Friday, June 10, 2011

The Beautitudes: Blessedness

In each of these first eleven verses Jesus used the word “blessed.” It was a powerful word to the people who were listening to Jesus. It meant “divine joy and perfect happiness.”
* It is the kind of inner satisfaction and sufficiency that God experiences.

* It is the kind of serene, untouchable, self-contained joy that stays the same, regardless of what’s happening around you.

Happiness can disappear in an instant, can’t it, when something awful happens. But no one can shake the joy of blessedness.

Notice that verse one and verse eleven end with the phrase “theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” The Kingdom of Heaven has several meanings to it.
* One day it is going to be a visible reality when Jesus returns to establish His physical realm on earth.

* Today it is a spiritual reality within every believer that Christ has come to make His home in their inner person, as Savior and as Lord.

* In another sense, the Kingdom is that realm where Christ is recognized as king. In the Kingdom of Heaven citizens are continuously loved, inside and out. That’s what we always want, deep down, and what we regularly fail to do, here on earth.

The angels have always lived in the Kingdom of Heaven, that’s why they cry “Holy” and glorify God. But for believers, the closest we get to experiencing the Kingdom of Heaven in our world right now --> is when we gather together to worship God, fellowship and study His word, when we devote ourselves to a local body of believers by becoming a member of a church.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:3)
Imagine how quiet everyone must have gotten when Jesus said this. Jesus was saying “Oh how delighted and joyful are people whose spirits are in abject poverty, who are beaten to their knees in spiritual destitution, so desperate they are beyond downtrodden and oppressed.”

How could that be? Because they are poor enough to qualify as citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven. They know they have no earthly resources whatsoever. They are so humbled and helpless that they put their whole trust in God.

* What’s your assessment of yourself right now? Do you feel like you have a lot of resources left, or have you come to the end of yourself?

“Oh how serene and joyful, how deeply satisfied is the person who realizes their utter helplessness and puts their whole trust in God, because they will have the Kingdom of Heaven.”
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." (Matthew5:4)
This is the strongest word possible for mourning. This is passionate lament, heart wrenching grief and sorrow over indescribable loss, or terrible sorrow -- over sin, your sin, others' sin, the sin in this world.

You care deeply. Your heart aches. Your tears flow. The more you hurt, the more you need compassion and comfort, and the more you are able to receive comfort from God.

The Lord has a limitless supply of comfort, that’s why the Bible says He lavishes His love, because there is so much love we just can’t absorb it all, we can’t carry it all, God fills us to overflowing, so His love splashes out and all over.

* Does your pain go deep, and have you been hurting a long time? There is comfort for you.

* When was the last time you got quiet with the Lord and began confessing all those little sins you’ve been hiding even from yourself?

Let God help you care about it, help you sorrow over those sins. God’s comfort brings a deep satisfaction and awareness of being forgiven, of having a fresh start with God, and real hope of becoming truly beautiful.

“Oh how serene and joyful, how deeply comforted is the person who is desperately sad, or desperately sorry, or whose heart is broken, because God has profound comfort for that person.”

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