Matthew Chapter 5

Beatitudes

“Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous–with life–joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the poor in spirit (the humble, who rate themselves insignificant), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven! …Blessed (happy, blithesome, joyous, spiritually prosperous–with life–joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the meek (the mild, patient, long-suffering), for they shall inherit the earth!” (Matt. 5:2-3,5 amp)

Whenever I would read the Beatitudes in Matthew 5, I was always confused for a couple of reasons. First of all, I never understood what poor in spirit actually meant. What does that even mean? Then I would look a few verses over and read about the “meek” or “humble”. Put together it really started to sound like God wanted us to be down on ourselves. I honestly did not understand it for a long time. As I studied the chapter the other day, God corrected me and I believe He revealed His meaning.

Poor in Spirit doesn’t mean “whoa is me” or “I’m a nobody,” in a pitiful way. The “poor in spirit” are those who regard Christ as far more important than they. Those who serve God, following His direction, above their own wants and desires.
Someone who is humble or meek isn’t the one who is full of piety, one who considers themselves low on the ladder, but the one who is full of, and acts in, Love.

“Blessed and happy and enviably fortunate and spiritually prosperous (in the state in which the born-again child of God enjoys and finds satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of his outward conditions) are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake (for being and doing right), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!” (Matt. 5:10 amp)

Only twice does Jesus say that “the kingdom of heaven is theirs” and that’s in verses 3 and 10. Those who are poor in spirit and those who are persecuted for righteousness. These two often walk hand-in-hand together. When we follow God’s will above ourselves we often find ourselves persecuted for it, but their reward is far greater than what they give up and go through.

Salt and Light

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its strength, its quality), how can its saltness be restored? It is not good for anything any longer but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a peck measure, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:13-16)

“You are the Salt of the Earth, a City on a Hill” has been quoted so often, it’s become a catchphrase. It’s a catchy thing to put on a shirt and wear, but what does it mean?

First let’s think about salt, like table salt. What is its purpose? We add it to dishes to enhance flavor. As the salt of the earth, what is our purpose? We are meant to enrich people’s lives in a way that speaks of Whose we are and what we are–children of God. We are to enrich people’s lives in a way that points to God’s love for them.

What good am I if I am saved by Christ, filled with His Holy Spirit, and then do nothing in my life with it? It is God’s fire that lights me up, but if I continually hide it, what good is God’s salvation for me? I cannot be filled with these things and then expect myself to grow if I hide it.

How can we enrich the lives around us in God’s love? Are we one of those who will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven?

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