Poverty of spirit is needed for victorious Christian living. The poor in spirit humbly acknowledge their sin, turn away from it and mature. The self-righteous, on the other hand, boast about their good works, don’t acknowledge their sin, and remain in it.
Isaiah 57:15 says, “Thus says the high and exalted One, who lives forever, whose name is Holy, ‘I will dwell on a high and holy place and also with the contrite and lowly of spirit in order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.’” David said “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. A broken and contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.” (Ps.51:27)
Thank God today that when you come to Him in humility and contrition, He hears you and ministers to your needs. That’s where true joy begins!
Sorrow over sin leads to comfort, peace and victory. People have sorrow over many things in this life, and believers are assured of God’s sustaining and comforting grace during those times (2 Cor. 1:3-4). What Jesus was referring to in Matthew 5:4 is godly sorrow, which comes with mourning over your sin. Since no one is always righteous (Ps.13:2,3;Rom.3:10-12), believers still live with the presence and effects of sin in and around us.
Grief over our sins is an essential step towards a victorious life, because only in Christ can we find complete forgiveness, victory and peace. David said “When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long, for day and night Your hand was heavy upon me. My vitality failed as with the dry heat of summer. Selah I acknowledged my sin to You, and I did not hide my guilt. I said, ‘I will confess my wrongdoings to the Lord,’ and You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah.” (Psalm 32:3-5) In the same Psalm, he says, “How blessed is he whose wrongdoing is forgiven, whose sin is covered! How blessed is a person whose guilt the Lord does not take into account, and in whose spirit there is no deceit! (Psalm 32:1,2)
Christians often take our forgiveness in Christ for granted. We know we are forgiven of all our sins and will go to Heaven one day. Our confidence in our forgiveness can lead us to take God’s grace in vain, and continue to do the things we know we shouldn’t do. God calls us to mourn over our sin to the point of repentance, for our sake and His glory. Paul said “For godly sorrow produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly sorrow produces death.” (2 Cor.7:10)
Examine your heart today to see if there is any continual, sinful way in you. Confess it, choose to forsake it, then rejoice and be comforted that you are forgiven, the sin is forgotten, and that God, in His faithfulness, will purify your heart and lead you in the everlasting way!
Meekness is one of the defining qualities of the follower of Christ. The Greek word translated “meek” in Matthew 5:5 speaks of showing humility, gentleness, patience, non-retaliation, and strength under control. Our society would equate meekness with cowardice or weakness, yet Jesus gave us the perfect example of humble strength under control by not lashing out when He was falsely accused. He even identified Himself as meek in Matthew 29:11, when He said, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from me for I am meek and humble in spirit . . .”
Seeking meekness is seeking to be like Christ. The reward is not only the peace that comes from the blessings of following Christ’s example, but those who persevere in meekness will inherit the Earth. The Greek word “inherit” means “to receive on allotted portion.” Jesus is saying the Earth will belong to the gentle, meek and humble. God will someday establish His kingdom on Earth, and every believer will reign with Him. Proud, self-righteous people, however, won’t qualify. Just as we will inherit eternal life by persevering to the end with Jesus, we will inherit the Earth and reign with Him in His Earthly kingdom (Rev.2:16) That inheritance is secure and goes far beyond a name being carried on or money a family member may leave behind, because the honor and name of Jesus will be exalted above all, forevermore.
Seek to be all that He wants you to be, and take joy in the blessings of a life of meekness and the assurance that you will inherit the Earth and reign with Him forever in His kingdom!
Contentment comes with the pursuit of righteousness. There are many things in this life that can bring joy and satisfaction, but the greatest is found in the life of the one who loves and honors God. The believer has a built-in desire to pursue a life that pleases God, and our continual pursuit of righteousness should lead us continually to Christ, because only He can satisfy the deepest longings of the heart.
Paul said in Phillipians 3:9 that he wants to be found by Christ “ . . . not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.” Our desire to please God by walking in the truth should drive us to Christ to fill us with His peace and satisfaction. Otherwise, it may lead to a self-righteous, self-pleasing and people-pleasing life that gives little room for the sufficiency of Christ. Paul describes this satisfaction, in 1 Tim.6:6, “Godliness is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment.”
Seek to show your love and gratitude for your Savior today by trusting and obeying Him. As you walk with Him in the light of His Word, He will fill your cup, and you’ll find the contentment and satisfaction that are only found in Christ Jesus!
