Monday, August 8, 2022
By Wade Smith, Location Pastor
1 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
I think we can all agree that everyone has an opinion or expectation on how life should go and how it should be lived. I would imagine, if we got several people in one room and allowed them to share their thoughts and feelings, we would walk away with multiple opinions. Sure, there may be some similarities, but there would also be different thoughts and beliefs, as well.
As I read through the first few verses in Matthew 5, I began reflecting on these thoughts. While we all have our own feelings, opinions, and beliefs about how life should go and be lived, we ultimately need to listen to the words of Jesus and allow them to determine how we live. As we look at Jesus’ way, to be completely transparent, it feels a little upside down. It feels backwards. In some ways, it even feels the polar opposite of how we are being told we should strive to live in today’s world.
In today’s passage, Jesus notices a crowd gathering around him. So Jesus climbs up on a mountainside, sits down, and begins to teach the crowd a new way to live. He starts off by using the word “BLESSED.” Think of the word blessed to mean happy, fulfilled, or flourishing. Jesus is explaining that while the world may tell you to live a certain way, he actually offers a better way to live and, by doing so, you will be happy and fulfilled.
Jesus goes on to say…
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (v. 3)
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (v. 4)
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” (v. 5)
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (v. 6)
Several Sundays ago, Scotty led us through these same verses and explained them in a simple and easy to understand way. I think it’s important to go back to those as a reminder of what Jesus is expressing in today’s world. He said…
“Happy are those who recognize and realize their need for God.”
“Happy are those whose heart breaks over their sin.”
“Happy are those who surrender their strength to God.”
“Happy are those who are hungry for God and hand out mercy.”
Ultimately, while this may feel like an upside down way to live, it’s honestly the best way to live. And by doing so, we will be blessed, happy, and fulfilled. It’s completely contradictory to how culture tells us to live, but it’s the only way that leads to true contentment. I don’t know about you, but this is the life I want to live, and I hope you do also. Be blessed!
“God, thank you for making it possible for me to be in a relationship with you and for giving me a model to follow as I strive to become more like you. Help me live my life in such a way that reflects you, glorifies you, and is a blessing to others. I ask this in your precious name. Amen.”
Daily Prayer Initiatives
- Jesus to change more lives as we double the square footage of our Castle Pines location.
- Momentum as we launch our Highlands Ranch location.
- Someone you can invite to Journey on Friend Day (Sunday, September 11)
- One bold prayer you sense God is personally inviting you to pray during the 21 Days.
Get to a place where you can focus and read the daily Scripture passage several times. From the passage of Scripture you read, highlight one or two verses that stick out. Write them down, and even consider rewriting the verse(s) in your own words.
Make some basic observations about the scripture you just read by asking these questions:
- Why was this written?
- To whom was it originally written?
- What is the author trying to communicate?
- What does the Scripture passage teach me about God and humanity?
After taking some time explaining the highlighted scriptures, begin to think about how they apply to your life. Ask yourself these questions and spend some time writing down your thoughts:
- What do these verses mean today?
- What does this verse(s) mean for my life?
- How does this verse challenge my thinking and actions?
- What changes do I need to make in my life as a result of this passage of Scripture?
Your response to the passage may take on many forms. You may write a call to action. You may describe how you will be different because of what God has said to you through the Bible verses. You may indicate what you are going to do because of what you learned. You may respond by writing out a prayer to God. For example, you may ask God to help you to be more loving, or to give you a desire to be more generous in your giving. Keep in mind that this is your response to what you have just read.