Our Lord Jesus, taught His disciples the attitudes for life. Good attitudes do not come to us naturally but it needs to be taught. That is the very reason our Lord took the time to teach His disciples the ‘Beatitudes’ (Matt 5:1, 2)
Our life, though we look at it as a gift, is more than a gift. It is a responsibility! What we do with it is so important. We cannot live this life as we like but live to its full potential.
Let us look at the first five keys from the sermon on the mount :
1. We need to ‘acknowledge the need for God every moment of our life’:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matt 5:3)
The word ‘poor’ stands for the people who recognize that they are in need of God all the time. These are the people who do not trust in their own strength and ability but realize that without God, they are nothing and can do nothing. They are the ones Jesus calls ‘Blessed’ not the ones who have ‘know it all’ mentality.
Jesus said, without Me you can do nothing (John 15:5). In Proverbs, King Solomon says, ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding, In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. (Pro 3:5, 6)
2. We need to understand that ‘troubles are temporary’:
‘Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted’ (Matt 5:4)
Everyone has their season of joy and sorrow. Just like how night and day are placed one after the other, we all have our ‘lean days’ and the days of ‘fat’. Great men like the apostle Paul had their moments of hunger and difficulties. We should never think that troubles are for ever. They are so temporary. It will soon pass away.
Paul writes to the Philippians, ‘I know how to be abased and I know how to abound. Every where and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need’ (Phil 4:12). Paul says in the above scripture, ‘I have learned’. God is the best teacher. If we never hunger in life, we will never know what it means to be ‘filled’. If we have never been in the valley of sickness how are we ever going to understand what it means to be healed. Therefore, God allows trials in our life so that we ‘learn’. The great prophet Moses went through affliction and days of evil.
Ps 30:5 says, ‘Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning’. Moses says in Ps 90:15, ‘Make us glad according to the days in which we have seen affliction and the years of evil’.
3. We need to be self disciplined:
Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. (Matt 5:5)
In the kingdom of God, the meek reign. The ‘meek’ are the ones who are self disciplined. The Bible says, ‘The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord’ (Ps 37:23). Our God is a God or order. We need to put ‘self discipline’ in priority. We should make our own commitments for our life to achieve great things in life.
The Bible says in Ps 37:11, ‘The meek shall inherit the earth, And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace’.
4. We need to be learners and growers:
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled (Matt 5:6)
Understanding does not come to us but we need to go towards it. I mean, we have to go after it. Growth and development does not come to you. We need to pursue it. For e.g. You can choose to attend a Bible study that will enable you to grow instead of switching channels in front of your TV. Make quality decisions for life and you will see yourself ‘filled’.
Pro 9:6 says, ‘Go in the way of understanding’.
5. We need to bear with one another:
‘Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy’ (Matt 5:7).
Give others the benefit of the doubt. Make some room for them to fail and make mistakes. One day we will need someone who will forgive us! We should never be quick to judge. “Mercy is the postponement of judgment”. We need to look from God’s eyes and not on a microscope and magnify the problems. We can never find a ‘perfect person’. Therefore God wants us to deal with other “mercifully”.
In Matt 7:2, Jesus said, ‘For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.
May the Lord help us to live up to what we have learned in Jesus’ name. Amen