Wikipedia – The beatitudes are nine blessings recounted in the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew. The term beatitude comes from the Latin noun beatitudo which means “happiness.” Here they are:
- Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. (5:3)
- Blessed are those who mourn: for they will be comforted. (5:4)
- Blessed are the meek: for they will inherit the earth. (5:5)
- Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they will be filled. (5:6)
- Blessed are the merciful: for they will be shown mercy. (5:7)
- Blessed are the pure in heart: for they will see God. (5:8)
- Blessed are the peacemakers: for they will be called children of God. (5:9)
- Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (5:10)
- Blessed are those when men shall revile you and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my name sake
- The Be- Attitudes the way I understand them:
- 1. Be humble/ do not have spiritual pride
- 2. Be mournful over my sin
- 3. Be gentle and quiet
- 4. Be hungering and thirsting for right standing with God
- 5. Be merciful, have mercy toward others
- 6. Be pure in heart, have right motives and do things from the right motives
- 7. Be a peacemaker, making peace instead of chaos where ever I go
- 8. Be persecuted for Jesus’ name sake, because you have right standing with God
- 9. Be ready to accept persecution and all manner of evil against you falsely because of your relationship with Jesus
- What I am getting from this is that Jesus was telling us a path to blessings and happiness. Ann calls it upside down because it’s the opposite of what the world teaches. God’s kingdom is not of this world and if we want to enter it and be a part of it we have to be the opposite of this world. True happiness and joy lie in the boundaries that God and Jesus have set. The ten commandments give us boundaries and a code to live by. These beatitudes from Jesus give us further instruction about the way to get to God’s Kingdom.
I have written extensively on being thankful and how this is the key to everything. I don’t really have a lot of views and probably no one will read this but I’m only writing to document my journey for myself. If someone is reading this I hope it helps open your spiritual eyes not by reading what I have written but by getting the book I am talking about and applying it to your life. I just happened across a book called The Forgotten Way by Ted Dekker. He mentions so much in his writings on his website that go along with what I have written except he has figured out where it all goes like putting the pieces of a puzzle together. Ann Voskamp helped me to be thankful and be aware of God’s continual gifts to me. Ted Dekker has reminded me of who I am, a daughter of the Almighty God and because of this awakening I am continually experiencing God’s love. This book is a meditation book of 21 days and I got the study guide also which I recommend. Two of the meditations had me in tears of joy! I can’t put into words how this book works but it does work. I would read one a day and think about it through the day. Gradually I felt a shift in my perspective. That is what it’s all about, changing your perspective. Since I have a problem experiencing love these meditations were just what I needed. Just like Ted says we forget almost every moment about God and His love for us. This is what causes us to feel separated from God. Even though we are never apart from Him we feel like we are because we block His presence ourselves. The book helps you remove the blockage. It is an ongoing process and something I have come to realize is God’s love is so powerful and beautiful that our human side almost can’t take it all in all the time because it’s so good and beautiful. It’s hard to explain but this book helps you see from your heart, like I have written about before. Ted also talks about being thankful but stresses that heaven and the kingdom of God is love. When we love we are experiencing heaven on earth and when we love we are furthering God’s kingdom. It’s that simple. Just like in the movie Ghost, Patrick Swayze said, ” The love inside, you take it with you.” To love is all that matters.
I learned a few years ago in the beginning of my relationship with Jesus, that all selfish thoughts, words and actions lead to sin. Jesus said all we have to do is love God and love others. I had a revelation about the scripture in John 12:24 almost a year ago.
John 12:24, 24 I assure you and most solemnly say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone [just one grain, never more]. But if it dies, it produces much grain and yields a harvest.
I didn’t understand this for awhile but now I do. What I have observed about this scripture is if I sit and do nothing or only serve myself, I am alone. I have to die to self to produce a harvest. In other words, give myself away to others. This is what makes the circle complete. We have a relationship with Jesus then share His love that we receive with others and we are complete. If I go and serve Jesus and others, I bear fruit and bring in a harvest. Put Jesus first in my life and people second. Serve the people God has placed in my life. It isn’t complicated, just pay attention to who is in front of me.
I pray to not be selfish and for God to help me serve Him with my worship and to help me serve others. I pray to not have the ” what about me” mentality and to meditate on the Word and to be able to do the Word. I confess that I will not be alone! I will die to self and serve others to gain a harvest for His Kingdom!
The scripture is Matthew 5:21-26 and it’s talking about never to be angry with anyone because the judgement on anger is the same as the judgement on murder. Jesus says to make peace with everyone.
Ann Voskamp says: Today I will fast from wrath and anger because anger is often just the costume of fear.
This line “anger is often the costume of fear” stands out to me. I know in myself that I would get angry a lot when my kids were little because I feared whatever was happening. I didn’t want them to feel pain or sadness. I’ve always tried to prevent it. I would get angry when they got hurt, that may sound crazy and for a long time I tried to understand why that was happening. After I got saved I realized it wasn’t the kids that made me angry, it was the sin. This is the same for God toward us. With my kids I see where I was in fear of them getting hurt when they were rough housing or playing outside. The fear drove me to anger when the inevitable happened. I was angry that they had to experience pain or sadness. But I learned that in order to appreciate the good and happy times we have to experience painful times. Even though seeing them hurt makes my heart hurt, it’s helping them. Ann said in her book The Greatest Gift, that God doesn’t allow a trial without a gift. God uses hard things to grow us up spiritually. He takes everything in our life and turns it into glory, His glory. Nothing is wasted in God’s Kingdom. God has a plan where the world will one day be without pain, suffering and sadness. I have yearned for this new world in my soul already and didn’t even know it until I had children of my own. So as long as I live I will strive to bring peace and goodness to the world and not anger and violence. Peace is kingdom living right here, right now.