Daily Devotion for May 17, 2021


You Are Blessed

One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him, and he began to teach them.
“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

 God blesses those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
God blesses those who are humble,
    for they will inherit the whole earth.
God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice,
    for they will be satisfied.
God blesses those who are merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
    for they will see God.
God blesses those who work for peace,
    for they will be called the children of God.
God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven.”         (Matthew 5:1-12, NLT)                                                                                                                                                                                    
In our culture today we could consider that Jesus officially began his ministry when he delivered the beatitudes.  These beatitudes are words defining the business scope of the “Kingdom of Heaven” and the people in it.  These beatitudes were spoken when a multitude of people gathered around him like those who would gather for the “grand opening” of a new and big business.  People wanted to know what the business of the “Kingdom of Heaven” was about and what was in it for them.  I believe the Kingdom of God is a synonymous term applied for the church and its ministry today.
Jesus spoke in a poetic form explaining that the Kingdom was not for everyone but those who feel emptied, cast out, and downtrodden by the measure of the world and of those who are privileged and in power, such as those who mourn; those who are humble; those who are hunger and thirst for justice; those who are merciful and pure in heart; those who are peace maker and persecuted for doing the right thing; and those who are insulted and looked down for their faith in Jesus Christ.  The Kingdom of Heaven is the church, the people today, you and me, who can identify with one or more categories of people, or situations, in the beatitudes.
It would be good to be reminded of these beatitudes from time to time, of who we are and our situations, that we are blessed.  What categories above can you identify with?  Most people can identify with more than one, maybe all for most people in our lifetime.  If you can identify yourself with just one, you are blessed – “Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven.”
Dear God, you are the Lord of the Kingdom, the church, now and into eternity.  I am blessed for I know I will be rewarded for the gift of your peace and eternity.  There are times I feel persecuted for doing what is right.  There are times I need to be humble.  There are times I need to make peace or be a peace maker.  There are times I cry and am sad.  Help me and bless me to be faithful in all times and for all situations.  Amen.