One of Jesus’ most influential sermons, taught on a mountainside to a pressing crowd, is recorded in Matthew chapter five. Speaking to a people submerged in a culture saturated with deception, immorality, and friction, Jesus’s seemingly antagonistic wisdom set an ageless standard. Knowing the source of the struggle to be the war against principalities, powers, and spiritual wickedness, He gave keys to success, found in the attitudes of the spirit:
Verse 3 – “Blessed are the poor in spirit…”
An attitude of humility: We are fallen humanity, and He is a Holy God. Our righteousness is as filthy rags, but under His authority, we find grace. As David wrote in Psalm 51: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart O God thou wilt not despise.”
Verse 4 – “Blessed are those who mourn…”
An attitude of repentance: A Godly sorrow that “worketh repentance to salvation.” (II Corinthians 7:10) I must die daily.
Verse 5 – “Blessed are the meek…”
An attitude of submission: a soft spirit that is trusting of God’s leading. An attitude of submission opens doors of opportunity.
Verse 6 – “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness…”
An attitude of desire: seeking a refreshing of virtue daily. Our path is fueled by the things that we consume.
Verse 7 – “Blessed are the merciful…”
An attitude of compassion: a spirit of giving. Solomon wrote: “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed because his compassions fail not.” (Lamentations 3:22) Jesus was so often moved by compassion towards the multitudes; He bled compassion.
Verse 8 – “Blessed are the pure in heart…”
An attitude of holiness: the keeping of an undefiled and clean vessel. Holiness is the consecration that sets apart.
Verse 9 – “Blessed are the peacemakers…”
An attitude of peace: promoting love. Proverbs likens contention to the bars of a castle, a product of pride.
Verse 10 – “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness…”
An attitude of boldness: a refusal to be defiled. The three Hebrews put it this way: “…Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us…out of Thine hand, O king. But if not…we will not serve thy gods…” (Daniel 3:17-18)
The world will always seek its answers in possession and fame -and always- the reward is emptiness and longing. Jesus calls us to go against the cultural grain, and the reward is found in contentment, fulfillment, and the promise of eternity.
A proud North Dakotan, Maryssa enjoys good books, the outdoors, coffee, and furry four-legged company. She’s excited for what God is doing in her community, city, and state.