For many people, gentleness is equated with weakness. We struggle with not wanting to be seen as “weak” in life – fearful of being taken advantage of. Our pride pushes us to desire to be “strong” in life. One of the most difficult character traits to comprehend in life is the power of the gentleness of Christ for our lives. We will be reminded this morning Jesus does not need to fight the world – He created it and holds it in His hand. Our promise from God this morning is we can lay aside all the bravado in life and live with the same passionate, gentleness of Jesus, confident there is no power in life that can stand against Jesus, and of our eternal inheritance through our faith in Him.
Those Who Mourn
Mourning, as an expression of grief for the losses we suffer in life, is an inevitable part of our world. In biblical times, however, mourning frequently referred to grief for their failure, individually and/or collectively, to live as God would have them live. It was a sorrow for their sins. Jesus is encouraging us this morning that the heaviness of our sins that weigh us down will be replaced by the comfort that comes from Jesus having paid the penalty for our sins, as we learn to bring our sins to His cross and find God’s forgiveness in Jesus.
The Poor in Spirit
Poverty is something in this world that people seek to avoid. Yet, Jesus tells us those who are “spiritually” bankrupt are “blessed”. Spiritual poverty leads us to recognize that, apart from Jesus, we are destined for eternal death and suffering. Spiritual poverty leads us to desire the life that only faith in Jesus can bring; it leads us to worship our God Who brings us new life in Jesus; and it leads us to live focused on the assurance of our eternal Kingdom, instead of the things of our broken world.
The gospels of Matthew and Mark both record at the outset of His earthly ministry, Jesus declared “the kingdom of heaven” is at hand. As followers of Jesus, we are no longer citizens of the world; we belong to the Kingdom of God. An understanding of what that involves will help us to focus on the character qualities Jesus describes we possess, as citizens of God’s Kingdom, in the beatitudes. Join us this morning as we consider what it means to be a citizen of God’s Kingdom.
To Be Blessed
The word “blessed” in worldly terms is typically tied to a present state of personal satisfaction with life – often material possessions or personal heath. “Blessed” in the context of Scripture however, is heavenly oriented and God ordained. The blessings of God are realized as we learn to live out our calling in Jesus through the character traits that the Holy Spirit leads us into as new creations in Jesus. Join us this morning as we hear from God’s Word what it means to be “blessed” by Jesus.