The Beatitudes

The Holy Bible is full of stories and wisdom teaching us life lessons. But possibly the most comprehensive and condensed passage is the sermon on the mount. In just 3 chapters, Jesus, God himself, personified, tells us all that we need to live a peaceful and fulfilling life.    

Starting at the beginning of Matthew chapter 5, we are taught many of God’s promises in the Beatitudes (Matt 5: 3-12). We learn the promise of the kingdom of heaven (Matt 5:3), the promise of the Lord’s comfort (Matt 5:4), the promise of the fulfillment of righteousness (Matt 5:6), mercy (Matt 5:7), and our rewards in heaven (Matt 5:11). All of this, straight from the mouth of God himself.

Why would we not listen and believe these things He has said? He tells us that we “are the salt of the earth” (Matt 5:13). So then, as salt improves the flavor of food, so should we improve the “flavor” of the world.

You are the light of the world.” (Matt 5:14). As believers we should be shining our lights ahead on the way through the “narrow path” (Matt 7:13) so that others may follow us and we need to lead by example. The narrow path is more difficult because it takes concentration and focus to aim ourselves in the right direction to get through it. The wide path is easy to find and easy to pass through, so many people find their way to it. It is not easy to find and follow the narrow path (Matt 7:14), so we should shine our lights (living by example) so that other can see, learn and follow behind us. As believers, we should be leading the way to the kingdom of heaven and righteousness and peace here on earth.

God’s Love for Us

God loves us and He wants us to love Him as well. But how can you love something and/or someone we have never seen? The Bible, God’s Word, tells us how. If we study “InTouch’s” Life Principle number one, it teaches the following: “Our intimacy with God – His highest priority for our lives – determines the impact for our lives”. God seeks fellowship with us which is why He created us the way He did (Gen 1:26). But to experience God’s best for us, we need to surrender to Him, completely. If you’re holding something back in your life from God, you are not getting His best for yourself. (Eccl 2:24-26), (Song 5:16)

Genesis 1:26 tells us God made man in His own image and then gave man rule over all things on the earth. In return, He wants our service and worship to be fruitful and effective. But often times we resist and move away from God’s will for or lives. Why? All too often it is out of greed and pride. Our world has become a world of instant gratification. We want what we want and we want it now. (Psalm 27:14) Also, pride makes many people feel like they can do better for themselves than God can. Still others believed that God is vengeful and if they give God control, He will do things that will make them miserable.

A friend once argued with me that God is not righteous.  His example depicted a young child suffering and dying from cancer.  I tried to show how this is, in some way, a blessing.  Well, I failed.  Recently a pastor friend taught me this philosophy:  “I have given eulogies for 90-year-olds as well as 4-year-olds.  Consider each life as only a single drop of water in all the oceans of the world, as compared to eternity”.

God does not make bad things happen – they happen mostly as consequences from sin. He will allow some bad things to happen and most often, good will come from it (Rom 8:28), but we need to remember two very important things:

          • God is omnipotent, in control
          • We have something call Free Choice

We can easily step out of God’s will by using this free choice, but there will be consequences.

So the next time you feel like God is punishing you, remember God loves us and has the best for us within His will. Then, ask yourself: Have I stepped out of God’s will for my life and are simply suffering consequences from my own choices? If you contemplate your situation and pray about it, the answer will become clear. (Matt 7:7)

God has given each and every one of us His greatest gift of all time (John 3:16). “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:3)