Sharing above link on a previous discussion about the first point in the Lord’s Beatitudes about being poor in the spirit.
Matthew 5:3 (KJV)
Blessed [are] the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The Lord is saying in simple terms what the Apostle Paul expounded in
1 Corinthians 1:27-28 (KJV)
But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, [yea], and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are.
Simply put, God is pro-poor and lowly.
While the natural man seeks wealth and honor, God seeks the needy who will be humble enough to admit to his needs and depend on the Lord’s daily grace and provision.
Thoughts to ponder:
•Am I humble enough to depend on Him daily? Or do I actively pursue self-reliance?
•Do I care for the poor and the needy in the small ways I can? Or have I grown apathetic out of distrust?
•Do I exert effort to put human touch to exercise compassion? Or do I appease my conscience by just giving out some money?
From today’s reading, my attention was driven to what causes this mourning?
Jesus mourned for Jerusalem’s impending doom in,
Luke 19:41 (KJV)
And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it.
Just as the Lord mourned for Jerusalem’s fall, Christians ought to feel sorrow for the lost people we meet.
And just as the Lord anticipates future consolation for His substitutionary sacrifice (Heb.12:2, KJV), Christ promises comforting for those who mourn and pray for the lost.
Thoughts to ponder:
•Do we mourn for the lost souls around us? Or, are we too distracted in this world to care?
•Do we experience joy for a sinner’s conversion? Or, are we too amused by worldly entertainment to take notice?
•Do we pray to the Lord of the harvest to send us as His co-laborers in His field? Or, are we enjoying the Spirit’s comfort so much we do not care for other’s spiritual need?
Matthew 5:5 (KJV)
Blessed [are] the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Luke 6:24 (KJV) But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.
If by the meek we mean to say weak and lowly, the combined thoughts from the above verses remind me of Abraham’s words in the Story of the Rich Man and Lazarus,
Luke 16:25 (KJV) But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
Again, the Lord giving considerable grace to the poor.
On the other hand, if meekness is to be viewed as strength as in,
Numbers 12:3 (KJV)
(Now the man Moses [was] very meek, above all the men which [were] upon the face of the earth.)
Matthew 11:29a (KJV)
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart.
Then we can learn that calm submission to God’s direction is greatly rewarded.
Thoughts to ponder:
•Do you humbly submit to God’s known will? Or, do you assert your own way of doing things?
•Have you experienced attaining a desirable end through dishonest means? (Ex.: Resulting to “white lies” than suffer the consequences of an “ugly truth”.)
•Is patience really a virtue? Or immediate gratification is more satisfying than waiting?
1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (ESV)
The love and humility of Christ is so deeply moving. Yet the challenge of Philippians 2:3-4 can be an exceedingly difficult one at times. It is helpful to remember how richly Jesus has been glorified through His humble submission and obedience to the Father. And that, if with Christ we have died to the world (Col. 2:20) and been raised from the dead (Col. 3:1) when He appears, we too will appear with Him in glory (Col. 3:4)!
So, when I am tempted in situations like these
It has helped me to remember that my reward and my value lies in Christ and not with men.
Matthew 5:6 (KJV)
Blessed [are] they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Luke 6:21a,25a (KJV)
Blessed [are ye] that hunger now: for ye shall be filled.
Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger.
The fourth blessing seemingly corresponds to Christ’s fourth of His seven last words on the cross…
John 19:28 (KJV)
After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.
Jesus experienced the kind of thirst which will only be quenched at His marriage supper (Mt.26:29) when His Bride, the Church, will be united with Him dressed in holiness (Rev.19:7-9)—the consummation of His sacrificial love for the redeemed sinners.
Thoughts to ponder:
•Do we long to be satisfied by God’s communion? To be in God’s presence? (Psa.42:1,2; 63:1)
•Do we fast to somehow detach ourselves from physical pleasures and be more in tuned with the need for spiritual nourishment?
•Are we living as loyal citizens of the world? Or do we live as transient travelers, pilgrims with not much physical or emotional entanglement?
•Do we sing the song of the exiles’ longing (Psa.137:1-6)? Or are we so firmly settled we sometimes forget these are all but temporary?