by Cindie York 5/24/2010 / Bible Studies
Jesus Christ gave us the Beatitudes during His Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter five. The definition of beatitude is blessedness or supreme happiness. The beatitudes are promises of God to the Christian. We are given reassurance that though we are tried, the blessings of God will prevail. The beatitudes produce hope through the words of truth spoken from our loving Savior. As a Christian, we start our spiritual walk by repentance and the Lord forgiving our sins. This is followed by the process of spiritual maturation through guidance, grace, and the mercy of God. After becoming a Christian, we must continually seek after righteousness and the cleansing of all our sins. This is accomplished through prayer and supplication. We must die daily to the desires of the flesh and to our perverse wickedness. We must be relentless about sanctification. All of these are imperative to have a sense of true peace.
During our life-long Christian walk, we will come against the opposition of the enemy and all of his imps, spirits, and demonic forces. We will face persecution, mocking and ridicule. We will be talked about, lied about, and lied to. What we must remember is that those who endure the trials and tribulations, those who overcome the deceptive tricks and stumbling blocks thrown into our paths by the enemy forces, will receive a reward far more valuable than the human mind can fully comprehend, and that is eternal life with Christ. After all, what would it profit you to gain the whole world and lose your own soul?
Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.
This verse explains the reward for a broken and contrite in spirit. When I think of poor in spirit, I think of a hurting person and/or someone at a spiritual low point. Everyone has times in their lives when they feel at that all-time low, or rock bottom. You may even feel lower than the dirt you tread upon. You feel like your prayers don't even reach the ceiling, that they barely reach the tip of your tongue. You focus on personal faults, weaknesses, and failures. You can't see your potential in Christ because your clarity is fogged by emotion or circumstance. During these seasons of dryness and barrenness are those wilderness experiences that seemingly last forever. God promises in His word that He would mend those broken areas. At those times in our lives when we feel the weakest, the lowest, God will lift us up into new depths of strength, insight, and spiritual growth. He will allow us to come to the realization that we are human and we err. He will show us that we need Him in every aspect of our lives.
1 Corinthians 12:9-10 states, And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, than am I made strong.
This first beatitude unlocks the door to God's abundant supply of blessings. Admitting that we are spiritually broken or weak with no ability to please our Lord, and admitting that we are rendered helpless without the presence and guidance of God ushers restoration and spiritual prosperity. We need to seek direction, ask forgiveness, lay all pride aside, and admit we are nothing and He is truly everything. When we can do these things, we are eligible to receive the bountiful blessings of God. When we receive salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ, we are grafted in the "Vine" and adopted in His family. The poor in spirit are promised an amazing inheritance of eternal life in Heaven from the maker of all things. I can't think of a better gift than that.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9, We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. I truly love this passage of scripture because the true Christian is a fighter. The true, committed, sold-out Christian will not quit, but will persevere. We may get beat down, but we won't stay down.
Psalms 34:17-18, The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit. In those times of vulnerability and despair, our Lord above will draw us near and hold us with His strong loving arms.
Matthew 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted.
To mourn is to feel sadness or to be heartbroken either through loss, guilt, or disappointment.
This verse allows us to see that in those times of sadness that Christ will provide comfort. Many times in His word, He is referred to as a refuge in time of trouble, shelter in time of storm, or a strong tower. He tells us that He will carry any burden that is too heavy for us to bare, the loads that buckle us under their weight. He promises a way of escape during the times of life when troubles encamp about on every side.
Christ is full of compassion and love for His people. He knows what it feels like to hurt physically, spiritually, and emotionally. John 11 explains where Christ wept over Lazarus. He knows the pain of losing a loved one. There is no better place to be in these moments of sadness, than in the arms of Jesus. He knows every need before it is mentioned and is ready and willing to provide with comfort and care. He is the only one who can speak to the storm, "Peace, be still".
Another meaning that I had read in an article some time back was that this could be from guilt and regret of sins. I agree that we will face the consequence of the sins of omission and commission. We should feel conviction. When we are truly sorry, grieved about our shameful sin, we will be mournful. Once forgiven, the sins that once bound and crippled the spiritual man are released and the chains of bondage are broken. We can be released from the fear of eternal damnation by being saturated, completely covered by the blood of the Lamb and the fact that those sins are cast away forever into the sea of forgetfulness. The weight of the past will be lifted and the new life in Christ is started. Say good-bye to yesterday and hello to a new day of mercies, grace, and comfort.
2 Corinthians 7:9-10 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.
John 14:15-16 If you love Me, keep my commandments. And I will pray to the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you: not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the Earth.
Meekness means to be humble in spirit; docile. To be meek and humble are characteristics of a Christian. We show humility and act as the least important among others. We should always place others in higher esteem than ourselves. We should be respectful to others and mindful of the needs of those around us. We must keep a heart of a servant. Learning to tame the tongue, showing love to all people, bearing good fruit, being considerate of the feelings of others, not boasting or showing pride are all ways of being meek. Meekness shows you are under the subjection and authority of God. Those possessing meekness are slow to anger and quick to forgive. They tend to allow criticism, sarcasm, rude comments, and the like to roll off of their back. The meek seek not to harm or upset.
