Tuesday, September 19, 2017, 4:47 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Trust Him.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Matthew 5:1-12 (ESV).
Poor in Spirit (vv. 1-6)
Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.
And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Happy or fortunate are we from having received God’s spiritual benefits and provisions to us as a result of his grace to us, by the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross for our sins, and through our believing heart response to Christ’s love and mercy to us. He demonstrated his love to us by dying on the cross for our sins even while we were still dead in our sins, so that we could go free from slavery to sin and have eternal life with God. Amen!
So, what should be our believing heart response to Christ’s love and mercy to us? We should humble ourselves before God with contrite (remorseful) hearts, confessing and repenting (turning away from) our sins. And, we should bow before him in humble submission to his will for our lives, making him Lord (owner-master) of our lives and us his bond-servants (slaves). We should take this attitude that our lives are no longer our own, to be lived how we want, for we were bought back for God with the blood of Jesus Christ, shed on the cross for our sins, so we are to honor God with our lives.
Then, we should no longer live to please ourselves and to gratify the sinful cravings of our flesh, but now our lives should be lived for God, to walk in his ways, his truth, his holiness and his righteousness. In fact, serving God and obeying his will should be top priority in our lives. We should desire our Lord more than anything else, and want to please him in all that we do and say, rather than live our lives to be accepted by others. This means we don’t give God a small portion of our lives or our time or our talents and the rest is ours to do with what we want, but we submit ALL to him to follow him.
Pure in Heart (vv. 7-9)
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Whereas the first section of this writing dealt primarily with our relationship to God, this section deals primarily with our relationships with other human beings. We are blessed of God when we show others his mercy, for mercy will then be shown to us, perhaps in similar circumstances, and in similar ways. To show mercy is to be compassionate, kindhearted, sympathetic, forgiving and benevolent towards others, particularly as they are suffering or are in need. Yet, mercy never entails compromise of faith, tolerance (acceptance) of evil, or placating of (appeasing, pacifying) sin. For instance, it is never kind to lie to people or to withhold from them the truth in order to make them feel good about themselves in their sins.
For, as followers of Jesus Christ, we are to be pure in heart, not only in relationship to God, but in all our attitudes, thinking, desires, affections and actions towards others. To be pure in heart means to be unadulterated (untainted, unmixed) with the world, and with regard to sin, and within our whole being – mind, body and soul. This means that, in all our sympathy, compassion and kindness towards others that we exemplify purity (integrity, honor, decency, goodness, morality, and uprightness) and that we don’t use sympathy as an excuse to engage in sinful acts or to tolerate sin in others.
As well, people often confuse the terms “peacemaking” and “peacekeeping.” They are not one and the same. A peacekeeper is one who tries to keep peace – absence of conflict – at all costs, including the compromise of principle, truth, integrity, personal health and well-being, sanity, true conflict resolution, and sincerity (genuineness) in order to avoid conflict of any kind. This helps no one, it saves no one, and only serves to internalize anger and resentment within the mind and heart of the peacekeeper, and brings nothing to resolution.
Jesus Christ was a peacemaker, not a peacekeeper. He never compromised his faith and integrity for the sake of absence of conflict. In fact, he frequently incited conflict in order to bring about conflict resolution. He took head on the Pharisees and religious leaders of his day. He did not sugar-coat anything with them. He told them the truth about their wickedness and their hypocrisy, and this only angered them more. Yet, he did so because he cared about their sinful condition, and because he was concerned about the people whom they were leading astray, and so he brought these things to the surface so they could be dealt with, so that true peace could come to the hearts of his listeners, which is peace with God, forgiveness of sins, restoration with God, and true fellowship with Jesus Christ. Amen!
Persecuted for Christ (vv. 10-12)
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
When we are poor (humble) in spirit and pure (upright) in heart, in relation to God and in our dealings with others, and when we are Christ-like in being peacemakers, instead of being peacekeepers, we can expect to also be persecuted by those who do compromise with the world, and who do so in order to make “peace” with the world and to be accepted by everyone. For purity of heart and humbleness of spirit before God, and refusal to compromise faith and convictions, is not popular, and is often scorned and derided as being self-righteous, hateful, bigoted, and intolerant of others who are different from us. Yet, although we should be tolerant (patient, sympathetic, gracious and considerate) towards all people, we should never be tolerant (accepting, indulgent or lenient) towards sinful lifestyles.
Yet, when we are being persecuted (mistreated, abused, slandered) for doing what is right, and for standing on the Truth of God’s Word, we should rejoice that we are counted worthy to suffer for the sake of Christ and for his gospel of salvation. For many people will say whatever people want to hear because they want to be liked by them, and they call that being kind, but lies are never kind. Lies send people straight to hell. People may hate and persecute you in this life for telling them the truth of the gospel, but if later they respond positively to that truth, they will thank you in eternity for helping to save their souls and to lead them to eternal life with God.
So, don’t be ashamed of Christ or his gospel, or be afraid of what people might do to you, but keep on sharing the gospel, for many need to hear the truth, and, if not now, later they will thank you for it. So, be bold, be strong, be courageous, and be pure in heart and walk in love, and do not be afraid.
Trust Him / An Original Work
August 15, 2012 / Based off Psalm 27:14
Wait for the Lord; be of courage;
Be strong and take heart today.
Do not fear when foes attack you.
Trust in God always.
He will rescue you in times
Of trouble and distress,
He’ll comfort you in all ways
As you trust Him with your life today.
Trust in Him always.
God is with you; He’ll not leave you.
You can always count on Him.
He will fulfill all He promised
Before you began.
His word teaches you
All that you need for this life.
Let Him lead you. Open your heart;
Let his truth envelope you today.
Listen and obey.
Love your Lord God; follow Jesus.
Repent of your sins today.
Make Him your Lord and your master;
Trust Him and obey.
Follow Him where’er He leads you
In His service; be His witness,
Telling others about Jesus’
Price that He did pay
For your sins always.