Matthew 5:6 – Righteousness

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

What is Righteousness? The Apostle Paul made it abundantly clear that righteousness does not come from us. We can not make ourselves righteous no matter what we do. Righteousness can only be imputed to us by God Himself. Right standing with God can only be obtained through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Just as when Abraham believed the words of God and righteousness was imputed to him by God, so is righteousness imputed to us when we put our trust in God and His Eternal Word.

How hungry are we to have God pronounce us to be righteousness before Him? Do we do good work that we think will please God like the Pharisees did? Perhaps our best example would be the Publican who had nothing of himself to offer except a humble heart. Perhaps the cry of our hearts should be “God have mercy upon me, a sinner.”

Today’s prayer: Lord, I have nothing to offer you except a heart that is hungry for your righteousness. I put my trust in you today and the only cry of my heart is God have mercy upon me, a sinner. Amen

Matthew 5:5 Meekness

Jesus said, “Blessed are he meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Meekness comes from the Greek word Praus, which can also be translated as humble. Praus implies a calm and quiet composure while confronting this evil world. Contrary to popular belief, this does NOT imply any kind of weakness. Probably the best interpretation of this word that I have heard is referring to meekness as strength under control.

Contemporary society likes to paint Jesus as some kind of weak peacenik but nothing could be further from the truth. When Jesus drove the money changers and sellers of sacrificial items from the temple with a whip, he was certainly not being weak or some kind of peacenik in that passage (John 2:13-16). If he had been weak, the temple guards would have been able to simply take the whip away from him and escort him out and hand him over to the soldiers. They were unable to stop him. If Jesus had been rash and harsh, then he could have called fire down from heaven and reduced those people to ashes. Jesus operated in a meek humble fashion in total subjection to his father above with a heart of love that wanted only the best for his special creation. Being subjected to a corrupt religious order was not what God had desired.

The meaning that Jesus conveyed in this passage is actually very powerful once we understand what he was thinking. Jesus wants us to be just like him in this world. We are to be strong in the Lord and very powerful through the infilling of the Holy Spirit. However, we are to be meek, humble, and in subjection to our Heavenly Father in all things. Though we are sons and daughters of the Living God, we are to have the hearts of servants living within us. Those who allow the Holy Spirit to remake them into the image of the Son of God, will in the end, inherit the earth. The proud and the wicked will be removed from the earth, no place will be found for them in God’s new creation.

We must allow the Holy Spirit of God to change us into His image, strong and mighty, but with our strength under His control!

Matthew 5:4 Mourning

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” At first glance, this may sound a little bit strange and maybe a bit unsettling. What do I have to mourn about, my life is going fine….right? Maybe there is a little bit more to this than meets the eye. Maybe Jesus was letting us know that deep inside we need a little bit more than we think.

The greek word translated to mourn is pentheo, which means to grieve, or even to wail. We have all experienced this with the death of a loved one or some other great loss that has occurred in our lives. Grieving in this context is the coming to grips with the loss that we have experienced in the natural part of our lives, but in that Jesus saw fit to include this in the beatitudes, we have to take a look and see if maybe he had some deeper meaning in mind when he spoke.

God suffered a great loss when his prized creation made in his own image rebelled against him and brought sin into the world. God could no longer have the face to face fellowship with the man; sin could not dwell in the presence of the Holy God. Death would pass upon man and the spirit of man would be held captive by the Devil in the Abode of the Dead for thousands of years before Christ would shed his blood on Calvary and open the way for man to enter into the presence of the Almighty. God’s grief is evident throughout the Old Testament writings as he dealt with fallen man to bring him to the place of redemption. I am inclined to believe that God even wailed over the tremendous loss that he suffered on the path to redemption. But God comforted himself with the knowledge that the day would come when the Christ would pay the price to redeem mankind and God would once again be able to fellowship with his creation that he made to be his special love.

So how does this apply to us? Should not the knowledge of the years of our lives lost to sin and pain we caused God by not walking with him not cause our hearts to mourn and grieve, should be not even wail at the terrible separation from God that we experienced for so much of our lives? I think this is what Jesus was getting at when he spoke these words. Consider what we have lost by not knowing Jesus, consider the loss of living in ways that not only caused God pain but took a heavy toll on our physical beings. This is where the mourning, grieving and wailing will surely begin.

Where is our comfort? Consider these words that Jesus spoke in John 14, “

 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

Jesus was looking past the problem to his divine solution, he would freely give his life for us, and then he would send us the Holy Spirit to dwell within us and give us comfort on our path to Heaven. He would heal our hurts, salve our pain and fill us with power to overcome the sin that so easily besets us. God would have us in fellowship with Him on a daily basis and his and our grief would be turned into eternal joy!

About the New Believers Series – Getting Started

Congratulations on your decision to follow Jesus Christ. As a new disciple of Jesus, there are some things that we need to explore in order to properly understand what just happened as well as answer some common questions that new believers have. In this series we will start by discussing Salvation, what just happened to me? A whole lot just happened to you and is very important to understand your new found relationship with Jesus Christ. Next will answer the all important question, what do I need to do next? The two most important daily habits a believer can develop, prayer and bible reading. Many other topics will be presented to help you develop your walk in Christ. It is our sincere prayer and wish for you that you will learn much from this series and get off to a great start in your new life!