Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Blessed Part Two

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled."

The poor in spirit, those who know God and understand how far they are from His standard of holiness, will inherit the kingdom of heaven. The word inheritance implies that the poor in spirit are heirs, children of the most high God. The first step in being a child of God is to understand who God is and who we are and how far we are from Him on our own. The second step is mourning our separation from the Father. If we understand who God is, who we are and grieve the distance between us the Father will comfort us. We are comforted by the family of fellow believers, the Holy Spirit, a relationship with the Father and His firstborn, Jesus Christ.
Our morning over the separation between us and God should lead to meekness. The dictionary definition of meek is humbly patient, docile, submissive, compliant, gentle or kind. I think we only need to look to our Savior, Jesus, to see an example of meekness. I think many times we equate meekness with not standing up and avoiding confrontation but the example of meekness that Jesus set is somewhat different from this idea. Jesus was at times confrontational (interacting with the Pharisees, throwing the money changers out of the temple) and other times gentle and kind. Jesus was God made man. He had the ability to call down armies of angels and had all the power of the Father but throughout his time on earth he lived a life of sacrifice to others and submission to the Father’s will. He always acted in accordance with God’s will in whatever way was best for everyone involved. I think a better definition of biblical meekness is great power under control. The opposite of meek is stubborn, obstinate and regenerate. If we truly understand who we are and who God is how could we not submit to His will, how could we not be meek? It is also interesting that Jesus said the meek shall inherit the earth. This is so different from the message from the view of the world, particularly in America. The world tells us we have to fight for everything, stubbornly insist on getting what we want and the ends justify the means. As long as I get what I want anything goes, the very opposite of meek.

The next verse tells us “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” So…understanding who we are in light of who God us, mourning the separation, submitting to the will of the Father should lead us to hunger and thirst for righteousness – to close the separation between us and God. The language of this verse is interesting, the verse does not say those who would like to be righteous or those who want to be righteous but those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. Hunger and thirst go beyond wanting; these are needs that must be filled for life to continue. The verse also says those who hunger and thirst will be filled. We can have a seat at the Father’s table. “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
True contentment, being blessed, begins with knowing the Father. Our very life and the life of those around us depend on it. Christ set an example for all us. He came to us, became flesh, and all the temptations and trials that go along with it, and sins. He made the ultimate sacrifice that we might know the Father. I pray that all of us can, in some way, follow this example.

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