Matthew 5:3-12 (ESV)
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others 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 they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
The Beattitudes, as this passage is called, are good examples of what we Christians are to be about. We need to practice both physical and spiritual/mental exercise to attain the standards set here by Jesus. As we wrap this work week up, and get ready for the weekend, pick one of these beattitudes and try to apply it to your life in a way that you have not before.
For example: Poor in Spirit. I need to work on my humility. I sometimes think way too highly of myself. Or for another, Peacemakers. In the past few years, I have come to care less than I used to about offending people, or if what I do bothers them, it does not bother me. I should work on trying to consider what is important to others, instead of thinking only about how I think things should be, or what needs to be done.
I think that Jesus was telling His disciples that the Father will be pleased, and will reward them, when people do not treat them as they should be treated, because they were living for Him. But I also think that Jesus is telling us to temper our own thoughts and feelings. We are not living in quite as much risk here in America for our beliefs as they did. However that may change, and it certainly has changed some in the past few years. So as a moment of comfort, remember the last sentence in the above Scripture: Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
May the peace of Christ rule in our hearts and minds this weekend, and everyday.
by Virgil Stripes - photo is the Church of the Beattitudes (believed to be the place where Jesus spoke these words)