Many mortals chase after so many things thinking that a fulfilling life will be found in those things... those pursuits... those possessions... that power... that position... that reputation.
However, a fulfilling, meaningful life for you as My disciple is found in living for the kingdom of God. To live for this kingdom means that you take the righteous character and gracious compassion of My Father — the values that will be present when the kingdom is fully realized at My return — and put them into practice right now!
What you will hear Me teach below is counterintuitive both to you and to those who want to tell you how to be successful. Very few of your "how to be successful" promoters tell you:
- to be "spiritually poor."
- to "mourn."
- to be "meek and gentle."
- to "hunger and thirst for righteousness."
- to be "merciful."
- to be "pure in heart."
- to be "a peacemaker."
- to allow yourself to be "persecuted because of righteousness."
But I tell you that you are "blessed"
if these characteristics are true of you! In fact, there will be those who take advantage of you for these things; yet I remind you, you are "blessed"
if you have these characteristics and do these things!
Notice that while the crowd is gathered around Me, these words and the words of the remainder of the Sermon on the Mount that follows are for My disciples. The crowd does not understand them. When you are persecuted, ridiculed, called weak, and considered out of touch for living these things, remember that these are the same things that My opponents did to Me for living this way. But also remember how My life was victorious (Philippians 2:5-11)
. My Father will see that your life will matter, that you will be "blessed,"
and that you share in My victory!
There is a time in every person's life when he or she will need to have the blessings of heaven, to be comforted, to have security while on earth, to be shown mercy, to know the Father's intimate presence, and to know that her or his eternal destiny is secure. However, all of these things will be lost to some people. They will have forfeited them by chasing after other things. However, you, dearly beloved who live for the Father's will, will have them all. They will be yours because you live the values of the King.
Remember when I told Peter to fish in a different place, even though he just knew he would not catch fish? But he did it anyway because I asked him to do so. Do you remember what happened? He caught so many fish he couldn't haul them in by himself (Luke 5:1-7)
. So when I call you to live the kingdom lifestyle that is counterintuitive to the world — to live the character and compassion of the Father — then please know I want to bring you more grace than you can ever imagine. I want to bless you with what lasts!
Now when He [Jesus] saw the crowds, He went up on a mountain (as Moses had done before Him) and He sat down (as Jewish teachers of His day usually did). His disciples gathered around Him.
And He began to teach them.
Blessed are the spiritually poor — the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
Blessed are those who mourn — they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek and gentle — they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness — they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful — they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are those who are pure in heart — they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers — they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness — the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
And blessed are you, blessed are all of you, when people persecute you or denigrate you or despise you or tell lies about you on My account. But when this happens, rejoice. Be glad. Remember that God's prophets have been persecuted in the past. And know that in heaven, you have a great reward.
Father in heaven, as Your child, I confess that I see the world telling me to live in a very different way from what I find Jesus teaching in these Beatitudes and the rest of the Sermon on the Mount. I need the help of the Holy Spirit to apply these truths to my life and live them out in ways that reflect Your character and compassion. I ask for this grace in Jesus' name. Amen.