Summary: Fifth in my Being the Believing series through the Beatitudes
Compassion in Action!
The eight beatitudes should be viewed as stepping stones that are all building on each other, ultimately culminating in a power filled victorious state in this life and in the life to come.
The first rung of this ladder was found in Matthew chapter 5 verse 3 where Jesus states “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Remember this word blessed does not mean happy, happiness is subjective. Blessed speaks of an inner satisfaction tethered to salvation in Christ, not subject to emotions, feelings and fear nor dependent upon circumstance.
So, if you are seeking the approval of God this morning that first step is to acknowledge that you are poor in spirit, or spiritually bankrupt. Salvation is a very personal matter between you and the Lord, to come to a place in your life where you recognize your beggarly poor state, need for rescue and run to the cross to find there is still room for you! You will never have a relationship with God until you need a relationship with God.
The second rung of this ladder was found in Matthew chapter 5 verse 4 where Jesus says “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” When you come to the place in your life that you really believe all of what God has done by sending His Only Begotten Son to suffer, bleed and die for you, love for that kind of love will mark your life. And, being in love with God means that when He hurts, you hurt. And, what hurts God the most is the sin in your life. So, as a Child of God, sin should bother us, hurt us, and cause us to mourn-to cry out to God when we come short and fail-to confess and repent to cry out by our words and very lives “God I am truly sorry that I have hurt the only One that has ever loved me with an everlasting love.” And when we mourn over our sin, God gives us comfort by telling us “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.” –John 10:27-29
The third rung of this ladder was found in Matthew chapter 5 verse 5 where Jesus says “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” We discovered that meekness is NOT weakness but power under control. That God is calling us to be Gentle Giants: Gentle when it comes to our preferences, feelings, emotions and pride and Giants when it comes to others and the truth. There are times when we must be quiet, step down, be subdued and reserved and times when we must be vocal, step up, be made known and get proactive.
The last run of this ladder we looked at was found in Matthew chapter 5 verse 6 where Jesus says “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” This is what Jesus wants for and from an independent, rebellious, stiff necked, selfish and proud humanity: To come to the point that we are hungering and thirsting to the degree that HE is all we think about, desire, want and NEED. Having a deep insatiable continuous craving for righteousness, the things of God. Or as the old hymn Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus says:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
These first four beatitudes all have to do with what we give to God: our heart, tears, lives, and desires. And, what He gives to us: eternal life, comfort, power, and satisfaction.
So, while the first four beatitudes deal with our relationship to God, the next four deal with our relationship with each other. This is where so many professing Christians are missing the mark. So many think they can have a great relationship with God and never make the connection with other believers or even His church. To understand these beatitudes is to understand that what God gives us is not meant to be kept to ourselves but given out to others! Christianity is an outpouring of an indwelling. So, we are given: eternal life, comfort, power and satisfaction and the first thing that God tells us to do with these glorious gifts is to SHOW MERCY.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” –Mt. 5:7:
1. Mercy is foreign to the world and will not be rewarded by the world: