Be Merciful #314

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. (Matthew 5:7)

The world is a cruel place. Mercy does not cross the mind of the ruthless. But, citizens of the kingdom of heaven measure their actions and reactions toward others with this simple calculation: God has shown mercy to me, therefore, I will be merciful to others. Mercy is compassion put into action. Mercy acts to relieve what is unbearable as it has pity on one who is under a heavy load of sin. As God is moved with compassion and forgives us our debt of sin, we are being prepared to show mercy to others (Matt. 18:27-35). By showing mercy to others we reflect the heart and action of God toward us. If we cannot be merciful to others then we will not be forgiven by God. Be different from the world; be merciful in your treatment of others, as God has been merciful to you.

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Hunger and Thirst #313

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. (Matthew 5:6)

Few of us know what it is to truly hungry. Oh, we know how it feels to crave our next meal, but our desire for food is quickly satisfied. We know what it is to be thirsty, but we may never have experienced its parching pain. As food fills the stomach and water quenches our thirst, righteousness satisfies the soul. By we must choose this righteousness by living a life of faith in God. When we do, the goodness and holiness of righteous living is our constant desire. As we crave righteousness the Lord promises to abundantly supply our needs: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.(Psalm 23:1-3).

The Meek #312

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5)

The Christian’s inheritance is in heaven, so what does Jesus mean when He says the meek “shall inherit the earth” (1 Pet. 1:3-5)? Jesus quotes from Psalm 37:11, where David urged Israel to trust the Lord, fully confident that by doing so they would “delight themselves in the abundance of peace”. To “inherit the earth” is a way of saying God gives abundantly blessings to His people. Yet, only the meek will obtain the abundant spiritual blessings found in Christ (Eph. 1:3). Meekness is not weakness. It is the spiritual composure to be strong in faith while humble before God and men. Moses, who was no shrinking violet, was such a man (Num. 12:3). Be gentle toward others and confident in faith as you rely on the Lord and not yourself. That is the essence of meekness. Be that person and you are blessed by the Lord.

Those Who Mourn #311

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)

Not a few express sorrow for their sin because they get caught. They are sorry for themselves. But, the one who is blessed by God directs his sorrow for his sin toward God and toward others. Toward God, because all sin is against Him. Toward others, because sin also hurts and harms other people. Godly sorrow for sin leads to repentance and God’s forgiveness. This godly sorrow is the mourning Jesus advises and blesses. Ask yourself this question: Am I sad and sorry because of your sin, or am I sad and sorry because you got caught in your sin? How you answer helps you know whether or not God will be bless and comfort you.

Poor in Spirit #310

Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3)

Only by recognizing and acknowledging your spiritual poverty will you possess the kingdom of heaven. Only by relying on God for spiritual healing from sin will you be fortunate and favored (“blessed”). The rule of God’s will in your life must prevail over self-importance and pride. If not, you will prefer to do your will instead of God’s will and miss eternal blessings. Be “poor in spirit” by depending on God to rule your life. Be sustained by Him each day and have heavenly riches.

Certain Treasure #309

17  Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. 18  Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, 19  storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. (1 Timothy 6:17-19)

Wealth presents the temptation to trust in riches instead of God. Jesus repeatedly warned against trusting in riches at the expense of the soul (Matt. 6:19-21; 16:26; Lk. 12:15-21). One is rich in God’s sight who is ready and willing to share with others. You obtain God’s favor by doing good with what you possess. Treasure in heaven are laid up when you use your earthly treasure to help others. Material wealth tempts us to focus on the present. But, using our possessions to “do good” focuses on “the time to come”. Here then is the paradox: By letting go of our earthly possessions in the aid of others we seize eternal life. Trust God and use your treasure to lay up treasure in heaven.

God is our Refuge #308

1  God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. 2  Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; 3  Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. (Psalm 46:1-3)

Whatever trial, trouble and turmoil is in your life, imagine multiplying it a hundredfold. Should the earth shake and in a cataclysmic convulsion the mountains fall into the sea, God is greater, His strength is far stronger  and His protection is ever-present. Now, come back to reality. Whatever you face today, remember God is near. “For He Himself as said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?'” (Heb. 13:5-6) Cast aside fear. God is a faithful refuge for the faithful. Rely on Him and do not fear.