Beatitudes - Part 2 — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Beatitudes – Part 2 — Morning Devotions

It is safe to say that happiness is what most of us seek each day. But the Bible gives an interesting look into what brings true happiness.

By Chris WittsSunday 13 Aug 2023Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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If you’re with me yesterday morning, I opened up the Bible at Matthew five. This is the Sermon on the Mount for the recipe for happiness.

(Beatitudes – Part 1 – Morning Devotions)

The be-happy-attitudes. And I want to continue looking at the 5th, 6th and 7th statements of Jesus. These are wonderful statements that actually point the way to happiness.

Surprising some of them. For example, he says, happy are those who show mercy to others. God will show mercy to them. That’s Matthew five, verse seven.

The message translation, which is very popular, says you’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being careful, you find yourselves cared for. Well, here it is this word mercy that pops up so often in the Old Testament. Surprising to many that the Old Testament has themes of mercy. And yet it does. There’s much of the Old Testament that talks about mercy. In the New Testament, we have the story in the parable of the Good Samaritan. That’s about mercy in action.

So it’s not good enough to say, well, it’s not in my nature to be merciful and forgiving. As I said yesterday, it’s not about temperaments. It’s about an intentional act of showing mercy toward others and the Bible, it links, mercy and grace, together quite often. So there it is. It’s a good one to think about.

We all need to be merciful – going that extra mile

And in fact, there’s a phrase in James 2:13 that says, “Mercy triumphs over judgement.”

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What about this one? Matthew 5:8 – “Happy are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

The Greek word for pure is “KATHAROS”. That, is used about 24 times in the New Testament, and it means being free from every taint of evil. Maybe we could say it like this. Happy are those whose motives are absolutely unmixed, whose minds are totally and utterly sincere, who are completely and totally single minded. Happy are the pure in heart.

That’s probably one of the most demanding of all the teachings of Jesus. We look at our own lives and our own motives, and we say, “Yes, I have not always been totally pure.” Happy are the utterly sincere, I think the problem is like ST Augustine years and years ago. He used to pray. Lord make me pure, but not just yet.

So do we have trouble in that area in our thoughts and desires?

Well, Matthew 5:9, coming towards the end when Jesus was on the mountain and gave this advice – “happy are those who work for peace among men,” he said. “God will call them his sons,” or you might know it as “blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the Sons of God.” This is the seventh teaching, Paul said, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. That’s in 2 Corinthians 5.

In other words, we have a privilege of being peacemakers, taking the message of God’s peace to other people. That was the old time preacher by the name of Charles Spurgeon, who used to say where there is a breach, God always attempts to build a bridge.

God Almighty cannot stand separateness, and that’s true. God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. So let’s go out of our way to reconcile others to be peacemakers. Because, God, our Heavenly father, is a God of peace.

Well, we come to the final of the attitudes here, and this is another hard one. This is Matthew 5:10. And Jesus said to the people there – “happy are those who suffer persecution because they do what God requires.” If you’re going to be an active and committed Christian, be prepared for some trouble. And of course, there could be trouble. There could be insult. And here in Australia, we don’t face out and out persecution. But there might be things like a rejection, snubs, discrimination.

People insult you or put you down. So committing ourselves to the cause of Christ does not mean that we’ll always be popular. A group of young people might go out somewhere, and a man, a young man in that group, stands up for what he believes, and he could be derided and laughed at. So that’s what it means. Let’s not compromise. Living in Australia as I said, it’s not that difficult. Other parts of the world it is. So it’s my prayer that as you read the sermon on the Mount, you’ll find some tremendous statements about being happy.

Let’s Pray

Thank you, Lord, for these teachings, because they do offer us some wonderful ideas. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.