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The Beatitudes

The eight Beatitudes, the first part of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapters 5-7, are presented in verses 2 through 12. They represent the characteristics and behaviors of those who belong to Jesus Christ, both now and in the world to come. Our weekly Devotionals for the next several weeks will be based upon these eight Beatitudes. The late, great Apostle Lobias Murray, founding father of the Full Gospel Holy Temple Churches, Inc., when teaching concerning the Beatitudes, would often tell us that we are to “Be at this Attitude” at all times. The Beatitudes depict the character of the true people of God.

Each of the Beatitudes begins with the word blessed. What does it mean to be blessed? It means that the favor of God is upon us so that we experience God-like joy. Happiness depends upon circumstances but true joy is based upon a real relationship with the Lord.

Matthew 5:3, the first Beatitude, states, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the Kingdom of God.

This first Beatitude tells us that we are to be poor in spirit. As we go through the activities of this week how should we exhibit that we are poor in spirit? We who are poor in spirit fully understand that we are totally dependent upon God for everything. When we received salvation we presented ourselves in an humble and repentant manner, realizing that we were sinners, broken and in need of salvation. Once saved, we consider the Lord in everything that we do. We obey the Scriptures and trust God for the outcome of good behavior and good decisions. We are to have no arrogance, no self-righteousness and no self-sufficiency. We realize that we have been bought with a price (1 Cor. 16:20) and should not be influenced by the things of this world. We further realize that although we live in this world, we are not of this world (John 17:14). Therefore, power and events on earth should not influence us or cause us to do things that would not be pleasing to God.

Scenario: Mary Jane found herself in a dilemma. She applied for a position on her job that would give her a tremendous promotion and a huge bump in salary. She was well qualified to do the work that was required and was actively recruited by members of upper management. She would also become a part of an executive team that was considered the “movers and shakers” in her company. She would have power and would be able to go places in the company. But as Mary looked further into the management team’s activities, she discovered some undesirable aspects of the group. Members were expected to hang out together after work and party on the weekends. She discovered that they were “swingers and swappers. They loved alcohol and cigarettes and occasionally did a little “coke” on the boss’ yacht. One of the ladies in the “in-crowd” pulled Mary aside and told her that the bosses liked to see a little skin and told her that she needed to lose the “saved” look by raising her skirt and lowering her neckline. But Mary was saved, sanctified and full of the Holy Ghost. She knew that her name had been written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life. She was determined to be totally devoid of the influence of power and places and to put her complete trust in God. She knew that she could not please God and live the lifestyle that the new position demanded. At one point, she considered the possibility that perhaps God was sending her into this new position to witness to the people at that level. But, because Mary was one who considers the Lord in all her ways so that He could direct her path, she prayed and sought the Lord about what she should do. God let her know that she was already a great Christian witness to her co-workers at all levels and that she did not need to join this group in an attempt to win them to the Lord. He also reminded her that He would bless her and meet her needs. After considering all matters related to being poor in spirit and totally depending on God, Mary Jane withdrew her name from consideration for the position.

What would you do if you found yourself in Mary Jane’s position? Tell us your thoughts and comments about this situation. Do you have questions or Scriptures that you find difficult to understand? Send them to us and we will respond based upon the Scriptures.