“When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying, “Blessed…” (Matthew 5:1-2).
Jesus is about to give His disciples the keys to the blessed life here. He’s about to describe the qualities of the people who will be blessed. The word blessed means happy, supremely blessed; to be envied, and spiritually prosperous – with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favour and salvation. Does that sound good to you? I would love to be blessed, and God wants me to be blessed.
“3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” This is the first key to living the blessed life. To be poor in spirit means we recognize our spiritual poverty. We need to recognize that we don’t have it all together, and humble ourselves and admit our need for God. This is the attitude that says, “I’m not good enough on my own, I need you Jesus to be my Lord and Savior.” What is the reward of the blessed life? It is not money, power, fame, or worldly success – it is the Kingdom of God!
“4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” What does it mean to mourn? He’s talking about mourning over sin. We need to recognize that God is holy and repent of our sins, and pray, “Father, forgive me, for I have sinned.” What does it mean that we shall be comforted? There is a peace that comes into your heart when you confess and forsake your sins. Nothing compares to the joy of knowing that your sins are forgiven by God. When we confess our sins to God, He has promised to forgive our sins, and to wash us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
“5 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” To be meek speaks of gentleness of spirit, bearing the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. This comes from spending time with Jesus. The more time we spend with Jesus in prayer, the more we become like Him.
“6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” We need to stir up our hunger and thirst for more of God in our lives. One of the reasons we don’t experience the blessed life is because we are so full of worldly things that we don’t hunger after God’s kingdom. We’ve stuffed ourselves so full of the things of the world that there’s no room for a hunger for God. This is one of the reasons why it’s helpful for Christians to fast, to stir up our hunger and passion for more of the Lord.
“7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” This is the principle of theKingdomofGodthat says, “You will receive what you give.” If we give mercy, we’ll receive mercy. If we give forgiveness, we’ll receive forgiveness. This is the principle of reaping and sowing – we will receive what we give.
“8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” To be pure in heart doesn’t mean we don’t ever sin, but when we do sin, we are quick to repent and receive God’s forgiveness.
“9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” The peacemakers called the children of God because Jesus is the Prince of Peace, and our Heavenly Father is the God of Peace. Peacemakers are called God’s children because they are acting like their Father. The Bible says that we are called to pursue peace with all men. Unforgiveness hinders us from receiving the blessings of God.
“10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” When we choose to live right, we will experience persecution. I’m not saying that once we start living our lives according to the Bible that nothing bad will ever happen to us. But no matter what storms or troubles may come in our lives, there will be that inner joy – the joy of the Lord that is our strength.
THE ROAD TO THE BLESSED LIFE:
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.” (Psalm 1:1-3).
God has placed before us the road to the blessed life. You need to choose whether or not you are going to walk on that road. Jesus said that there are two roads before us: “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose the easy way. But the gateway to life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14, nlt). The secret to happiness lies in being on the road to the blessed life. What road are you on?
Robert Frost wrote in his poem The Road Not Taken:
- I shall be telling this with a sigh,
- somewhere ages and ages hence:
- Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
- I took the one less traveled by,
- And that has made all the difference.
You’ve got two choices – two roads that are set before you. The world’s road offers money, fame, power, popularity, illicit sex, drugs and alcohol – as the road to happiness, but the end of that road is destruction. The road less traveled is the narrow road that leads to life… to the blessed life.
The Lord says, “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days.” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20).
When we choose to obey God and His Word, we are choosing to live the blessed life. God has given us so many rich promises in His Word. My prayer for you is that the Lord would help you to experience everything in the abundant, blessed life that He has made available for you. Live the blessed life!
Pastor Chris Jordan
This is a sample chapter from The Beausejour Pulpit.
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