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The Bottom Line of the Beatitudes

I don't know if you are like me, but a short look at The Beatitudes found in Matthew 5:3-12 don't seem to compel me into meaningful living at first glance.  I wonder about the crowds of people who came to the mountainside to hear Jesus preach.  What were they hoping to discover through the words they hear?  Did they think Jesus could show them how to get closer to God?  Did they want to know how to have personal peace of mind and soul?

Jesus most famous sermon flows beautifully.  Jesus calls blessings on individuals who portray certain characteristics and reveals specific rewards for particular behavior. A lot can be lost in the flow of the language.  That's why I want to offer this list of bottom line of the beatitudes.

  1. Be powerless.  When you are poor in spirit it means that you are admitting that there is nothing in you that can fulfill God's instructions for your life.  You realize that you are powerless to please God apart from His help.  When you are powerless you will be fit for the kingdom of heaven.
  2. Be aware of your pain.  When you mourn you will receive comfort.  Jesus said to stop trying to avoid your pain by numbing yourself with addictions, busyness, etc.  It is only through becoming aware of your pain that you can receive the comfort Jesus wants to give you.
  3. Be humble.  When you are meek, you are aware that you possess certain God given strengths, but they need to be exercised under His power and direction.  Rather than seeking whatever glory you can bring to yourself, you seek to bring glory to God and you inherit the earth–everything you could ever need.
  4. Be obedient.  Hunger and thirsting for righteousness is about being obedient to God.  Obedience breeds satisfaction and contentment.  Your spiritual hungers will be filled through obedience.
  5. Be merciful.  You will have ample opportunities every day to show mercy–unmerited favor.  Perhaps your first opportunity will be when you pull onto the highway and are met with uncourteous drivers.  Your reward will be mercy that you are so much in desperate need of yourself.
  6. Be focused.  To be pure in heart means to be totally focused on loving God.  You will be rewarded by seeing God.  There is nothing like seeing God, feeling His presence in your life as a reward for being pure in heart.  It is the most important reward you could receive.
  7. Be a peacemaker.  How do you make peace in a world set on war?  Everywhere you look there are people in disagreement with one another.   A true child of God will be one who attempts to be a peace with all men and doesn't allow wars to continue in their homes, at work, or in their neighborhood.
  8. Be joyful in persecution.  Lastly, if you are ever in the privileged position of being persecuted, put down, or made fun of because you are a Christian, throw a party for your soul.  You are one of the special ones.  You get noticed big time in heaven.

Do you get what you came for when you think on the Beatitudes?  You will never know until you start applying them to your life.  It's then that you will have your answer.


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