What do you think of when thinking of people who are blessed? What qualities would you use to describe them? Typically, we think people who are blessed have a fortunate life. If they have a lot of children, or have children who are not getting in trouble, or have children who are on the honor roll and can have a nice bumper sticker put on the back of their car, they are blessed. If they have expensive properties, or a net value of over, let’s say: $200,000, then they are blessed. If a woman is a super mom: successful in the business world, works full time, and an excellent wife and mother, and does it all with a smile on her face – she is blessed. But what does Jesus Christ say? I want to know what Jesus Christ thinks because He is the Son of God and He has changed human history as we know it. I don’t want to know what the world thinks. I want to know what Jesus thinks.
The first virtue that we see in the famous beatitudes of Christ are those who are repentant. Jesus says repentant people are blessed. Repentant people are poor in spirit (Matthew 5:3) and they are those who mourn (Matthew 5:4). These are people that are humbly able to recognize their their need for God’s grace. If we don’t have the humility to see our sin (selfish desires that are opposed to God), we will also not have the humility to see our need for a Savior. Ecclesiastes (a book written by King Solomon found in the Bible) 7:4 says: “The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning but the heart of fools is in the house of Mirth.” Now that’s not to say that there is never a place for laughter, but Solomon is making a statement: People who are willing to recognize their need for God’s grace are in the house of mourning. Those who don’t desire God in their lives are choosing self and pleasure and are in the house of mirth.
Jesus says those who are blessed are growing spiritually. He says that they are meek (Matthew 5:5) and they hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matthew 5:6). These are people that don’t just want to hear that they are already perfect, but they want to know the truth. These are people that don’t want a preacher that simply boosts their ego, self-esteem, and their love of human achievement and pride in possessions. They want more. The Apostle Paul says that all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching and correction and training in righteousness. Jesus says that the blessed one is someone who is hungry and thirsty for God’s righteousness. (If you read The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7, you will likely feel convicted. That is a good thing. It is God’s love that leads us to be convicted so that we can grow. If you are convicted you are blessed.)
Jesus says those who are blessed have pure motivations in their relationships. Jesus says blessed people are merciful/compassionate (Matthew 5:7), pure in heart (Matthew 5:8), peacemakers (Matthew 5:9), and persecuted (Matthew 5:10-12). They are not just after selfish ambition and ego in their relationships. Their intentions are pure and they care about people.
Is there someone that God wants you to forgive? Someone that you need to pursue reconciliation with? Is there someone you know you need to call or text message, but you have been putting it off? Maybe it is time for you to make the first move. All you can do is take care of your side of the street and make sure your heart and approach to the situation is right. The rest is up to God and the other person.
There was a woman who had a disagreement with her pastor. She kept it in for a while. But then she got the courage to pursue him. One day after the worship service she said: “I need to speak with you.” He called her that week and set up an appointment. The meeting was difficult for her. She cried during the meeting. But, she approached her pastor with gentleness and respect. The meeting lasted about an hour. She got everything out and her pastor was loving, kind, and shared biblical perspective on the situation. She left feeling heard. She left feeling better. At the end of the meeting, they gave each other a hug. These kinds of meetings are hard. But, when you have two people that want love, peace, and mutual respect more then their own interests….all things are possible with God.
There is great joy in being people who are blessed: who are seeking to live repentant lives, to grow spiritually, and to have pure motivations in our relationships. These are qualities we seek to grow in not to become saved, but because we are saved. God’s grace is freely given to all who believe in His Son. Jesus says, “You will inherit the kingdom….You will inherit the earth.” Peter says that this inheritance is imperishable and undefiled and kept in heaven for you. And when you as a child of God see Jesus visibly he will say to you: “Come you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34).