Blessed Are You When

Saturday, August 02, 2014, 8:39 a.m. – the Lord Jesus put the song in mind, “To Be Like Him.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Matthew 5:1-12 (NIV).

The Humble and Contrite

Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.

He said:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Happy or fortunate are we from having received God’s spiritual benefits and provisions to us as a result of his grace to us, by the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross for our sins, and through our believing heart response to Christ’s love and mercy to us. He demonstrated his love to us by dying on the cross for our sins even while we were still dead in our sins, so that we could go free from slavery to sin and have eternal life with God.

To be poor in spirit means that we bow down in humility before God, realizing that we have no resources of our own; nothing of our own worth which would warrant God giving us his great salvation. It is realizing we can do nothing of our own accord to earn or to deserve our own salvation. Spiritually speaking, we are destitute. We need Jesus. Only through faith in him can we be saved from our sins. We submit to God/Christ, bowing to him, and humble ourselves before him in yielding to his Lordship over our lives in our emotions, our thinking and in our wills. We no longer hold on to our own lives. We yield control of our lives over to the Spirit within us. I am crucified with Christ and “I” no longer live, but Christ lives in me, and the life I now live, I live by faith in him. My life is no longer my own. I am His! Amen!

Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.

To mourn means to lament, grieve and/or to feel guilt. In context, I believe this is speaking primarily of those who grieve over their sins in repentance before God. They admit they are sinners, that they are without hope, and they acknowledge their need of Jesus Christ to be their Savior. In repentance and faith they cooperate with the Spirit’s work in their hearts in turning them away from lives given over to sin, and in turning them to Christ to walk in his holiness and righteousness, in the power and working of the Spirit within them. They are then comforted with God’s salvation from sin, his forgiveness, his acceptance of them into his family; with their union with Christ, and with the hope of eternal life with God in glory.

Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.

Meekness is not to be confused with weakness. Jesus Christ was meek, but he definitely was not weak. He had great strength of character, integrity, and passion (zeal) for his Father and his house; enormous compassion for the hurting, commitment to his promises, determination to see God’s will be done, and a stick-to-itiveness in seeing things through. He had boundless confidence in his purpose for being here, and much hatred of evil, lies and deceptions. He had limitless courage and boldness to speak the truth in love, even in the face of great opposition, and so much love for us that he was willing to give up his reputation and acceptance of humankind, and to even be hated and rejected in order to tell us the truth, and in order to make the way possible for us to gain salvation by his grace.

Meekness means we don’t do any of this in our own power and strength, but that we apply God’s strength and wisdom in our lives under his authority and control, in his love and grace, in his compassion and mercy, in his gentleness and kindness, in great humility, and with his will and purpose in mind, always speaking the truth in love.

The Pure in Heart

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled…

Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.

Righteousness is what is right or is approved of God in his eyes; the condition of being acceptable to God. It has to do with "integrity, virtue, purity of life, uprightness, and correctness in thinking, feeling, and acting” (See: It is only achieved by God’s grace, through Jesus’ blood shed on the cross for our sins, and through our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives. Righteousness is also associated with holiness. Holiness means to be set apart (unlike; different) from the sinful world and to be set apart to God and to his service. When we believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives we become positionally righteous in God’s eyes because of what Jesus did for us in dying on the cross for our sins. Yet righteousness is also lived out in our daily lives as we walk by faith, in his righteousness and holiness and in the Spirit of God.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.

To be merciful means to show compassion. I heard once that God’s grace means to get what we don’t deserve, and that his mercy means to not get what we do deserve. So, in this context, mercy would be to not treat others as their sins deserve, because that is how Jesus Christ has treated us in giving us his salvation. It means we don’t get even. No payback! Yet, it also means to show compassion to others, which can be expressed in sympathy, concern, care, and giving or offering help or aid in times of suffering and/or need – spiritual, physical or emotional - or in their sin. We don’t placate sin or ignore it. We speak the truth in love, but always with a goal to restore. I believe God shows mercy to us sometimes by disciplining us in order to get us back on the right path, by not letting us suffer some of the natural consequences of our sin, and by so willingly forgiving and restoring us to himself.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.

We should never confuse peacemaking with peacekeeping. They are not one and the same. A peacekeeper is one who tries to keep peace – absence of conflict - at all costs, including he or she may compromise principle, truth, integrity, personal health and well-being, sanity, true conflict resolution, and sincerity (genuineness) in order to avoid conflict of any kind. The problem with this is it is detrimental to that person’s health, it does not resolve anything, and it is a constant battle and struggle to have to try to keep the peace so that no one ever gets upset with anyone else. Since the problem is never solved, it never goes away. It just keeps getting shoved under the rug.

Jesus Christ was a peacemaker, not a peacekeeper. He never compromised his faith and integrity for the sake of absence of conflict. In fact, he frequently incited conflict in order to bring about conflict resolution. He took the Pharisees and religious leaders of his day head on. He did not sugar-coat anything with them. He told them the truth about their wickedness and their hypocrisy, and this only angered them more. Yet, he did so because he cared about their sinful condition, and because he was concerned about the people whom they were leading astray, and so he brought these things to the surface so they could be dealt with, so that true peace could come to the hearts of his listeners, which is peace with God, forgiveness of sins, restoration with God, and true fellowship with Jesus Christ.

The Persecuted for Righteousness

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Just as they hated Jesus because he told them the truth about their sins, and because he told them they had to repent of their sins and trust him with their lives if they wanted to see heaven, people will hate us, persecute us and reject us when we tell them the truth, too, especially if the truth challenges their own preconceived notions about what is truth, or if it confronts them in their hypocrisy, their idolatry and/or their spiritual adultery against Jesus Christ. I think a good majority of people are peacekeepers. They avoid conflict at all cost. They don’t relish any kind of controversy. They like the messages of the false prophets when they say, “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace, and they like it when they cover over (conceal) people’s sins with a Band-Aid, treating sin as though it is not serious. They like messages that make them feel good and that never make them uncomfortable. And, so they end up rejecting those who teach the true gospel of salvation. Yet, we should rejoice!

To Be Like Him / An Original Work
March 16, 2014 / Based off Scripture

Crucified you are with Jesus.
To be like Him, oh, you’ll be,
Because He died at Calv’ry,
So from sin you’d be free.
Oh, what joy He brings into your life,
Giving life with Him endlessly.

Oh, what plans He has for your life.
Share the gospel faithfully.
Show the people He loves them.
Now His witness you’ll be.
Tell the world of sin about Jesus,
How He died for them on a tree.

Purifying hearts, He saves them,
Who believe on Christ, God’s Son.
Turning now from their idols,
New lives they have begun.
Jesus saves from sin; we’re forgiven.
Over sin, the vict’ry He won!

When He comes again to take us
To be with Him evermore,
There will be no more crying.
Gladness will be in store.
Heavens joys will now overtake us:
We’ll be with our Lord evermore.