Issue 810 – Blessed Are – July 29, 2022
This morning’s theme is blessing, so I included a photo of Mount Baker. Like Raft Peak, when we lived in Clearwater, I never grew tired of seeing it. I feel both encouraged and blessed when it pops up on the horizon. Maybe it is because both peaks are stable and beautiful, and they remind me of the handiwork of God.
The peaks are never the same looking two days in a row, often changing from minute to minute or hour to hour. Their beauty is new every morning, just like God’s great mercy.
In my reading of Matthew the last few days, I have spent time in the Sermon on the Mount, one of the five great discourses by Christ that Matthew records.
In particular, I have been camping out on the beatitudes; the “blessed are” passages.
And he [Jesus] opened his mouth and taught them, saying: “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.” Matthew 5:2-12
These are familiar words of comfort for many people. On at least two occasions, I have written about them in detail; I believe the last time was around the autumn of 2000.
It should be noted that these blessings are not universal; they are blessings for believers.
There is a progression here. Christ begins with the poor in spirit. We mourn the depravity of our sin and the pain and brokenness of the world. It is not until we realize that our works and efforts have no merit when we recognize that we are spiritually bankrupt that we begin to turn to Christ in humble repentance and faith.
Meekness is not weakness. It is strength under control, a form of humility.
We begin to desire to be like our lord, “holy for He is holy.” We start to understand grace, mercy and forgiveness and, having received them, begin to show them to others.
Our hearts are cleansed and being conformed to the image of Christ, and we seek peace. Not just peace as an absence of conflict but true peace with God, and we desire others to have it.
The changes in us conflict with the world’s values, bringing persecution and Christ’s blessing.
The blessings spoken of here are not material wealth or worldly success. We are blessed by the ever-deepening relationships with our King and other believers. The blessings compound as we grow more like Christ and last forever.
We will face difficulty in this life, and our faith will be tested. There will be times when God seems distant, or prayers appear unanswered. We can persevere in those dry seasons because we know God never changes and never breaks a promise. He has promised blessings to His children, and those blessings are guaranteed.
Hold fast. Seek Christ and be blessed beyond measure.
Hallelu Yah (Praise God)
Gleanings From The Word.
Experience an extraordinary God in ordinary life.
Soli Deo Gloria (for the glory of God alone.)
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