Just as Jesus was characterized by mercy in His earthly ministry, we who are His disciples should also be known as merciful. As people who have received abundant mercy from God, mercy ought to be the hallmark of our lives. Mercy is compassion in action. The verb form of “merciful” appears many times in the Scripture to mean “to have mercy on,” “to aid the afflicted, “to give help to the wretched,” or “to rescue the miserable.” It refers to anything you do to benefit someone in need. It’s also a wise thing to do: “The wisdom from above is . . . abundant in mercy.” (James 3:17)
Despite His great compassion and mercy, Christ received no mercy from his enemies. He even prayed for them, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34).
Don’t hold back showing mercy to others, even if they misunderstand or mistreat you. God shows mercy to those who show mercy, and He will use your kindness for His glory!
The process of purifying the heart begins and ends with God. His sacrifice on the cross is the basis for our cleansing, and He cleanses us from our sins on the basis of faith. We read in Phillipians 1:6 that “He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.”
We keep on the path of purity and holiness through prayer, studying and treasuring God’s Word in our hearts, and living according to it. (Ps.119:9,11) The Holy Spirit in turn purifies our hearts as we pray and submit to the Word.
The result will be that you will see God with spiritual eyes. You’ll know His presence and be more aware of His grace and purpose in trials. You’ll see His work in your life and through other believers. You will be more aware of His power and creativity in the beauty of creation (Ps.19). You’re life will take on a more profound and eternal meaning, as you submit to the process of sanctification and as the light of Christ shines through you.
Ask the Lord today to give you continued grace to live in such a way that the purity of your life will evidence of your faith in Him and bring Him glory. Ask Him to help you see Him and His purposes more clearly in the process of sanctification.
When I was a little girl, I chose to sing “Let There Be Peace On Earth” for a music class assignment. It brought me great delight to see people at peace with one another, and I would often be compelled to step in to convince one party to be at peace with the other.
Over the years I’ve realized what true peace is, and what it looks like to be a peacemaker.Romans 5:1 says, ". . . since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." True peace comes with being reconciled to God. Peace with God through faith in Jesus Christ is the starting point.
A peacemaker, then, is someone who seeks to reconcile others to God. In 2 Cor. 5:20 we read, " . . . we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God."
See, sin has made a separation between us and God (Is.59:2). Before a holy and righteous God, we are guilty as charged (Romans 3:23), and we deserve eternal separation from Him. Romans 2:5 says, " . . . because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed." The only solution for this separation and God's righteous judgement is Jesus, the holy and spotless Lamb of God. God, in His mercy and grace, sent Jesus as an atonement for our sins to reconile us to Him. Romans 5:8 says, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Jesus stepped in and paid our price. By His atonement for our sins, He made peace with God attainable for all who put their trust in Him.
We show that we are children of God who imitate their Father by being ambassadors of peace who seek to share the Good News of reconciliation with God through the Prince of Peace. Then we can truly rejoice, as we see people have peace with God and the peace of God, because it does not begin with me or you or nations and people calling a truce. True peace is found only in Jesus.
If you don’t know peace with God, seek to be reconciled to Him. If you are a believer and struggle with not having peace, ask yourself if anxiety or continued sin is the problem. Give it to God and trust Him to give you His abounding peace to guard your mind and heart in Christ Jesus.
If you take a stand for Christ and manifest the Beatitude attitudes, you will be in direct opposition to the devil and the world system, and eventually you will encounter some sort of persecution.
The Beatitudes end with what happens when people mock, persecute and slander those who take a stand for Christ. It is the exclamation point to all the previous Beatitudes. Jesus said, “A slave is not greater than his master. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.” (John 15:20) The persecution you receive for proclaiming Christ is really aimed at Him.
When you suffer for Christ’s sake, thank Him for that privilege, remembering how much He suffered for you. Ask God to continually grant you grace to follow Christ’s example when trials come your way, and pray for those who treat you unkindly, asking God to forgive them and grant them His grace.
God will give grace and reward the person who takes a stand for Him. 1 Peter 5:10 says. “And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered for a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”
You can rejoice and take heart when you go through times of suffering for Christ’s sake and find comfort because the Lord went through it too, and He understands how hard it can be. He will give you His abounding grace to help you persevere and mature you through it.
Find joy in the journey!
God delights in His people as they delight in Him.
Find joy in the journey in a Delightfully Devoted life!