Blessed are those who live through the cycle of the Christian life.
Check out the last post to catch up. Once a person journeys through the cycle of sin and brokenness to healing and righteousness in beatitudes one through four, Jesus describes what the Christian life looks like moving forward. We continue here with blessing number five below.
Verse 7. Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy.
We can only be truly merciful and gracious to others when we first understand true grace. And that grace has a name: Jesus. God in his infinite love for all people (John 3:16) gave his son Jesus as a sacrifice to pay the penalty for our sins so that we could stand in righteousness before him. That is an incredible gift of mercy. We did not deserve it. Yet he loved us all so much to offer it. Once we know that mercy and grace, we must pass it on. In our Christian walk, we experience God's mercy. God extends us mercy. So we must extend it to others. Be merciful to others. Be gracious to others. Love them. Love them in a way which reflects the Father's great love for you.
Verse 8. Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.
Clean. Unstained. Pure. Guiltless. Innocent. Upright. Perfect. Do you call yourself these things? Because that's what it means to be "pure in heart". And the pure in heart are the ones who will see God. Herein lies a perceived problem with beatitudes five through eight. We often look at them and believe we are not accomplishing them, so we may not be blessed. We will discuss that in our next post. But for now consider it this way... The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and your surrendering your life to him makes you pure. If you accepted him as savior, then you do and will see God. Jesus tells us in this verse that as believers in him, we must strive to live in righteousness. We must do our utmost to stay away from sinning. He knows we will fail at times. The good news is that good old phrase... once saved, always saved. Jesus' blood will never stop covering your sins once it has started!
Verse 9. Blessed are the peacemakers for they will see God.
This is not your "flower power stop the wars" kind of peace. The Greek word here refers to a "wholeness". It's a complete wholeness. No gaps. No cracks. Jesus is saying that there is blessing for those who bring wholeness to others' lives. How can you bring wholeness to someone's life? When in doubt what do the little kids shout? JESUS! The peacemaker is someone who carries the good news of Jesus Christ to those who do not believe. The peacemaker is living to declare the name of Jesus!
Verse 10. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of God.
Once a person has come to Jesus as savior and found salvation, they begin living the Christian life. One which strives for mercy and purity. One which claims the name of Jesus and shares Jesus with others. Sharing Jesus with others WILL bring persecution. Paul states in 2 Timothy 3:12 that all who live a godly life in Jesus will be persecuted. Here in the beatitudes, Jesus goes on to say that people will insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all manner of evil towards you because of his name (Matthew 5:11). Living your life for Jesus means persecution. Righteousness means suffering. Bummer. But...
Jesus says that GREAT is our reward in heaven (Matthew 5:12). He knows. He's been there. The reward of heaven far outweighs any persecution or suffering!
For me worshiping God and praising my savior Jesus in heaven for an eternity is quite a reward!
worship Him 24/7...
PS - stay tuned for our wrap up in the beatitudes