If we will allow meekness to rise above the hate, the bitterness, the ego of man, Christ will provide rest and shall give the Earth as our inheritance. That is an awesome promise.
Philippians 2:3-4 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also the interests of others.
James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up.
Psalm 37:11 But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
The word righteous means to work endlessly to abide by moral principles or to keep God's law, to seek holiness. We all know how it feels to be hungry or thirsty. You long for the time when you can enjoy that juicy steak or that ice cold drink on a hot summer day. We all have our favorite foods that we enjoy to partake. We desire food when our bellies are empty and we desire drink to quench our dry and thirsty bodies. How much more should we desire righteous living? As a Christian, we should literally crave holiness, purity, and sanctification. We should feel as though we just cannot survive without it. Sanctification and holiness should always be pressing on our minds. How we live our lives according to the statutes of God's holy word. Do we measure up to the standards spelled out according to the commands given by our Lord? How we live our lives is our personal witness to others. If we talk about Christ and do Christ-like behavior, others will know just how important that He really is in our lives. Just as our physical bodies need nourishment, so does the spiritual aspect. We need to feed the Spirit with His word, spending time in His presence through prayer and praise. We should keep the commandments and constantly strive to be better, to learn from our mistakes, and to try and live our lives to please our Master.
We should desire more and more of what God has to offer. Once He gives us a glimpse of what He has to offer, it just seems impossible not to want more. Once you taste and see that the Lord is good, you yearn for more. We must repeatedly go back to the spiritual table and refill, so to speak. The stresses and cares of this world deplete the spirit man daily, so therefore it is essential to refuel, revive, and renew daily. Can I get a witness? God has an endless supply of blessing. The plate is always full and the cup is never empty. You will never be dissatisfied with anything He provides for you, AMEN!
Psalm 63:1-5 O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory. Because Your loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.
We are reassured with the promise in Psalm 85:11 No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
Psalm 34:8-10 Oh taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! O, fear the, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him. The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.
Proverbs 10:3 The Lord will not allow the righteous soul to famish, but He casts away the desire of the wicked.
Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy.
Merciful means giving compassion and being kind to others. We must act with compassion and be sympathetic and empathetic. Showing mercy withholds vengeance and judgment. The upright, the elect of God receive mercy from God and therefore should respond by showing mercy toward others. We should learn by example and remember the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This is written in His word as a rule to live by, for good reason. We will reap what we sew. Sew mercy, reap mercy. Also, love your neighbor, love your enemy, bless those who curse you and do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. Hard to do sometimes, but if we are to obtain mercy, we have to give it freely and unselfishly.
James 2:13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
Colossians 3:12-13 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy, and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with you God?
Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God.
Purity is holiness, to be without contaminates. God wants all of His children to be spiritually clean. This is achieved through sincere repentance. The Bible tells us that it takes someone holy, without spot, wrinkle, or blemish, who has asked for forgiveness and who is undefiled to make it to Heaven. No one with unconfessed sin will enter into the kingdom of Heaven and into the presence of God. As in the days of old, if the men of God were to enter the Holy of Holies of the Tabernacle, they would have to go through a cleansing process. If they had any sin or unclean area, they would be slain. Heaven is the ultimate Holy place, so we will not be permitted to enter without the cleansing process. We absolutely have to pray continually for forgiveness to cover our wretched, loathsome, rank sin of which the stench is unpleasing unto the Lord. We must think spiritually minded, concentrating on holy things and not of the things of this world. The Holy Spirit will not dwell in an unclean temple, so we must live God-fearing lives. Judgment is inevitable, so we need to make preparation. No one is perfect, but we must make every effort to stay focused and live the best life we can for Christ.
Ask yourself these questions and be honest with yourself and with God. Remember, He does know all things and sees all things.
Would I be embarrassed if Christ visited my home?
Would I be ashamed of anything He would see?
Would I be humiliated if He saw what I was wearing?
Would He be disappointed if He heard what I was saying?
Would Christ be pleased with my current walk?
Am I living a godly lifestyle?
Can anyone tell that I am a Christian?
Is there something the Lord has shown me to lay down, to remove from my life, which I am still holding on to?
We are living in the last day, so we need to get our houses in order for the coming of the Lord is nigh. Today is a chance for a new start. Through prayer, fasting, and consecration, you can be a new temple that the Lord is waiting to do mighty things through. We need to do regular spiritual assessments and seek clarity of truth to uncover every besetting sin and unclean behavior, so that we can make necessary changes and make the needed detour back on the path of righteous living.
Psalm 37:18 The Lord knows the days of the upright, and their inheritance shall be forever.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and my your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1:15-16 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy."
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the sons of God.
