Because of my fierce involvement with NaNoWriMo this month, I’m reposting an article that I guest wrote for my friend Terrie Thorpe a few months ago. As we approach the Thanksgiving season, a reminder of God’s blessings amid turmoil and strife is especially appropriate.
Don’t forget to visit my friend Terrie’s site, too.
THE BE-ATTITUDES (Matthew 5:1-12)
Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount included the Beatitudes—the attitudes we are to have to become like Jesus; the attitudes we are “to be.” The Be-Attitudes.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Poverty is not a blessing; being poor in spirit is. If we are poor in spirit, we are empty and ready to be filled by God. We understand that we are unworthy of God’s mercy and can only enter His kingdom when we accept His grace.
Only when we empty ourselves of ourselves—and are poor in spirit—can we be filled and receive the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
God doesn’t want us to be sad. But He wants us to align our hearts to His. God wants us to mourn for our sins, for how we have hurt others, for the misery of others, for the unsaved. He wants our hearts to break over things that break His heart.
And then be comforted. The Holy Spirit is our counselor, helper, intercessor, strengthener and comforter.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
A meek person is overwhelmed by God’s greatness. When we see God in everything, we are humbled. It is not our place to seize what is of this world. Rather, we cherish the knowledge that—as part of our inheritance as children of God—we inherit the earth, as well as heaven.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
This Beatitude promises that hunger and thirst for righteousness is pleasing to God. Part of seeking righteousness is seeking to know God. He wants to be known and will bless our seeking by revealing His character to us.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
The merciful are tender hearted. They feel the suffering of others and then step out in faith to help and forgive. Mercy is about living a life that says, “Thank you Father for placing me on the giving end of mercy to others and the receiving end from you.”
Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.
The path to a pure heart begins by understanding that our hearts are evil and there is nothing we can do on our own to cleanse them.
The only way our hearts can be cleansed is by surrendering to Jesus and letting the Holy Spirit do the work for us. Then we begin to see God’s glory in everything around us.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
This peace is the peace we receive from Jesus, the Prince of Peace through the Gospel. Believers in Jesus—peace receivers—thus become peace makers as they share Jesus’ good news with others.
Jesus is the avenue for peace between God and man. Because of Jesus, we can enter God’s presence and receive the peace that surrounds Him. And we can share that peace with others.
All people are God’s creations. But only those who follow Jesus, does God call His children. To be a child of God is to be blessed.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The persecution Jesus spoke of was about being punished for being righteous. A person who sins cannot win a fight with God; but he can attack those who try to follow Him. Jesus promised believers that we will be persecuted.
This Beatitude is not about being self-righteous because you follow Jesus. It is about trying to follow Jesus’ example of living with an eye to eternal life in the kingdom of heaven.
+ + +
The Beatitudes are about knowing we are insignificant in the grand scheme; but knowing God loves us anyway. They are about recognizing we can do nothing to save ourselves, but can only be saved by God Himself.
When we understand our place in the universe we come closer to knowing God. Knowing God is His greatest blessing and why we have the hope of heaven at all. We first need the right attitude—the “Be-Attitude.”
Which of the Beatitudes speak loudest to you? Why?