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Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that.
Norman Vincent Peale
I spent time writing a blog the other day, talking about Peace and Peacemakers. And, of course, without even thinking about it, I was actually describing the 7th of the “Beatitudes” preached of by Jesus Christ. Now in case there are any that don’t know, the beatitudes are eight statements/sermons given that are concerned with virtue and most especially, how a person of faith might achieve those virtues in leading their own lives.
I am very fond of saying that God is the ultimate architect of all times. We see the creations conceived by this master designer nearly everywhere we look. And part of His plans include an index of all the parts of his blueprint of the human heart and soul. And it is this index which is meant to act as a guide as we navigate those blueprints which are God’s plans for how we are to lead our lives. And it is the Beatitudes that, in part, serve as that index and guide in helping us along on our journey and so I thought we might want to look at this teaching and see what part of their message we can apply to the way we live.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
What exactly does this, the first teaching of the Beatitudes, say to you? Well to me, it says that there is NOTHING that should come first in our lives before our faith in God. And while we automatically associate the word poor with all things monetary, it is more than our money or our possessions that we must think about as we establish our order of priorities for the things in our lives.
As much as we love our partner in life, God expects that we must love Him more. As much as we love ourselves, God expects that we must love Him more. He must be above our careers, our aspirations and even our hopes and dreams. Every single thing we value comes second to our Lord and Savior. And, when you really think about it, isn’t it the person who doesn’t have as much, the poor man, that is the most grateful for any gift that they are given?
Make no mistake…..that is exactly what our place in heaven will be…..a gift given to us. It is not automatically bestowed upon just anyone nor are all guaranteed a place there. It is reserved for those who have learned the true value of the things that really matter and who understand where God’s place needs to be in their lives!
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Matthew 5: 3-12 KJV
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