This Sunday we will be looking at the second half of the beatitudes in Matthew chapter 5 (verses 7-12).
I invite you to sit with the first 12 verses of Matthew chapter 5 this week…
5 When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 And he began to speak and taught them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
As we talked last week, the beatitudes, these blessings, these “if, then” statements are Jesus’ invitation on how to live for the kingdom of heaven while still here on earth.
Here is a video I like talking about the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of earth…
Do you believe these “blessing” statements from Jesus? That might sound like a dumb question. No one is going to disagree with what Jesus says, but…
Do we believe that the way to have the kingdom of God is to be poor in spirit?
Do we believe in order to be comforted; we must mourn?
Do we believe that in order to inherit the earth; we must be meek?
Do we believe that in order to be filled; we must hunger and thirst for righteousness?
Do we believe that in order to receive mercy; we must be merciful?
Do we believe that in order to see God; we must be merciful?
Do we believe that in order to be called children of God; we must be peacemakers?
Do we believe that the way to have the kingdom of God is to be persecuted for the sake of righteousness?
So often we long for the blessing but struggle with the discipline and sacrifice.
Let’s talk about it on Sunday.