Although Jesus knew He was entering enemy territory, He came to Earth as a peacemaker. Actually, making peace between His Father and mankind possible is the entire reason He came. As one who has accepted God’s generous peace offering, the Bible tells me that I am now to be a peacemaker, literally begging others to make peace with God.
One of the ways that Christ’s followers display His righteousness is by having compassion for others. The mercy and forgiveness we receive from Christ compels us to share the mercy that is in Christ. The righteousness of Christ doesn’t make us superior to people without Jesus. It makes us sensitive to their need and calls us to act in compassion.
Diet and exercise are critical to physical health and maturity. Can you imagine eating just one meal a week and sustaining an active and productive life? You might succeed for a week or two before your energy begins to decrease significantly. Well, our appetite is just as important when it comes to being spiritually healthy.
The third Beatitude, gentleness, is not the absence of anger but the discipline and discernment to be angry over the right things, at the right time, and with the right tone. Those who are gentle rest in the truth that vengeance and victory belong to God.
It’s important to remember that the Beatitudes build on one another. The ability to mourn over personal sin begins with being poor in spirit (Matt. 5:3). When we practice emptying ourselves of things such as self-righteousness, self-sufficiency, and self-indulgence, then we’ll grieve when those sins start to raise their ugly heads.
Last time, we started a series on the Beatitudes from The Sermon on the Mount. We talked about the fact that we are blessed in Jesus Christ. Now we’ll move into the specifics of each blessing, starting with being poor in spirit.
We often confuse being blessed with being happy. Whether we’re happy or not is usually tied to our circumstances, while being blessed is about our relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus began the Sermon on the Mount with the definition of what it means to be blessed according to the promises of God.
In a culture that stereotypes people by groups, we often lose the value of individuals. Scripture teaches us that God values the life of one person just as much as He values the life of all. When Jesus was on the earth, He took time to serve individuals with the same compassion that He served the many.
God wants us to enjoy all that He has generously provided in His Son, Jesus. So why aren’t more of us living in the victory of Christ? It’s almost like the key to the victorious Christian life is a secret. However, God would not tell us to walk in victory and then hide how to do it. The secret is, there is no secret. But there are a few keys to the victorious life that I can share with you.