I have so many thoughts, Lord. Help me to quiet them all and listen for Your voice alone.
Read Matthew 5:1-12
 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him,  and he began to teach them. He said:  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.  Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.  Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.  Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.  Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.  Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectDoes your value system reflect the one expressed here?
The word blessed (“happy”) wins our attention, because we all hope for happiness in this life. Google “secret of happiness” and you will be offered nearly 100 million entries! But this happiness is not what we might expect. While many people imagine that happiness comes from fame and fortune, Jesus lists the qualities of the world’s losers. He teaches his followers that they will appear to lack self-esteem and to be sad and weak (3-5). In a world where egotism and self-promotion are admired, those who live like Jesus will be regarded as a push-over, lacking in ambition, and far too quick to apologize (6-9). His followers will even be frustrated with themselves, because they long to live a godly life, but find it almost impossible to do so (10). Jesus’ description of us, his followers, as “happy” only makes sense when we are living by the values and joys of God’s Kingdom–which is “not of this world” (John 18:36). Jesus assures us we are absolutely on the right track when we find ourselves sharing his self-emptying humility (Phil. 2:5-8) and his sufferings (John 15:20).
Journal your answer to these questions: In what ways do I see these qualities in myself? Where am I avoiding them?
Lord, help me to gain Your perspective and to live in light of eternal realities. Forgive me for holding on to this world.
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