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Instructions for Being Blessed
Rev. Glen Sage
One of the greatest sermons ever preached by Jesus is known as the Sermon on the Mount. One portion of this scripture that is so powerful is the Beatitudes, found in Matthew's gospel chapter 5:3-12.
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Those that are "poor in spirit" will find themselves hungering and thirsting for a deeper relationship with God through his Son, Jesus Christ. This will bring us to "the peace that passes all understanding." In a world of confusion and misplaced values, this may bring peace and contentment to the lives of those that feel need for more of his spirit.
Jesus not only talked about the need for mourning but also demonstrated it in his own life as he approached his good friend Lazarus' tomb. As Jesus went to the tomb, we find the shortest verse in the Bible, "Jesus wept." In our day, we need to allow ourselves to deal with death and loss by allowing our emotions to find expression in the death of our loved ones,
As Jesus spoke of the meek, he was talking about a spirit of humility. Jesus spoke about not desiring the chief seats when we entered into a social event but that we should take a lower seat until the governor of the feast invited us to move up to a higher seat. In many quarters, humility seems to be in short supply.
Jesus then spoke of hungering and thirsting for righteousness. We do not hear many people asking God in prayer saying, "Lord make me more righteous. Grant to me the ability to refrain from sinful practices." We do hear Jesus teach us in the Lord's Prayer to say, "lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil." He does tell us if we hunger for righteousness we will be filled.
Jesus calls us to be merciful while conducting our daily lives. He teaches us that if we show ourselves as being merciful we will obtain mercy. In reports of violent crimes, we see increasingly a lack of mercy in our world today.
We should try to read the Sermon on the Mount on a regular basis and think about how our lives compare to Christ's instruction for us. There is a blessing for complying and a lost blessing for ignoring them.
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