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BLESSING AND BEATITUDES(1)...........Putting You on the Path of Blessing and Righteousness!






Believers encouragement unto blessing and righteousness!

Introduction:

People by nature love anything that bring blessing to them, so the “Beatitudes” is one of the most loved portions of the Gospel. It forms the beginning of what has come to be known as the “Sermon on the Mount” which is recorded in Matthew 5-7. 

Jesus preached this message early in His ministry, I believe to set the matters straight from the day one.  God never keeps anything away from us, accordingly revealed Himself, His likes and dislikes to us in the bible.

But, when Jesus saw a great multitude gathered to listen to Him, he decided to 'download' the Laws of the kingdom to the people in what today's people would probably call "His Gospel Manifesto", unveiling the foundations and character of life in the kingdom. 



Jesus Christ preached the eight beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount, not to the Jews or Hebrew of the old....NO.  He preached it to me and you.  He says - what I say unto one, I say unto all!

Those simple teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, so simple and shocking as they were those days are still awesome till today.  Take for instance the truth that when a man looks at a woman with lust in his heart...as when you secretly wish you had that woman and then imagining the fun and excitement of such a moment, Jesus says...you have already slept with her in the spirit.  This is what is called sin of the heart and today, many 'sleep' with men and women by lusting after their pictures on the internet or magazines and these are people they may NEVER meet in person.

In the Beatitudes, Jesus shows us the way of life that promises salvation and peace in the midst of our trials and tribulations.  

An early contemplation on the Beatitudes came from St. Gregory of Nyssa, a mystic who lived in Cappadocia in Asia Minor around 380 AD. He described the Beatitudes this way:

"Beatitude is a possession of all things held to be good,
from which nothing is absent that a good desire may want.
Perhaps the meaning of beatitude may become clearer to us
if it is compared with its opposite.
Now the opposite of beatitude is misery.
Misery means being afflicted unwillingly with painful sufferings."



THE EIGHT BEATITUDES:

"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Gospel of St. Matthew 5:3-10



EXPLANATIONS ON THE BEATITUDES

1. "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

To be "Poor in spirit" means to be humble. 

Humility is the realization that all your gifts and blessings come from the grace of God. To have poverty of spirit means to be completely empty and open to the Word of God. 

When we are an empty cup and devoid of pride, we are humble. 

Humility brings an openness and an inner peace, allowing one to do the will of God.  He who humbles himself is able to accept the frail nature of man, and willing to repent without argument and he is quick to ask for mercy. such a man will have the presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit often.

It is pride, the opposite of humility, that brings misery. For pride brings anger and the seeking of revenge, especially when one is offended. If every man were humble and poor in spirit, there would be no war!


2. "Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted."

Here, we  have a slightly different beatitude. In the last one the promise of the poor in Spirit is entering the kingdom of heaven, but those that mourn shall be comforted.

Mourning indicates the presence of pain and the grief resulting from a loss of a loved one. But it could be over the loss of a valued life, or it could be over the loss of possessions, or status, or health. They know that their weeping and grieving is but for a time only. 

They know that death does not have the final victory, for the dead in Christ will be raised incorruptible. 

People mourn over any disaster or tribulation. And in times of mourning they look for hope. 

That need will be met by our Saviour and it is only God that can comforted people these days as wicked of men is becoming unthinkable.  The people of God who mourn shall be comforted.

Messiah would comfort those who mourn in Zion. Brethren, a simple bible passage released to a mourner would bring back joy.

Believers who has passion for soul winning often mourn the souls of men who are deceived by the devil not to accept the gospel.  They know that the Messiah will turn all that away someday. And that hope brings them comfort.


3. "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."

This attitude 'Meekness' has a unique reward and many think that the whole beatitude builds on one another. A humble person becomes meek, or becomes gentle and kind, and exhibits a docility of spirit, even in the face of adversity and hardship. 

A person that is meek is one that exhibits self-control. 


4. "Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied."

Justice and righteousness in the New Covenant indicate the fulfillment of God's will in your heart and soul. It is not mere observance of the law (Matthew 5:20), but rather an expression of brotherly love (I John 3:10). 

A continuous desire for justice and moral perfection will lead one to a fulfillment of that desire - a transition and conversion to holiness. This is true for all the virtues - if you hunger and thirst for temperance, you will head towards the goal you have in mind.  

The Beatitudes is an ideal for every Christian life!


5. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."

Mercy is the loving disposition towards those who suffer distress. 
Love, compassion, and forgiveness towards one's neighbor will bring peace in your relationships. We say in the Lord's Prayer: Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. 

As we show mercy to people in need, so God will be available to help us in times of our need. 

A person can show mercy, the church can show mercy and even organizations can show mercy.

Paul in the Romans (1:5, 16:25-27) counselled the saints in Rome the ways mercy may be shown to our neighbours and fulfill the command of Christ our Savior.

Works of Mercy
1 Feed the Hungry
2 Give drink to the thirsty
3 Clothe the naked
4 Shelter the homeless
5 Comfort the imprisoned
6 Visit the sick
7 Bury the dead

The Spiritual Works of Mercy
1 Admonish sinners
2 Instruct the uninformed
3 Counsel the doubtful
4 Comfort the sorrowful
5 Be patient with those in error
6 Forgive offenses
7 Pray for the living and the dead


"Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God."

Moses (Exodus 33:20), John 1:18, and Paul (I Timothy 6:16) all say that no one can see God here on earth! But Jesus says the pure of heart shall see God! To be pure of heart means to be free of all selfish intentions and self-seeking desires. 

What a beautiful goal! How many times have any of us performed an act perfectly free of any personal gain? Such an act is pure love. An act of pure and selfless giving brings happiness to all.


"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God."

Jesus gives us peace - "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you" (John 14:27). Peace is also a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). Peacemakers not only live peaceful lives but also try to bring peace and friendship to others, and to preserve peace between God and man. 

But one cannot give another what one does not possess. Praying for peace will help change your heart. The Lord wants you first to be filled with the blessings of peace and then to pass it on to those who have need of it. By imitating God's love of man, the peacemakers become children of God.


"Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven."

The biblical passage continues to elaborate: "Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you" (Matthew 5:11-12). 

Jesus said many times that those who follow Him will be persecuted. "If they persecute me, they will persecute you" (John 15:20-21). Before his Conversion, Saul persecuted the early Church in Jerusalem, which scattered the Christians throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria (Acts 8:1). 

This beatitude is one that encourages a believer "Whoever is made to suffer as a Christian not be ashamed but glorify God because of the name" (I Peter 4:16).  It also informs us before hand that persecution will indeed come to anyone that decided to follow Christ in truth and spirit.

Starting from your immediate family, you will be persecuted, friends and society as a whole because your ways will differ from theirs and things than entertain them will hardly entertain you.  The drinks, wine, clubbing etc becomes meaningless to the saved man.

The persecution will soon become rejection as they will over-time find it difficult to flow with you in conversation and other areas.  With your daily study of the word and prayer, you will soon become an outcast to your circle of friends.



FIRE...


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