Ep.1214: Is God Happy With My Attitude? (Part II)
Learning and applying the grand conclusion of Jesus’ Beatitudes
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Theme Scripture: Matthew 5:1-2
When Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount, he changed everything. All that the people of Israel had ever heard before this was related to the Jewish Law and much of that teaching had been corrupted by their religious leadership. Jesus sat on a hillside teaching his disciples, allowing anyone to listen in who had a mind to hear. For those who did, he unfolded transformational instructions to become his true disciples. The import of the simple statements he began his sermon with, now known as the Beatitudes, is eternal. Last week we began to unpack these Beatitudes and covered the first three of the seven. Here in Part II, we cover the last four. What deep lessons and instructions did Jesus use to describe his own character as a model for ours?
A quick recap...
In Part I of our 2-part series, we labeled what being “blessed” really means. We spoke in detail about “Blessed are the poor in spirit" (humble), “Blessed are those that mourn” (those who grieve) and “Blessed are the meek” (teachable). These three characteristics lay a very solid foundation on which to build a Christian life. The next three, “hungering and thirsting for righteousness” being “merciful” and being “pure in heart” are also steppingstones to a dramatic conclusion. Understanding the progressive nature of these six beatitudes gives us a far deeper appreciation of what Jesus wants us to be.
It is important to realize that appreciating the depth of the Beatitudes unlocks an understanding of the challenges of a Christian life. Each and every experience we have - be it happy or sad, inspiring or crushing - ties into these seven characteristics. The further you go through this list of these Beatitudes, the more difficult it is to apply the character trait.
Beatitude #6 - for the mature Christian
Take the sixth beatitude as an example, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Purity of heart is not something we come to Christ already possessing. As a matter of fact, the exact opposite is true. We come to Jesus because we make mistakes, we say bad things and we act out of pride or jealousy, or anger or selfishness. All of these are symptoms of an impure heart, and we are loaded down with them. We need Jesus because we need forgiveness for our sins. To develop a purer heart is to work at purging out the sinful thoughts, words and actions from our lives. Purity of heart is not a function of mere desire. It is a result of hard work, humility and discipline over a very long time.
Check out our January 24, 2022 podcast “Is God Happy With My Attitude? (Part II) for more. We establish a clear order and connection for all of the Beatitudes. We focus on the last one, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.” We reveal why this particular characteristic of peacemaking is at the top of this profound list. To be a true Christian requires work. Join us and learn how these seven character traits can focus that work to best honor God!