Washington Evening Journal
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Do you want to be blessed? Of course, everyone wants to be blessed, and many claim that they are and testify to the fact that they are indeed blessed.
Webster defines blessing as God’s favor or protection. That seems like a major thing. God’s favor and protection is a major thing.
So, who can be blessed and how do we become blessed? I am so glad you asked.
Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Let’s start there.
Many people view God as some distant curmudgeon who is just waiting for us to mess up so he can punish us. They view him as vengeful and unloving.
Those descriptions couldn’t be further from the truth. When Scripture talks about fear of the Lord, it is speaking of awesomeness of God. A reverent fear knowing that he is all powerful.
His standard is perfection and he does not compromise it. This is where we see Jesus enter the story.
Jesus came out of love for God’s creation. The creation is you and me. He lived a perfect sinless life.
He suffered a sacrificial death for each of us even though he did nothing wrong. He showed the ultimate love for each of us. He also gave us the key to being blessed.
As I said already, everyone wants to be blessed. Jesus taught his disciples how to live a blessed life.
If you have been in church any length of time you have heard of the Beatitudes. This sermon was his most famous.
In it he describes both how to be blessed and how to live blessed. He addressed our character and our conduct as those who call themselves followers of Jesus Christ.
Blessed are the poor in spirit. These aren’t sad people but people who realize that they are spiritually bankrupt without God.
Blessed are those that mourn. This part is not talking about people that have died but rather those that mourn their sins which separate them from God. They also mourn the sins of the world that are causing continued chaos.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness. What are you hungering and thirsting after? Are they the things of God or things to gratify your flesh?
Blessed are the merciful. As follower of Jesus we are supposed to show mercy. We received mercy from the Lord we need to show it.
Blessed are the pure in heart. God knows our motives. Why do we do what we do? Is it pure?
Blessed are the peacemakers. We are in a spiritual war. Notice I said spiritual. The standard of God is perfection and the standard of flesh is doing what feels good. Flesh will always lead you to chaos and confusion. Nevermore in history have we seen confusion as we do right now.
Blessed are the persecuted. This sounds very contrary to blessed, but if you are persecuted for living your life for the Lord then you are blessed.
These eight beatitudes address the attitude we have toward ourselves, others, sin, and God. If we truly want to live a blessed life, we need to follow these.
We know the Ten Commandments. Several have probably watched Charlton Heston lifting the stone tablets. We have 10 commandments.
Jesus came to fulfill the law. He actually expanded the Ten Commandments with these commands that he spoke on the mountain.
Reading them and knowing God’s standard of perfection you may be asking yourself, well how can I even get close to these so I can be blessed. The answer is you cannot.
There is nothing you can do to earn the blessing of God. No amount of good deeds will insure you have a place in heaven. It is simply by faith alone in Jesus Christ that all this is accomplished. These passages are meant to challenge us and direct us to the cross.
Once we accept the free gift of salvation, we begin the process of sanctification. Don’t be intimidated by the word. It means being like Jesus Christ.
We strive to live our lives pleasing to him. Will we make mistakes and fall. Yes, but because of his perfect love that he displayed on the cross, we can repent and continue the journey. We can walk the blessed life.
I challenge you to start the journey if you have not and press on if you have already started the journey. May you be blessed as you seek him and his will for your life.