The Beatitudes

The Beatitudes

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.  Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.  Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.  Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.  Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.  10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.  (Mt 5:3-12)

In this passage of verses from the Bible, Jesus describes the categories of people that He says enjoy special favor with God. 

These are desirable attributes and personality traits in God’s sight, so we would do well to consider them.

  • The poor in spirit,
  • Those who mourn,
  • The meek,
  • Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
  • The merciful,
  • The pure in heart,
  • The peacemakers,
  • Those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, and
  • Those who are reviled and persecuted for Jesus’ sake.

Jesus said that if any of us see ourselves in this list that we should rejoice and be extraordinarily happy because we will receive a huge reward in heaven.  People who are described by this list are those who truly follow Jesus Christ, honor Him and respect Him as their example of faith and holiness. 

As we see Christianity more and more under attack around the world, we do well to nurture and build up our faith while we still have the time and opportunity to do so.  Draw near to the Lord with all of your heart and soul, mind and strength, in Jesus’ name.

Work is God’s Gift

Work is God’s Gift

This statement may shock you or surprise you:  Work is a gift from God!

And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—this is indeed a gift from God.  (Eccl 5:19 NLT) 

Our work is a blessing to us because through it, we receive finances, satisfaction, and fulfillment.  We use our skills and talents to carry out our work, and we should actually enjoy making use of these talents.

The Bible shows us many, many passages that demonstrate that God, Himself, works.  Here are a few of those passages:

All men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider His doing.  (Ps 64:9)

Come and see the works of God; He is awesome in His doing toward the sons of men.  (Ps 66:5)

I will also meditate on all Your work, and talk of Your deeds.  (Ps 77:12)

In life, as we pursue an education, it is for the purpose of building skills, becoming trained, and uncovering our gifts and talents.  The more skilled and talented that we become, the more that we gain self-esteem, as well as a sense of purpose and accomplishment.  In this way, we are happy to acknowledge that we have contributed something good to the world.

When we work to a high level of skill and excellence, we bring glory to God and honor to His name.  When we work with a sense of joy and eagerness to discover solutions, we improve the environment of our workplaces.  In cooperating with and respecting our co-workers, we quietly acknowledge that we’re all made in God’s image. 

In such ways, we can contribute the love of God to those with whom we work, and thereby find favor in God’s eyes. 

Irrevocable Gifts & Calling

Irrevocable Gifts & Calling

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.  (Rom 11:29)

“Irrevocable” means that God won’t change His mind about what He has called you to do. If God has called you, that calling is still there, whether or not you’ve obeyed. And if God gave you a gift—if He gifted you along a certain line—that gift is still in you.

Therefore He says:  “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.”  (Eph 4:8)

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ . . .  (Eph 4:11-12)

There are gifts that God has given to the church, and these are referred to as the five-fold ministry gifts:  apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers.  There’s also a gift of helps that we all can get involved in. 

As believers, we’re all called to share the salvation story (gospel) with others and to encourage them to trust in Christ for themselves.  It’s a matter of explaining how Jesus reconciled all of mankind to God, and sharing our own testimonies freely and joyfully.

Each member of the church of Christ has a role to play.  (1 Cor 12:27)  Maybe God has called you to the full-time ministry; or to be a businessman or an artist or a musician.  The list can go on and on, but whatever gifts, talents, and skills that He has given you—use them!  Appreciate them and enjoy them, and use them to bring glory to God. 

If you didn’t obey God, and haven’t responded to His call upon your life in a certain area, it’s never too late with the Lord!  Just turn to Him, talk with Him about your change of heart, and ask Him to open doors for you to walk through.  He will answer your prayers and bless you.