Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Beatitudes, Matthew Chapter 5 Verses 3-12. By Mrs. Noyo Edem

he Beatitudes, Matthew Chapter 5 Verses3-12"Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them, saying:
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Noyo Edem's Notes:
God releases His blessings on people when they meet certain requirements for God to bless them. These requirements or conditions are exhibited in people's lifestyles, attitudes, believes and preoccupations. In other words, God examines how we interact with one another and how will interact with Him. He is interested in the service we give  to mankind and to His Kingdom. What percentage of our daily activities is given to the service of other people? Do we care for people who mourn in our midst? Do we set out to give peace to other people by the things we do? Do we evangelize to people despite the opposition and persecution we may encounter from others? Do we humble ourselves before God?  Are we kind and humble in our service to men?

These are some of the questions we need to reflect on every day. If our answers are "no", then there is an opportunity for us to start doing the right things so that we will receive the blessings that accompany acts of righteousness, humility, mercy, peacemaking, and love to our fellow human beings.

When I read this passage, I personalized every line and asked myself what it meant to me. As I reflected on Jesus’ teaching on the Beatitudes or Sermon on the Mount, I gained an insight into the message and came out with this summary: If I want to inherit God's Kingdom, I must first and foremost be "poor in spirit" which is another word for humility. I must also be someone who has been persecuted because of righteousness. If I want to be called a son of God, I must be known as a peacemaker. For me to see God, I must be pure in heart. For me to receive mercy, I must be merciful; I must comfort everyone who mourns around me, because I will receive comfort from  God and man when I am in the same situation; If I  hunger and thirst for righteousness, I will be filled with it.

The Bible instructs me to seek God with all of my heart, soul, spirit and strength. If I seek after righteousness in this way, God will draw near to me and fill me with his spirit.

The Beatitudes should be righteous principles by which everyone should examine their lives, and determine if they are following the Lord’s teachings and doing the things that usher in blessings into our lives and communities.

The Apostle Paul encouraged the early Christians to rejoice in the Lord always. Believers should rejoice no matter what circumstances they find themselves in.  There will be seasons when we will pass through persecution; there will be seasons when we mourn, seasons when we are in distress or sorrow, seasons when we will feel completely empty, lost and lonely. In each of the seasons we pass through in life, we must remember that the joy of the Lord is our strength.  We must draw close to God and receive strength from Him to overcome the heavy burdens that are wearing us down. When people are passing through difficult times in life, we should also be there to console, comfort, and help them to successfully overcome the hard times. These are times to remind people of God’s love and peace; these are times to encourage them from the word of God, and to read passages from the Bible that relate to their situations. These are times to pray for them and to show them real Christian Fellowship and love through our humble service to them and their families. Let us learn to  be channels of God’s peace in times of trouble.

I will conclude my message today by referring to Apostle Paul’s words to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2 Verses 11-13:
"It is a trustworthy saying:
If we died with him,
we will also live with him,
If we endure, we will also reign with him.
If we disown him;
He will also disown us.
If we are faithless,
He will remain faithful,
for he cannot disown himself.

Prayer: Father Lord, help us to set our priorities right in life. Help us O Lord to imbibe the principles you taught us in the Beatitude. May each of us understand that we cannot inherit your Kingdom, be peacemakers, be sons of God, or be merciful, if we do not do the things that you want us to do as we read in the Bible passage today. May we learn to obey your words O Lord God, and practice the righteous principles of the Beatitudes every day until they become parts of our lives in Jesus name, Amen.

 Have a blessed day.
Mrs. Noyo Edem

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