Do you want God’s blessings in your life? I am pretty sure that all of us would respond with a resounding YES!!!!!! If so, then what do God’s blessings look like? Are they material or physical? Temporal or eternal? Lasting or fading? A lot of times God has blessed us and we don’t even realize it or we take it for granted.The first section of the Sermon on the Mount is better known as the Beatitudes. They are a series of statements on God’s Blessings. Each statement begins with “Blessed are.” The Greek word translated here is Makarios, which means blessed or happiness from divine origin. So another human could not be the source of this blessing or can achieve it by themselves. Jesus uses the structure of Jewish Wisdom Literature in the beatitudes. Psalm 1 starts with the same “Blessed are.” So who is blessed by God?
1. Poor in Spirit– those that stand desolate, naked, and unworthy before God. No one stands before God and says, “HERE IAM” as if we are worthy. God is God Almighty and when we stand before him we should do so with Healthy Fear and Reverence for who He is and who we are not. As humans we are all depraved and are in need of a redeemer. Jesus Christ is the author and provider of the redemption that we so desperately need.
2. Those who mourn– because of sin, old age, sickness, and death are a natural byproduct. We experience loss, pain, suffering, injustice, evil, persecution, etc… We without exception will mourn in this life, but one day we will experience the fullness of heaven and never experience this emotion again. We will only have reason to rejoice and celebrate.
3. The Meek– a lot of people consider meekness to be weakness. This could not be further from the truth. Meekness is humility, strength/power under control. Consider a horse that has been broken, just because it has been broken, does not diminish the ability or power of the horse. It simply has contained it and brought it under control so that it can be used in the right way and for the right purpose.
4. Those who hunger & thirst for Righteousness– we should desire the things God does. We should desire justice and be courageous against injustice. In our world there are all kinds of unjust/evil practices that are from Satanic or sinful origin. We should be so motivated to stand against evil that even in the event that we were standing alone it is still the right thing to do. We need to be a people of strength & courage. In Joshua chapter 1, 4 times God tells Joshua/ the people of Israel to be “Strong & Courageous”. What is your attitude toward injustice and evil? Do you hunger and thirst for Righteousness/Justice?
5. The Merciful– God is the author of mercy. Apart from God’s mercy and grace we would be in an extreme, dire situation. There would be no hope. Most of us enjoy receiving mercy, but how often do we extend it? We need to stand up against evil and unjust practices, but we also need to forgive and extend mercy. When we reflect on the mercy God bestows on us, it should be a natural byproduct to others. Too often we forget how much mercy we have received, and neglect to demonstrate it to others.
6. Pure in heart– the only possible way that we can be pure in heart is to be redeemed and reconciled through the blood of Jesus Christ. When we accept Jesus Christ as our personal savior, the Holy Spirit resides in us. The Holy Spirit is the sign and seal that we belong to God. When we become a new creation, God imputes his righteousness upon us and makes us pure in heart, which allows the Holy Spirit to indwell us as His adopted children.
7. The Peacemakers– it is not always easy to bring about peace. There has been conflict in this world since the fall of man and it will not change on this side of heaven. We are still called to be peacemakers. This requires action on our part. Peacemakers are not pacifists. It requires action on our part. God is also the author of peace. God has given us his peace and our response should be that others receive it as well. Satan will do everything in his power to detour us from doing so. Unless an individual is right with God, they are enemies of God and belong to Satan and this world and will never experience peace.
8. The Persecuted– as children of God we are enemies of this world. This world and everything it stands for is in direct conflict with God and His Kingdom. We should not be surprised by persecution, we should expect it. Jesus told his disciples that they will be persecuted and hated just like him. We are naïve to think otherwise.
If those are the ones who will be blessed by God, what will they receive? Is it gold, silver, cars, houses etc..? All of those things don’t even compare. All those things are minute to what God gives. The “Blessed” will:
1. Inherit the Kingdom of Heaven (what’s that worth?)
2. Be comforted (not experience any more pain or suffering)
3. Inherit the earth (that is a lot of STUFF!!!!)
4. Be satisfied (never wanting or needing anything else)
5. Receive mercy (can’t be bought)
6. See God (experience intimacy with God in the most real way)
7. Be called “Sons of God” (receiving the family inheritance)
Sounds to me like a really good deal, and the best part it is offered to all of humanity. There are times where we can look at this world and be blinded on empty promises that can easily entangle us or those that we shepherd. Let us never forget who the “Blessed” are and what they receive.