Part of my bible reading today was the beatitudes. For those of you who don’t know, the beatitudes are the blesseds…
- Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
- Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
- Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
- Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
- Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
- Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
As I read the beatitudes I thought, as I always do, how unlike myself they sound. I’m definitely not meek, sometimes I’m not merciful, I don’t know that I always thirst for righteousness in the way I should and that whole clean heart thing… I can be quick to anger, prideful, arrogant, etc. Uh Oh!
I really wanted to understand what Jesus was trying to say here and in the course of my journey to deeper knowledge and understanding I have found that bible.org is a good resource for me. And I’m going to talk about the two ideas that really resonated with me today.
I think the thing that struck me first was the description given for what being blessed means. “An exclamation of the inner joy and peace that comes from being right with God – a happiness that transcends the happenings of the world around you and comes to the soul form being favored by God.” WOW! I want that! I’ve experienced that at moments in my life and it is so amazing, I cry. Every time!
The article moved on to talk about what it really meant to be poor. Poor as in humbling yourself before God. Poor as in being a contrite spirit. Now, not only is that something I can do, that is something I have been trying to do a lot more of. Recognizing that everything I have is a gift given to me by God. The ultimate idea of this, is that we live a life that is in total dependence upon God. I don’t think that means you can sit back on the couch and eat potato chips and rely on God to provide you with what you need. But I do absolutely believe that if work hard at what you do and try and devote yourself and your life to God, he will provide. My son says that’s not fair because I win either way. If something I pray for happens, I give thanks, and if it doesn’t, then it wasn’t meant to be. I don’t know about you, but I’m totally good with the idea of winning regardless of the outcome.
So I said I wasn’t a meek person. Anyone who has met me will absolutely confirm that. So what does Jesus mean blessed are the meek? The article I read stated that meek means “having a spirit of gentleness and self control, free from malice and a condescending spirit”. It also says that these are “fruits of the Spirit – they are produced in the Christian by the Holy Spirit”.
I may not be meek yet, but I can absolutely vouch for the fact that drawing closer to God has changed me as a person. Even my family comment on how much more patient I am. If I feel the tide of jealousy or envy rise up, I immediately send out a prayer and always that feeling is taken away and replaced with gratitude for everything I have and for the love God has given me. I know the Spirit of God is working in me to give me a new heart, a clean heart.
It’s been a few days since I picked a song and I feel like one really gets to the point of what I felt in today’s message. We need to stop being afraid of what we are going to lose when we turn to God. He will give us absolutely everything we need to live a life close to and knowing him, including meekness and a clean heart. And that feeling of being blessed is possible for all of us…all we need to do is just go ‘All In” with God.