Day 17: Promises of Prayer – Blessed Life

1 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them. The Beatitudes He said: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 5:1-12

Listen

What is God saying to you through the scriptures today?

Reflect

As you read through the list of who Jesus says is blessed in the Kingdom of Heaven, did you find yourself wanting the blessing but not necessarily the circumstances? We want to be comforted but would rather not mourn. We want to receive mercy but do we really have to extend mercy? Even to them? We should rejoice and be glad when we are mocked or persecuted for our Christian faith? Really, Jesus?

Jesus’ answer: Yes.

Dallas Willard, a great Christian pastor and writer, remarked that being blessed “refers to the highest form of well-being for human beings.” This is not simply happiness that Jesus says is available to us. The promise of God’s blessing is a deep sense of joy and favor. And this blessing is available to all who put God first in their lives, which will challenge you to hunger and thirst for justice, extend mercy, and be a peacemaker. It will also take humility, purity, and mourning. Living in this way is what it means to be blessed in the Kingdom of Heaven.

For a deeper look at the blessings in this passage, check out our What if Jesus Was Serious series in the messages archive.

Pray

Read slowly through verses 3 through 10 as a prayer, pausing and contemplating each blessing statement.

Do

As recipients of God’s blessing, be a blessing to someone else. Perhaps through a simple act of kindness you meet today or by modeling after the specific blessings we read today such as extending mercy or comforting someone close to you that is mourning.

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