WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MAY 25, 2022
TOPIC: THE BEATITUDES SHOULD BE YOUR ATTITUDES (1)
BY T. O. BANSO
“And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’” (Matthew 5:1-3 New King James Version).
In Matthew 5-7, the Bible records the teaching of Jesus Christ popularly referred to as the Sermon on the Mount, His longest recorded sermon in the Bible that covers different issues. In chapter 5, He taught His disciples what is called the beatitudes. There are eight beatitudes in all. There is a shorter version of the beatitudes in Luke 6:20-23, which Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Plain, which refers to the teachings of Jesus in Luke 6:20-49. These consist of four beatitudes, which are followed by four woes from verses 24-26.
Bible scholars consider the beatitudes in different ways. But one way to look at the beatitudes is attitudes you should have as a new creation in Jesus. If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17).
The beatitudes are new attitudes that are different from the attitudes of those who are not yet born anew. The beatitudes should be your attitudes as a child of God. They should be the new character of Christians. Ephesians 4:22 says we should put off, concerning our former conduct, the old man, that grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.
Matthew 5 starts by saying, “And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’” (verses 1-3 New King James Version). Jesus went on to talk about seven more beatitudes, each starting with “Blessed.”
The Greek word makarioi translated as blessed also means happy. New Living Translation Commentary says blessed means more that happiness but it implies “the fortunate or enviable state of those who are in God’s Kingdom.” In the New King James Version Commentary on “blessed” used in the beatitudes recorded in Luke 6:20-23, it says blessed, which means happy, refers to “the special joy and favor that comes upon those who experience God’s grace.”
What are the eight attitudes that you should cultivate from the beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-12? We shall look at four today.
1. Regard yourself as spiritually poor without Jesus in your life. If you don’t have Jesus in your life, you’re suffering from spiritual poverty and you should give your life to Jesus. Those who regard themselves as spiritually poor and give their lives to Jesus will enter the kingdom of heaven. Jesus, in the first beatitude, said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3 New King James Version).
New Living Translation renders the verse thus: “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.” The Amplified Bible puts it this way: “Blessed [spiritually prosperous, happy, to be admired] are the poor in spirit [those devoid of spiritual arrogance, those who regard themselves as insignificant], for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [both now and forever].” From this translation, we learn that the poor in spirit are those devoid of spiritual arrogance, those who regard themselves as insignificant.
Jesus said those who were well did not need a physician but those who were sick. He added that He did not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance (Mark 2:17). Matthew 9:12 and Luke 5:31 also record Jesus’ words that those who are well, have no need of a physician but those who are sick. Those who don’t acknowledge that they are sick spiritually can’t receive healing.
Only those who admit that they are sinners and cannot save themselves will receive Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Saviour. This is the right attitude to have. The self-righteous will be lost forever. Isaiah 64:6a says we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.
2. Humble yourself and genuinely repent of your sin. This is related to the first attitude. There is forgiveness for those who humble themselves and genuinely repent of their sins. God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9b).
The second beatitude says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4 New King James Version). The Amplified Bible says, “Blessed [forgiven, refreshed by God’s grace] are those who mourn [over their sins and repent], for they will be comforted [when the burden of sin is lifted].”
If you confess your sins, God is faithful and just to forgive your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Whether you’re a Christian or you have not yet given your life to Jesus, do not cover your sins. Proverbs 28:13 says whoever covers his sins will not prosper but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. God will lift the burden of sin on such a person. He will comfort him.
The beatitude “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” could also mean that God will comfort or take care of those who have suffered a loss or are suffering and cry to Him. He will wipe away their tears. Therefore, look unto God in every situation. He will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5b). He will console or comfort those who mourn, give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness (Isaiah 61:3a).
3. Be meek. Jesus, in the third beatitude, says, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5 New King James Version). This is most probably a reference to Psalm 37:11a which says the meek shall inherit the earth. Some Bible translations present the word meek as gentle. The Greek word for meek, praus, means “mildness of disposition, gentleness of spirit, meekness” (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon). Meekness is “strength under control.” Meekness is not weakness. Meekness is bringing your strength under the control of God. It means submission to the will of God.
The Amplified Bible renders Matthew 5:5 as, “Blessed [inwardly peaceful, spiritually secure, worthy of respect] are the gentle [the kind-hearted, the sweet-spirited, the self-controlled], for they will inherit the earth.” The earth can be translated as land, which is a reference to the land of Canaan as a type of the heavenly land, which the meek shall inherit. The meek shall enjoy all that God has destined for them on earth and inherit the new earth.
4. Hunger and thirst for righteousness. Jesus said in the fourth beatitude, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6 New King James Version). The Amplified Bible says, “Blessed [joyful, nourished by God’s goodness] are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness [those who actively seek right standing with God], for they will be [completely] satisfied.”
Hunger and thirst are natural appetites. They are used in this scripture to express a strong desire. You should have a strong desire for righteousness. This means actively seeking “right standing with God” or having the greatest desire to do what God requires. “Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires; God will satisfy them fully” (Matthew 5:6 Good News Translation). This also means you should pursue holiness. Without holiness, no one shall see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14b).
1 Peter 1:15-16 says He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” Have a hunger and thirst for righteousness, as those who do shall be filled. This is the right attitude to learn that we can learn from the beatitudes.
Let these four beatitudes be your attitudes. We shall look at the remaining beatitudes tomorrow.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, deliver me from spiritual arrogance; help me to see my spiritual poverty without Jesus in my life. Father, create in me a hunger and thirst for righteousness and fill me. I shall have a strong desire for righteousness in Jesus’ name. My greatest desire shall be to do what God requires and He will satisfy me fully. Help me to be meek; let me keep my strength under control. Father, console those who mourn, give them beauty for ashes, and the oil of joy for mourning.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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