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Summary: The Beatitudes: Building Blocks to Be Like Jesus #5

✎ One of my favorite comics is Peanuts. One winter evening Linus sticks his head out the door and calls to his sister Lucy, “Mom said to tell you it’s time to come in.” Standing next to her snowman Lucy says, “Rats.” As she turns to go in she says, “Goodnight friend, I’ll see you in the morning.” Standing at the front door Lucy again turns to her snowman saying, “Goodnight!” Inside Lucy takes off her coat and gloves as Linus watches TV in the background; going over to the window she looks out at her snowman friend and says, “I feel sorry for my snowman; I hate to see him stand out in the yard alone all night.” Can you guess what happens next? Linus sighs with a long frown on his face as he stands out in the cold next to Lucy’s snowman friend.

We’re not told if Linus had compassion on the snowman or not; Schultz leaves ut to wonder because when Lucy expresses her concern for her snowman Linus is no longer watching TV but is standing behind his sister with a sad look on his face. Personally, I suspect Lucy sent her brother out in the cold because she cared more about her snowman than her brother.

This morning we are going to discover what it means to be merciful. Jesus promises the merciful will receive mercy.

Today we continue a series of messages called, “The Beatitudes: Building Blocks to be like Jesus.” The beatitudes are the opening verses of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount which begins in Matthew 5. What are two things we have said you should remember about the beatitudes? When you read these opening verses of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount what two things should we hear Him saying?

1. These are the “BE-ATTITUDES,” the building blocks, the attitudes, characteristics and qualities essential to being Christlike. Theses are not eight unrelated statements. The beatitudes show us how we are to live our lives just like Jesus.

2. These are essential qualities of joy or what I have called PARADOXICAL STATEMENTS OF JOY. If you want to have real happiness not dependant upon your circumstances you need to put the beatitudes into practice in your life. Nine times Jesus repeats the statement “BLESSED.” You are most happy, most joyful when live your life like Jesus.

Before we will focus on the fifth beatitude found in Matthew 5:7where Jesus blesses the merciful let’s quickly look back where we have come from.

+ Matthew 5:1-7 1Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2and he began to teach them, saying: 3"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. The poor in spirit does not refer to those who live at or below the poverty level. The poor in spirit come to the end of themselves and daily die to self. With brokenness and humility we acknowledge our dependance upon God. Jesus said the poor in spirit, those who die to themselves will receive the kingdom of God.

✞ VERSE 4Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. This is not a blessing for crybabies, the pessimist or even the sympathetic. Jesus wants us to be brokenhearted over sin. This is not just a worldly sorrow; our hearts are broken with God over sin. Our hearts are aligned with the heart of God causing us to grieve over our personal sin, the sin of other believers, and the sinful condition of the world. Jesus promises God’s comfort for those who mourn.

✞ VERSE 5Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Meekness is not weakness. Do you remember the wild horse being broken or tamed? When a horse has a bit placed into its mouth and a saddle strapped to its back, the strength of the horse has not diminished. The horse’s strength is submitted. Meekness is submitted strength; it is to surrender our stubborn wills to God and pray like Jesus, “Not my will, but yours be done.” Anything we take by force can be taken away by someone who is stronger than we are. However, the blessing of surrendering our strength to God is the promise of an inheritance the world can never take away; the meek will inherit the earth.

✞ VERSE 6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteous-ness, for they will be filled. Hungering and thirsting for righteousness does not mean we live by a legalistic set of rules; righteousness is not right conduct. Righteousness is [1] the DECLARATION of God to cleanses us from sin through Christ Jesus, and [2] righteousness is the DYNAMIC power of the Holy Spirt within us to live a holy life. Jesus promises those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled. This does not mean we are never hungry or thirsty again–hunger and thirst recur naturally and the desire can be intensified. When we hunger and thirst for righteousness WE ARE SATISFIED; we don’t go looking to find something else to appease our hunger or quench our thirst. God provides all we need.

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