While reading through the book of Matthew, the Holy Spirit has graciously led me to glimpse the heart of Jesus, especially through the Beatitudes in Matthew 5.
In the first few verses, we see Jesus’ comforting words of blessing concerning the poor in spirit, the meek, and those who mourn. For the poor in spirit—those lacking in courage or vigor—He says the Kingdom of Heaven will be theirs. The meek—those who are gentle and humble—will inherit the earth. And those who mourn will be comforted.
Christ’s message to them is a message of hope. Each of them will receive the longing of their hearts. This seems almost contradictory. We usually think that only those who are outwardly courageous and fight will receive the reward. But Jesus sees the hearts of the poor, meek, and mournful. He knows the strength it takes them to keep their eyes on Him, and He desires to give them their reward.
Next, we see Jesus’ words of encouragement to those who are deeply desiring to follow hard after God. They have the strong desire to pursue the Spirit-filled, Spirit-controlled life. For those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled! Satisfied! Those who are merciful—who show compassion towards an offender or enemy—will likewise receive mercy and compassion when they offend.
Our first thought when offended might be to seek revenge, to hurt the person as they have hurt us. But Jesus’ words encourage us to show mercy, which often times requires a change of heart. We aren’t to worry that someone might take advantage of us. Jesus says if we show mercy, we will be shown mercy when we need it.
Those who are pure in heart—innocent, untainted by evil, who see the best in others—will see God! And the peacemakers—those who bring harmony—will be called the sons of God. Jesus calls all of them blessed and all will receive their reward from God!
When we dwell in Christ, we don’t fight with the weapons of the world. We listen to the voice of God; we allow Him to transform our hearts to be like His. Even if all seems wrong on the outside, on the inside we can live in the peace of God that surpasses all our understanding. Isn’t that the very definition of blessed?
Speak Kindly and with Love! Speak Peace and Joy!
“We are women who can make a Kingdom impact!” We have a heart that loves our community, our neighbors, the ones in need. We have an intimate relationship with our God, the perfect example of Love. However, the reality is that we still live in a fallen world. We are broken people. No matter how much we want to be full of peace and love we can fall into sinful habits. We echo the sentiments of the Apostle Paul in Romans 7:19 where he wrote, “I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.”
We live in a world of many voices, some of which are obviously against God’s Word. Others are quiet and subtle, yet attractive and convincing; we must be careful with those voices for we can fall into sin and justify our actions.
There will be times of conflict with others – for different reasons. Relational conflict is not something that should surprise us as Christians…we should expect it. We are complicated creatures and conflicts will come. They are unavoidable. The key question is, how do we handle them? Are we responding in a way that honors God or are we using old habits to go through the conflict? How does God want us to resolve conflicts in our personal relationships? When we seek to follow His commands and trust His wisdom, we honor God through even the most difficult times of conflict. When we strive to reflect God’s love, forgiveness, grace, and mercy to those with whom we are in conflict, we provide a beautiful witness to God’s character, and, glorify Him. Peace is possible if we look to Him. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called Children of God“, Mathew 5:9
Being compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, and patient during conflict can be tough. When you know it is not in you to forgive, then you must find it in Christ. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me“, Philippians 4:12-13. Does forgiving negate the pain you have suffered? Does it reverse the things that have happened to you? No, but you will be free from the thoughts of hatred and bitterness. Joy is reflected in your life. Forgiveness is not only done for the sake of the one you are forgiving, but for your own sake so that you don’t have to live with the burden.
We, as women in Christ, having the Holy Spirit living within us, can love as Christ does. By obeying the Spirit, inspired by God’s word, we can show Christ’s unconditional, sacrificial, forgiving love to others. Even those who wronged us are the recipients of Christ’s love.
This is what we know to be true: “we are women who can make a kingdom impact. We can be kind and loving. We can speak peace and joy.“ We have the Holy Spirit in us, and He works through us. We cannot do anything of lasting significance by our own strength. We cannot bring about peace in our relationships on our own. We depend completely on Him, our Savior. Others will see the power of God in us and experience His peace and His love which have been given freely to us.