by Johnese Burtram
Jesus speaks blessing that sometimes catches us off guard. The Kingdom approach to living; the blessing Jesus would speak into our lives comes from His blessings found in the Sermon on the Mount, manifesto of the Kingdom of God, gold standard for godly living. Matthew 5:3 - 9
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit…” Jesus values the humble, poverty of spirit—as opposed to pride and arrogance—as the kind of spirit that marks those who possess the kingdom of heaven. Poverty doesn’t strike us as attractive, but the exchange of poverty of spirit for the kingdom of heaven does alter the spin.
Receive the blessing of a poor spirit.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn…” Most of us place high value on happy affect, stoic bravery in the face of pain and suffering. We do not welcome mourning. However, if one does not mourn, one does not receive comfort. Jesus blesses us with mourning, so we will know the precious gift of comfort. And as Paul exhorts the Christ followers of Corinth Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4
Embrace the blessing of mourning.
5 “Blessed are the meek…” We are all in for inheriting the earth, but not so much for meekness. Many misunderstand meekness. We eschew the reputation of meekness. In the equine markets of ancient Rome, the cavalry soldier kept a trained eye out for the meekest specimen. The meek war horse could be trusted to be completely under the control of the rider. What a fascinating description of those who will rule the earth. Power under control.
Be quick to accept the blessing of meekness.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness…” Some translations read, “Blessed are the God hungry…” Often, God is not the object of my hunger. All us know the frustration of unrequited desire. Sometimes we just can’t seem to find satisfaction.
Jesus said, Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" Matthew 7: 7-11
Develop an appetite for the blessing of God hunger.
7 “Blessed are the merciful…” The Old Testament word for mercy often has an alternate meaning of Covenant love. Mercy usually speaks of not getting what we deserve—a kindness or allowance given in spite of our unworthiness. The covenant love of God for us is undeserved, but I think the more prominent emphasis here, is the weight of the oath. God has cut with us a covenant to love, based on His integrity. Far more than sympathy regarding our plight; we receive God’s intentional love; His love given to us by deliberate choice. When we extend mercy (covenant love) to others we complete the circle of the covenant – God loves us, we love God because He first loved us, AND we love others because of God’s love to us.
Let us determine to love others with the same promise that grounds God’s love for us.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart…” The pure heart has no agenda; it does not behave with personal advantage in mind. We call Potomac Ministry Women, ELEMENT because you resemble elements in the natural world—basic, pure, and unadulterated. You are foundational to ministry in the church, and without alloy. You are pure hearted.
Cultivate a pure heart. You will see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers…” Peacemakers are of inestimable value. Anyone can pick a fight and, with little effort, perpetuate one. In a world filled with self-absorption that fosters violence and hatred, those who make peace stand out. Jesus came to make the peace between man and God. Cessation of hostilities opens the door for productive relationships, resulting in worthwhile living. Those who make peace “will be called children of God.”
Willingly lay down your personal rights and adopt the character of your Heavenly Daddy by pursuing peace.
The Be-attitudes of Matthew 3 name blessings from our Father’s hand. He wants to make us rich in the eternal values of His Kingdom.
Receive His blessing.