Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Poor in Spirit --> Mourn --> Meek --> Hunger & Thirst for Righteousness --> Merciful --> Pure in Heart --> Peacemakers --> Persecuted Because of Righteousness

Jesus' opening to the Sermon on the Mount is a beautiful piece of scripture, but is it something more? At first glance it looks like a simple list of some good traits to have, things that we should strive for. If you check a number of different resources, especially study Bibles, this is exactly how they explain what this is. "It is the standard that Christians should strive to meet."
Is there any other place where Jesus tells us to be Poor in Spirit? Anywhere else he tells his followers to mourn? Nope. He brought a message of faith, hope and love. He was criticized for attending too many parties, not for bringing everyone down. This isn't just a collective list - it is a guide. It details a heart path, the way to get where God wants us to be.

It begins with sorrow. John the Baptist preached a message of repentance, so did Jesus. Part of repentance is recognizing that we aren't where we should be. This leads to being Poor in Spirit.

When our Spirits are low, it makes sense to mourn. We weep over the wrongs we have done and the mistakes we have made. Our relationship with God is in shambles and we feel it intensely.

Pride comes before a fall, and meekness comes after we've finally accepted how low we've fallen.

Once we've accepted our place, we can finally focus on what is really important. We want to leave behind the problems that got us in this situation, so we hunger and thirst for righteousness.

Part of this process is compassion. We've seen how bad we could be and we can see others on the path. We show them mercy.

As the hunger for righteousness increases and defines our steps, we become more pure, right down to the core of our heart.

Peace becomes a priority for us, so much so that we are willing to work to make it so.

This is not an easy task, so there will be opposition. This is the fight that Jesus has called us to, this is the reason for our creation. We will be persecuted, we will go against the grain, we will need help to get by.

Here Jesus changes subjects. Now he addresses the Disciples directly. He indicates that they have come through this. Now they are the Salt of the Earth and the Light of the World. We're being prepared, we're being trained and we can't forget that.

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