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Beattitudes

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Establish a Need
Many people seek the “good life.”Many think that if they get a good education, find a spouse and get married, buy a house and build a family, along with a nice car or two, that they have reached the pinnacle of success.
But is this how Jesus defines the “good life?” What if our idea(s) of success are completely wrong?
Today begins our journey into the meaning of the Beatitudes. For the next 3 weeks, we will consider the meaning of 1. poor in spirit, 2. those who mourn, 3. the meek, 4. those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, 5. the merciful, 6. the pure in heart, 7. the peacemakers, 8. those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, and 9. those who are falsely accused.
Today begins our journey into the meaning of the Beatitudes. For the next 3 weeks, we will consider the meaning of the 1. poor in spirit, 2. those who mourn, 3. the meek, 4. those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, 5. the merciful, 6. the pure in heart, 7. the peacemakers, 8. those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, and 9. those who are falsely accused.
We have been hired to do a particular job, but after a while, we tire of it and want to be able to run
Background
When I was an E-4, I wanted something simple. I wanted to be able to wake myself up in the morning. I didn’t want the CG banging on my door every morning.

Challenge Question

In , we are told that Jesus was tempted by the devil in the wilderness. Shortly afterwards, Jesus began His ministry and called his first disciples, Simon and Andrew, then James and John, who, as it turns out, were all fishermen (blue-collar workers). Jesus began to proclaim the gospel and healed diseases, and the crowds were amazed at His healing touch of so many.

Background

begins by acknowledging the crowds, with His disciples coming to Him.

(ESV) “And he opened his mouth and taught them saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (underlining added).

Prayer

Who are the “Blessed?”

The term, “Blessed,” means “Happy / Fortunate” and refers to one who is “highly favored by divine grace”

1. “Blessed are the poor in spirit

So, happy are those who are poor in spirit
Happy infers something more than just a state of present being, it refers to a contentment based also on what is to come later
But, what does it mean to be poor in spirit?
The NLT puts it this way, “God blesses those who are poor and [listen...] realize their need for Him...
So, in a progressive way, we must first humble ourselves before we can accept Jesus as Savior. Right?
We must all come to a place where we realize that, according to (NLT) “We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags . . .
Isaiah 64:6 (NLT) “
In other words, we come to Jesus empty, desperate for His grace and mercy, for we know, that apart from His intervention in our lives, we . . . are . . . hopeless!
But the good news is this . . .
(ESV) “. . . he adorns the humble with salvation.
(ESV) “. . . to the humble he gives favor.”
(ESV) “But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.”
(ESV) “God opposes the proud, but gives grace [unmerited favor] to the humble.”
(ESV) “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”
(ESV) “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God . . .
Blessed indeed are those who are poor in spirit—those who realize their need for Him—those who recognize their “total spiritual bankruptcy” (MacArthur, J. 1985. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: , p.157. Chicago: Moody Publishers).
To those who do, God grants the kingdom of heaven.

2. “Blessed are those who mourn

Happy are those who mourn/who feel grief or sorrow over their emptiness
Happy, again, refers to contentment based not only on the present, but on the future as well
The Greek word for mourn “represents the deepest, most heart-felt grief, and was generally reserved for grieving over the death of a loved one” (MacArthur, J. 1985. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: , p.157. Chicago: Moody Publishers).
This recognition of our emptiness causes us to mourn over our spiritual poverty
This recognition of our emptiness causes us to mourn over our state of being
Humility causes us to see ourselves for who we really are;
Humility causes us to see ourselves for who we really are;
Humility causes us to see ourselves for who we really are;
Humility causes us to see ourselves for who we really are;
This drives us to the place where we recognize our need for Jesus
We commit our lives to Him
This awareness causes us to mourn over our condition
AND, genuine grief causes God to move in our direction to bring comfort to us—in a way that only He can
Blessing “does not come from the mourning itself,” but from the comfort that God provides (MacArthur, J. 1985. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: , p.158. Chicago: Moody Publishers).
In other words, blessed are those who mourn deeply for their spiritual poverty, for this is when God brings comfort to us.

3. “Blessed are the meek”

Happy are the gentle/mild/humble
Again, happy not just in the present, but also in the time to come
When Jesus said that blessed/happy/content are the meek, it must have been mind numbing to those who listened, since they were expecting a king/kingdom that would come in power, not promote meekness, both in the Savior and in His followers (MacArthur, J. 1985. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: , p.169 Chicago: Moody Publishers).
To some, meekness is equated with weakness, but as John MacArthur states, meekness is “power put under control . . . [and] uses its resources appropriately” (MacArthur, J. 1985. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: , p.171. Chicago: Moody Publishers).
The idea is that being meek requires more strength than simply battling it out to achieve one’s own vengeance on enemies.
“It’s courage, its strength, its conviction, and its pleasantness come from God, not from self” (MacArthur, J. 1985. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: , p.171. Chicago: Moody Publishers).
(ESV) Abraham gave Lot the first choice of land, though he was later told by God that all the land would be his.
Abraham, in meekness, though he was the elder over Lot, still “gladly waived his rights and laid aside his power” (MacArthur, J. 1985. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: , p.1172. Chicago: Moody Publishers).
Joseph, after being sold into slavery by his brothers in , pardoned them of their sin in , though he had the power and right to judge them—even harshly, but he chose to let God God judge, while he offered forgiveness and help to his family.
, David, when he had the chance to seek revenge/vengeance on Saul in the cave, responded meekly—power under control—when even his men were encouraging him to take Saul’s life then and there.
David realized this truth and wrote in (ESV) “. . . the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace.”
Happy are those who are meek and use their power or influence wisely. These are those who will inherit the earth.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, those who mourn, and those who are meek, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, they shall be comforted, and they shall inherit the earth.

So what?

If we desire to live the good life, it will not come by our own means, but by the hand of God, as we follow His plan for our lives.
Happy are those who truly understand the depth of their sin, who grieve over it, and who use whatever power they have been given by God to bless others, instead of exacting vengeance on our enemies.

Closing Prayer

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