5 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (ESV)
As part of the greatest sermon ever preached, Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, He begins by sharing the Beatitudes—statements beginning with “Blessed Are.” “Blessed” means happy, so if you want happiness this is the way to get it. “Blessed” indicates the smile and favor of God on your life. “Blessed” doesn’t mean to be without problems, but to have true happiness. Jesus calls His followers to action, to application. You have to be something before you do something, but you will do something once you are something. People flocked to Jesus, to hear His teachings. On a mountainside, probably in Galilee near Capernaum, Jesus began to teach. “Disciples” in Matthew 5:5 refers to the crowds.
These Beatitudes are all to be present in our lives at all times. This is the way of life for a follower of Jesus. These nine truths and promises are the specific and clear differences between someone who knows Jesus, and someone who doesn’t; a real Christian verses a non-Christian. Only a true follower of Jesus can display these characteristics consistently. This is the way to get the blessing of God. Each of these Beatitudes has promises attached.
Rather than refer to them only as “The Beatitudes,” let’s consider them as “Do” Attitudes, actions that lead to real happiness:
I. Stop Trying to Fix Your Spiritual Issues Outside of Being Broken Before God
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (ESV)
Poor in spirit means you recognize your spiritual bankruptcy. You have nothing to offer God. You cannot fix yourself spiritually, emotionally, ethically, or morally. This begins by confessing that you have sinned against God and there is nothing you can do by your goodness or works that will save you. When you confess your spiritual bankruptcy, God promises His blessing, protection, and provision.
II. Surrender—Invite the Holy Spirit to Convict You and Point out Anything in Your Life That Is Unpleasing to God
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. (ESV)
“Mourn” means a godly grief, a sorrow beyond description, an inner agony, heartbroken. The idea is repenting of your sin and crying out to God for His forgiveness. This is a continuous action of not excusing, denying, justifying, or blaming someone else for your sin. God promises to comfort you, place joy within you, and give you peace. He alone knows how to comfort you.
III. Spirit-Controlled—Turn Your Life Daily Over to the Control of the Holy Spirit
5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. (ESV)
“Meek” or “Gentle” doesn’t mean weak and mild or passive. It is a picture of a strong, wild horse under the control of its owner. This is power under control. This is a picture of being Holy Spirit-controlled or filled. The promise is the Lord will provide everything you need and when you need it. You will have influence and impact, a contagious faith, a winning way.
IV. Seek Holiness, Not Happiness
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. (ESV)
If you seek holiness you will experience happiness; however, if you are simply searching for happiness you won’t find it outside of a relationship with God. “Hunger” and “Thirst” speak of your looking to God alone to meet your physical and spiritual needs. You are constantly seeking Him. “Righteousness” means being right with God, a holy life, not being satisfied with where you are spiritually, and not tolerating failure to grow spiritually. The promise is you will be satisfied in ways that nothing or no one else can give you.
V. Suffering—Suffer with Those Who Are Suffering by Focusing on Meeting Their Needs, Not Yours
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. (ESV)
“Mercy” means caring enough about someone to think about their problems and circumstances and trying to alleviate their pain, putting their needs before your own. This is love in action, compassion in action. Being merciful is extending grace and kindness through your words, actions, and attitudes. You focus on others instead of focusing on yourself. You seek to understand what the person is going through. The promise is when you need mercy, God will make certain someone will be there for you; although it may not be the same person to whom you showed mercy.
VI. Striving—Strive to Sin Less Knowing You Can’t Be Sinless
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (ESV)
“Pure” is where we get the word “catharsis.” It means a cleansing, removing the poison from your system. Here it is ridding yourself of anything that poisons you spiritually. The word “heart” means feelings, thoughts, attitudes, desires, motives, and desires. You confess your sin and receive God’s forgiveness and cleansing. The promise is “…for they shall see God.” You will see God work in your life and circumstances that otherwise you would not have seen.
VII. Sowing—Sow Seeds of Peace, Not Turmoil or Discord
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (ESV)
Peace is not just the absence of conflict; it is the presence of all good things. A peacemaker is one who desires to bring together that which is broken or divided (Precept). A peacemaker must have peace with God through salvation and the peace of God through being in the will of God. The promise is that people will be attracted to, drawn to God and see the credibility of Christianity. You will remind people of Jesus.
VIII. Suffering—Expect Seasons of Suffering
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (ESV)
“Persecuted” means to harass, chase after, or pressure due to one’s faith in God and living out that faith in obvious ways. Godly people will suffer some kind of persecution—verbal, emotional, and/or physical. The promise is that awaiting you in heaven are great rewards given by Jesus Himself. Those rewards will be tangible, and you can lay them at Jesus’ feet to glorify Him.
Wingmen, it’s time for action!