This week wraps up our 2014 Bible Reading Plan. I’m so grateful for those of you that have taken this journey with us! I hope that God has stirred your heart with a love for His word and all that the stories of the Bible have to offer us. Next week, we will continue with this plan by jumping back into the Old Testament, but this week we are looking at one of Jesus’ most famous teachings from the Sermon on the Mount called the Beatitudes.
In this passage, Jesus gives a description of “kingdom people”; people who are committed to following Him and making a difference in the world by the way they live their lives. The things that He presents in this are radical and completely opposite from what the world prizes, but with each quality there is a promise of the benefit of living in that way. Let’s take a look at the eight qualities that are laid out here.
Being poor in spirit means to recognize my need for God, knowing that I’m incapable of earning God’s love but am completely dependent on His grace. Mourning is grieving over our sin and the sin of others. Meek means to give control over to God and not rely on myself. Spiritual hunger is wanting to know God and His will more than anything else in my life. Those who are merciful have the ability to share the feelings of others and walk alongside them in their pain. Being pure in heart implies complete honesty with God and others, not pretending to be something that I’m not. Peacemakers work hard at keeping relationships clear and help others to do the same. The persecuted that will be blessed are those that are willing to suffer and stand alone for what they believe, taking criticism without reacting in a negative, defensive way. This is a tall order, but as I stated earlier, each of these qualities has a promise associated with it of blessings for those who can live life this way.
I hope you will join me in taking some time this week to review 2014 in light of these eight qualities. How would you rate yourself in these areas? Which ones would you like to improve in this year?
Director of Small Group Ministry
New Hope Church
703.971.4673 Ex. 108