June 16th, 2007

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Beatitude Living. Matt. 5:3-12

Saturday, June 16th, 2007

Several times recently as I have been checking out at a store the clerk, typically an African American, has wished me a “blessed day”. I like that. I want that. It would seem to follow that if I really want a blessed day, and a blessed life, then I need to seek to make the Beatitudes an integral part of my character–things which shape what I think and what I do.

*I am spiritual poor. I need to be much closer to my Master.

*I do mourn about my spiritual conditon. I know that God has forgiven me for my sins. I know that I have been born again. But I am not satisified. I do want to be more holy.
*I want to be meek and recognize my dependence upon God, but I often fail to do so. I want to fix things and run off to do them, rather than depending upon God.
*Realizing my spiritual poverty, I long to be righteous, to be just want God wants me to be.
*I still must work on being merciful. I tend to blame those with problems. They “made that bed. Now they can sleep in it.” I do think that I am making some progress here. Certainly, when I fail to be merciful, my conscience punishes me.
*I do try to be a peacemaker. I do not encourage conflict.
*Fortunately, I live and work with people who do not persecute me for my commitment to Jesus. I pray for those who are not so fortunate.

I do have a blessed life. But I need to take those blessing and be a blessing to those whose life is not blessed.

It is of interest to me that Jesus begins this great Sermon with these comments about how one’s life can be blessed and then concludes it with the illustration about the wise and the foolish builders. Could he have been saying to his listeners then and to us today that if we are wise we will built our lives upon him and his teaching; that we will construct it with the materials we find presented in the Beatitudes.

I am also wondering if the teachings in the remainder of the 5th chaper where Jesus looks at some of the laws of Israel, can be best understood by looking at them through the template of the Beatitudes. I will try that as I blog on.