The Beatitudes

***This post was written by Robbie Ashlock.***

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.  Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.  Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.  Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.  Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.  Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you because of me.  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”            -Matthew 5:3-12

The Beatitudes, as they are called, are a beautiful picture of salvation and God’s love for us.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  It is only when we realize our spiritual poverty that we see our need for a Savior.  Before we can ever receive salvation, through faith, we must recognize our sin.  We must realize that there is nothing we can do to save ourselves.  We need a Savior.  We need Jesus, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” –Romans 3:23.  Realize that you are a sinner in need of a Savior,  “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”-Romans 6:23.  Blessed are the sinners who realize their unconditional need for a Savior; because, through Christ they find salvation and everlasting life.
   
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”  Once we realize that we are a sinner in need of a Savior something powerful takes place in our hearts.  We recognize our need for repentance.  “I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin.” –Psalm 38:18. True repentance is a realization of the depth and offense of our sin against the holiness of God, and in that moment of realization there is a change of heart and mind resulting in a change of action.  This is why David was a man after God’s own heart.  He knew the depth of his sins and he mourned over the pain that He had inflicted on the heart of God.  Repent of your sins.  “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” -1 John 1:9.  Repentance is turning from our life of sin toward our Savior.  Blessed are those who with a repentant heart turn to Jesus Christ; because, when we confess our sins God forgives us our sins and our sorrow is turned into joy.  Now that’s comforting!  
         
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”  Once repentance takes place in our lives we begin to follow His ways.  Another word for meek is obedience, and when we humble ourselves before the will of God He will direct our paths.  We trust in His way. We step into His will for our lives surrender our own.  We don’t lean on our own understanding, but trust God to supply all of our needs. “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says,” James 1:22.  We don’t just give Him lip service or empty promises, we do what He says.  Blessed are those who trust God enough to follow His ways, humbling themselves; because, He will meet all their needs according to His riches in glory.  

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”  The more we lay our lives at the feet of Jesus and humbly follow in His ways the more we will be filled with His righteousness.  The more time that we spend with our Savior the more we fall in love with Him and His goodness.  Self-righteousness leads only to death, but the righteousness of Jesus Christ has won victory over sin and the grave.  When we empty ourselves of our self, then we may be filled with the righteousness of God.  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for His righteousness above all else, for they will be filled with the very righteousness of Jesus Christ.    

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”  After we have gone through the emptying process and are filled with God’s love.  We begin to see through His eyes changing how we see others.  This builds a heart of mercy into our lives.  God’s love and grace free us, so that we no longer feel the need to be judgmental or critical.  The more the righteousness of Christ fills our lives; the more merciful we will be.  The more we are filled with our own self-righteousness, the harsher and more critical we will be.  Blessed are those who realize and accept the mercy of Christ, for they will experience and live a life of mercy.              
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”  God’s mercy leads us to purity.  There is a difference between having a clean heart and a pure heart.  All of us who have embraced the Lord have clean hearts, but a pure heart is one not distracted by the things of the world.  “Therefore, get rid of all moral filth, and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.” –James 1:21.  Blessed are those who intentionally live a pure and holy life, for they will see God.
 
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.”   A pure heart is a heart that is living at peace with Christ Jesus.  Once we experience the love and peace of Christ we can’t help share that peace with others.  We are the peacemakers.  The best way to bring peace into a person’s life is by introducing him/her to the Prince of Peace-Jesus Christ.  Blessed are those who are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God. Those who love Christ share Christ with others.  

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you because of me.  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”  Hebrews 12:1-3 says it best, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”  

For me, the quick way to break down how to live a blessed life:
Realize that you are a sinner.            
Repent of your sins.      
Humble yourself before the Lord.    
Hunger and Thirst for Christ’s righteousness.    
Live a life of mercy.              
Allow God to purify your heart.  
Share Christ with others.

Keep the Son in your eyes!          
Pastor Robbie

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