What does it mean to be blessed? Am I blessed if I’m healthy, wealthy and all is good in my circumstances? That’s what we’d like to think sometimes, yet Jesus tells us something quite different. This morning I cracked open my Bible and I dug into God’s Word. In Matthew 5 (The Sermon on the Mount), Jesus tells me when I am blessed. These are words that I have read so many times and this morning they hit me with such richness and such power! I have been sitting in the first 6 verses, chewing away….
1Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.
2And he opened his mouth 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 shall be comforted. 5“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
I shared before about the season of drought & emptiness that I have been experiencing. God has been so completely faithful. I continue to be amazed at His wonder and His complete and total faithfulness to His children no matter what! As I have allowed the process instead of fighting it, I have experienced God in those deep places in my heart that I have so longed for. I want to share several things that spoke to me this morning as I studied that seem to reiterate the truths that God continues to teach me. I obviously need them over & over and He is faithful to deliver! “The Sermon on the Mount is not a set of rules and regulations, it is picture of the life we will live when the Holy Spirit is having His unhindered way with us.” O. Chambers. My prayer has been one of surrender and abandon to the Lord. Laying everything down, telling Him to have His way with me. I am empty & I need Him! Surrender is a place of amazing freedom! Surrender is the place of blessing!
There were crowds of people that followed Jesus to hear what he would say. His teaching and ministry impressed them, but they were not committed to Him. Jesus went away from the crowds and his disciples came to him. Disciples are learners. They are those who truly long to know Jesus, not just those who are impressed with his words. They sought after Jesus. They followed him. They pressed in and they went to Him. They listened to what He had to say. Their hearts were open to him and Jesus taught them. They were hungry and He fed them.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” The poor in spirit are simply those who recognize they are in need of God’s help. We know we are nothing and can do nothing without him. The Message says, “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.” In other words, when I am completely empty and at the end of myself, there is more room for God to rule in my life! I am blessed when I am empty!
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” My sin leads me to a place of depletion, desolation and loss. It leads me to a place of spiritual and emotional bankruptcy; I mourn what my sin has caused. “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.” (The Message) I long for God’s forgiveness and healing to touch my heart and life. I long for HIM! “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret…” (2 Corinthians 7:10a) My grief over my sin leads me to repentance. My repentance leads me back to God and He embraces me there with His Comfort. I am blessed when I mourn!
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” The meek are those that are gentle, that “do not assert themselves over others in order to further their own agendas in their own strength, but who will nonetheless inherit the earth because they trust in God to direct the outcome of events.”1 The Message says it this way, “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.” When I am not trying to further MY own agenda in God’s name, but I trust God with the outcome of my life, I find peace in His presence and His provision for my life. “The meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace.” (Psalm 37:11) I am blessed when I am meek!
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” When I stop chasing the cravings of my flesh and looking for the things of this world to satisfy me and seek after the One who truly can satisfy me, I will be filled up! What is it to hunger & thirst for righteousness? It is for my soul to hunger, to desire a right relationship with God. I want my life to be in total agreement with God’s standards for my life. I recognize that God is the ultimate source of real righteousness, so I long for his righteous character to be evident in my life. Then, in relationship with Him, I find my deepest satisfaction. He fills every desire of my longing heart. “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.” (The Message). I am blessed when I hunger and thirst for a right relationship with God!
We seek fulfillment in so many ways in our human flesh, yet God’s Word is so clear that we only truly find fulfillment, satisfaction, deep joy and happiness when we seek Him above all things! In Him we are truly Blessed! He is faithful beyond measure! His Word never fails!
1 English Standard Version Study Bible