Peacemakers bring harmony to relations, who are free of war and have absence of mental stress and anxiety. These people do not give the enemy a foothold for dissention, strife, confusion, or discord.
The Lord hates trouble-makers, and those who cause division among the brethren. When division is present there is no unity. Without unity, the Holy Spirit is quenched, and cannot function fully. The Holy Ghost is a gentleman and will go where there is an inviting atmosphere. When everyone is in harmony, the Holy Ghost can flow freely and mightily with full liberty. God is love and love grows in healthy environments. The Christian foundation is based on love. When there is stress or people with quarrelsome spirits, love is overshadowed by the situation. Love takes a backseat. When we are upset, we tend to only think about our problems. We become self-centered and self-involved. We let the carnal man rise up within us, which is never helpful.
It is hard to witness or show joy, love, mercy, or kindness when you are in hostile surroundings. What kind of signal are we putting off when we allow the enemy to cloud our judgment? It is not a good one, I'm afraid. The devil thrives in situations that are unpleasant. He loves to see people at each other's throats. He loves to see the Christian fall into his sinister schemes and traps. I am infuriated by the fact that we let him use us for his personal pleasure. When we can get a better grip on our emotions and tempers and place them under subjection to the Holy Spirit, it is no telling the limit of what God will do in our lives.
Also, the Lord reminds us through Solomon, in Proverbs 6:12-19 that the Lord hates gossip, lies and evil plans. First, let's address gossip. It is tale-bearing and it is often hurtful and is usually stretched beyond measure. It leads to heartache and betrayal of some sort or another. When trust is broken, it is nearly impossible to be restored. Resist the temptation to gossip. Lying is also a sin. Thou shalt not lie is a commandment. A lying tongue is truly venomous poison infecting and killing as it unleashes its untruths. Evil plans are wickedness, rebellion, seeking to do harm, and corruption. How can we be peacemakers if we partake of these things? What we take in, is what we will put out. Garbage in, garbage out. Any of these things listed above will separate us from the Lord. They will place a barrier between us and our Savior.
We must learn to get along in an adult Christian manner. We must make a strong effort to try and keep peace between ourselves and others and the Lord's blessing will flow in our lives.
James 3:18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
Romans 10:15 And now shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!"
Romans 12:17-18 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord.
Matthew 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake; for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Persecution is to be abused or mistreated.
Taking a stand for Christ means at some point or another you will face persecution. You will meet opposition and go through trials and tribulations. He wants us to hold our heads high knowing that He is an ever-present help in times of trouble and that He will be our strength.
Christ and His Disciples were not respected, nor accepted. They were spat upon, laughed at, thrown into prisons, thrown into lion's dens, stoned, beaten, bruised, humiliated, hung upside down on a cross, and even beheaded to name a few. Luke 19:17 explains how the stone (Christ) that the builders rejected became the chief cornerstone. He went unto His own and they received Him not. When we think about the extent of their persecution, their rejections, we should surely be able to handle some name calling, a cold shoulder, or a little scoffing and ridicule.
For those saints throughout our world today, who are being murdered, beaten, burned, and tortured for the name of Jesus Christ, you are the saints who truly shall receive that great reward and just as Stephen seen the Heavens open, so I pray that you shall see the heaven's open and find that divine peace therein and may you be exceedingly glad.
1 Peter 4:12-16 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange things happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evil doer, or a busybody in other people's matters. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.
Matthew 5:11 Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Revile means to spread negative information, defaming.
We are a peculiar people to a world surrounded by darkness. We must accept that it is okay to be different, to actually embrace that fact. We will be talked about and lied about. The world scrutinizes and judges our every move. Many wait to see if we will fall in some way just so they can feel better about their own misery of sin. The devil is using neighbors, coworkers, even family members everywhere to be instruments for reviling, for defamation of character to the Christian. They love to test our integrity and find out what we stand for. What really matters is what God thinks about us. If we live our lives according to His will, He will shower us with peace and we won't have to succumb to the delusion that we always have to fit in or suit everyone's fancy or definitions. That which we need to worry about is the question of whether or not we are living up to God's standard. Who cares if we are not the most popular person in town. I just want to be a light shining brightly. It is God, of whom, I wish to impress. I want to be pleasing to Him. I want to remain uncompromised by this world, rooted and grounded in Him, and maintain my integrity.
1 Peter 3:13-17 And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you are blessed. And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
Matthew 5:12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in Heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Count it a privilege to be in the same category as the prophets and saints of old, especially the most important man who ever walked the earth, the Lord Jesus Christ. We are grouped with royal priesthood.
We should rejoice because when all things are said and done, when this world is passed away, we will not worry, nor even remember who said what or who did what, what we will know is gladness, rejoicing, victory, and life everlasting with the one who gave everything to have us by His side forever more. That is enough to shout about!
And may the Lord be forever glorified!
I have been a Christian for 23 years. I enjoy Bible study and growing in the knowledge of God's word. I literally want to soak up God's Word like a sponge.