God’s Plan for Man in the Beatitudes
“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 after righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:3-10
I have so much for which to be thankful. God is always looking out for me, and His providential care sustains me. And, I’m so thankful to have friends like you! As always, I appreciate you!
In Matthew 5, we find Jesus’ plan for mankind in the Beatitudes. The Lord wants us to be blessed, and He’s given us the guide to know exactly how to be.
He said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (v.3). Poor in spirit means lowly, submissive, or humble. It’s the opposite of prideful or arrogant. Those who let go of pride and are humble in spirit will have the kingdom of heaven.
When we are lowly in spirit, we see ourselves for who we are without Christ – sinners. The Lord looks favorably on the person who is humble and submissive in spirit (Isa. 66:2). He wants us to humble ourselves in His sight, and then He will lift us up (James 4:10).
Once we humble ourselves and see the sin in our lives, we are blessed if we mourn over that sin. The Lord says that we will be comforted (v.4). And it’s not any type of mourning that He’s mentioning.
People can mourn over anything, but it’s mourning over what God says matters that will make a person blessed. “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death” (2 Cor. 7:10).
Repentance will lead us to seek the Lord in a meek way – that is, gentle and humble. “Seek the Lord, all you meek of the earth, who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the Lord’s anger” (Zeph. 2:3).
The Lord wants us to be meek; He said, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest unto your souls” (Matt. 11:29). And it’s a meek and quiet spirit that is precious in the Lord’s sight (1 Pet. 3:4). Those who are meek are blessed; they will inherit the earth (v. 5).
Then the Lord desires for us to hunger and thirst after righteousness. If we do, we will be filled (v.6). “And Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst'” (John 6:35). We have to seek to be made right with God. And we can only do so through Jesus Christ. He will fill us. But we must first empty ourselves (John 3:30), then we can have streams of living water flowing deep within us (John 7:37).
That righteousness that then fills us will lead us to be merciful; it’s then that we can obtain mercy from God and from others (v. 7). Our Lord said, “Be merciful, just as your Father is also merciful” (Luke 6:36). God is merciful and forgives us (Heb 8:12), so when we extend mercy and forgiveness to others, we will have mercy shown to us, as well. If we don’t forgive others, our heavenly Father won’t forgive us (Matt. 6:15).
And then, we must approach God with a pure heart. Notice James’ admonishment: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:8). God is holy, pure, and righteous, so it’s important that we be, too, when we approach Him.
For “who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully” (Psa. 24:3-4). We are purified by the blood of Christ (Heb. 9:22). And we can only come into contact with His blood through water baptism (Rom. 6:3; Gal 3:27).
After we purify our hearts with the blood of Jesus, we will then have made peace with God for ourselves. But God wants us to become peacemakers for others, too. It’s peacemakers who are blessed and will be called sons of God (v.9). The Lord wants us to bring others to Him so that they can make peace with Him, as well.
We’re commanded to “pursue things which make for peace and things by which one may edify one another” (Rom. 14:19). And we’re to “pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14). The Lord has called us to take the gospel to everyone (Matt. 28:19-20) – even to our enemies (Matt. 5:44-45). Those who do so are sons of the Most High God.
Once we are walking in God’s will, we will be persecuted. Jesus said, “If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20). “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12). But when we are reviled, we bless, and; when we are persecuted, we endure it (1 Cor. 4:12) because God has declared that when we are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, ours is the kingdom of heaven (v. 10).
Are you blessed? Have you followed God’s plan? Have you humbled yourself and recognized the sin in your life? Have you mourned over that sin? Have you sought the righteousness of God with a hunger and thirst that only Christ can quench? Have you been merciful and forgiving toward others? Have you purified your heart in the blood of Jesus Christ? And, are you a peacemaker, bringing others to the Lord to make their peace? If not, make it happen it today.
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