For the summer we are studying the Sermon on the Mount. I came across Max Lucado’s summary of the Beatitudes from his book, The Applause of Heaven. He gets things said beautifully:
In the Sermon on the mount,…what Jesus promises is not a gimmick to give you goose bumps nor a mental attitude that has to be pumped up at pep rallies. No, Matthew 5 describes God’s radical reconstruction of the heart.
Observe the sequence.
First, we recognize we are in need (we’re poor in spirit).
Next, we repent of our self-sufficiency (we mourn).
We quit calling the shots and surrender control to God (we’re meek).
So grateful are we for His presence that we yearn for more of Him (we hunger and thirst).
As we grow closer to Him, we become more like Him. We forgive others (we’re merciful).
We change our outlook (we’re pure in heart).
We love others (we’re peacemakers).
We endure injustice (we’re persecuted).
It’s no casual shift of attitude. It is a demolition of the old structure and a creation of the new. The more radical the change, the greater the joy. And it’s worth every effort, for this is the joy of God.
Rejoice and be glad, because you have a great reward waiting for you in heaven. ~Matt. 5:12