. In order for us to expect forgiveness from God, we must also forgive people.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
A pure person does not let the world get to them. They do not allow worldly elements to effect who they are. They do not allow evil to seep in. It is easy for us to be led astray by human ideas. It is so important remain in tune through prayer and understanding God’s word (the Bible). This world is filled with evil and some of it lies in our own churches. In order to remain with a pure heart and a clear mind, keep your focus on God. Search for the good and be discerning. Do not allow negative emotions to sour your attitude and harden your heart. When you allow pain, guilt, worry, anger, greed etc. to seep in, it can cause damage to who you are. Life gets the best of us all sometimes. Refuse to allow these things to take over your life. Take your frustrations to God and ask Him for cleansing and healing.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.
As Christians, we must be mediators between good and evil. We must be the ones who show love and pacify the world. We also cannot allow conflict to get the best of us. No matter what people say or do to us; we show love, compassion, and kindness. Do not allow drama and pettiness to taint who you are. It is very easy to get involved especially in arenas such as social media. Do not allow others to steal your joy. Exhibit peace at all costs. We are children of God and we must shine bright in this dark world. I tell you, this is very hard to do sometimes. I hear all kinds of terrible things about Christians and our faith on social media. My first response is a desire to fight back. However, what purpose does this serve? It only adds fuel to the fire. We must pick and choose our battles wisely. Sometimes it is better to move on and keep the peace.
Blessed our those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.
Like I said before, righteousness means morality. You can see the persecution of this tenfold right now. When you mention anything about the union of marriage, take a stance against abortion, or stand up to any type of morals; you are attacked with a vengeance. People are twisting bad with good and good with bad. You can clearly see we head closer and closer to an era where evil will abound.
Christians channels and groups are being shut down left and right all over the internet. I will not be surprised if their comes a day when we no longer have a voice. They may begin shutting down our worship services and more. We could even get a ban on our own Bible. This is why it is vital we take advantage of the time we have. Spread the word, form relationships with other Christians, and begin collecting hard copies of books and Christian material. Hang on to your Bibles.
In my opinion, things are only going to get worse. We are going to receive poor treatment for who we are. There may come a day when we will be like other countries who abuse, torture, harass, and/or torment Christians. We are all ready being bullied because of it. They are desperately trying to shut us up.
One thing you might want to consider is small group studies in your home. It is best to prepare for a time when we may not have a church home. Small group studies are beneficial either way. This is how our early churches worshiped. I have heard several other pastors suggest this as well. You are blind if you cannot see the direct attack on our faith. Start looking around you.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
God loves when His people take a stand for Him. All through the beginning of Revelation, we see Jesus talking about this in His words He wanted sent to the churches. He was very proud of the churches that took a stand for His sake. We are becoming a very soft group of people. We must begin taking a stand again. We cannot support certain things. We must make that be known. If you see a show, a song, or a idea that goes directly against God; you should make it be known you do not support it no matter what the cost may be. People these days are in attack mode. There is no doubt you will be labeled and attacked for it. You will be called names and told you are promoting hate speech. You may even been banned or blocked from social media or platforms all over the internet. However, it is important we are truthful and stand firm with God.
Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way the persecuted the prophets before you.
We have something we should be very proud of in this world. We have eternal life. Our earthly days are short, our heavenly days are eternal. People throughout time have been persecuted. Look what was done to Jesus on the cross. He did nothing to deserve that kind of death. He was a blessing and a healer to many. His disciples afterward faced persecution as well. It is written all throughout the New Testament. People were stoned and burned at the stake for their faith in God. The Old Testament prophets had their fair share of persecution too. This is nothing new. We do know that as evil grows, God gets closer. We may very well be the ones to witness the last days.
Do not let the prosperity preachers make you think these blessings are earthly ones. We were never promised wealth, fame, and fortune on Earth. We can not will things to happen, we must wait on God’s will. Some of us will live better lives than others here on earth. God promises our needs will be met while we are here on Earth. However, we will be far richer in Heaven for what we have endured. Although this seems a long way off, we must remain focused on God.
These blessings are mental blessings. To me, this is more important than anything else. We can endure quite a bit when we are in a good frame of mind.
Jesus gave us a code of conduct to follow here. Sometimes persecution can be good for the Christian. It keeps our eyes off of the earthly rewards and places our focus on God. It strengthens our faith, it builds endurance, and it keeps us in check. We must constantly stay focused and strive to do the things Jesus has asked us to do.
When we resist the world, stay focused, pray, keep our relationship strong with God, and endure; we will be given joy, peace, and happiness.
Never forget to count your blessings each day. Thank God for them. There is always something to look forward to and be thankful for. Always remember this: our trials are only for a season. They do not last forever.
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