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WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE “BLESSED” AND HIGHLY FAVORED?

JESUS SERMON ON THE MOUNT

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BkT6-CDIjw]

On this day as you begin to read and study this lesson, pause your thoughts and think on where you are in your life’s journey and know that the reason you are where you are is only by the mercy and grace of God’s favor.  He has touched each one of us in a very special way and given us an opportunity to look within ourselves and understand why we are Blessed and Highly Favored on this day and all the days of our lives.

Now let us begin this study by first understanding the word “BLESSED.”  It is a Greek word that is derived from the root mak, which means “large or “lengthy,” and means “fortunate” or “happy.”  The Greek word was used in Greek literature, in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament,)  and in the New Testament to describe the kind of happiness that comes from receiving divine favor.  The word can be rendered happy.  In the New Testament, it is usually passive; God is the One who is blessing or favoring the person.  God says the Blessed person is a “Happy Person” and He describes that person in this manner, BLESSED is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” ( Psalm 1:1-2)

OUR BLESSINGS AND FAVOR ARE IN THE RISING OF THE SUN (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

OUR BLESSINGS AND FAVOR ARE IN THE RISING OF THE SUN (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

In the Beatitudes, each one describes how to Be Blessed.”  They describe how the followers of Christ should live their lives.  To be blessed means more than happiness, it means to be “favored” and “approved” by God.

Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount and it challenged the teaching of the proud and legalistic religious leaders of the day. It called people back to the messages of the Old Testament prophets who, like Jesus, had taught that God wants heartfelt obedience, not mere legalistic observing of laws and rituals.

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber to be an example of a charismatic religious leader. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The most well-known portion of the Sermon on the Mount is known as the Beatitudes. These are, a series of “blessings,” promised to those who exhibit, the attitude of God’s kingdom. They are called the “Beatitudes.”

In verse three, we note that the Beatitudes describe how Christ’s followers should live. According to worldly standards, the type of people whom Jesus described does not seem to be particularly blessed by God. However, God’s way of living usually contradicts the world.  Jesus explained that “God blessed those who realize their need for him, for the kingdom of heaven is given to them.” Only those who humbly depend on God are admitted into the Kingdom of Heaven. The final consummation of all these rewards, and of the kingdom itself, lies in the future. However, the believers can already share in the kingdom by living out Jesus words.

In verse four it seems a contradiction in terms, Jesus explained that “God blesses those mourn, for they will be comforted,” tied with a Beatitudes in verse three, this means that humility (realization of one’s unworthiness before God) also require sorrow for sins.  Whether Jesus followers mourn for sin or in suffering, God’s promise is sure that they will be comforted. Only God can take away sorrow for sin; only God can forgive and erase it. Only God can give comfort to those who suffer for his sake because they know their reward in the kingdom.

Blessed (happy, blithesome, joyous, spiritually prosperous–with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the meek (the mild, patient, long-suffering), for they shall inherit the earth!

Blessed and fortunate and happy and spiritually prosperous (in that state in which the born-again child of God [d]enjoys His favor and salvation) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God), for they shall be completely satisfied!

Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous–with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy!

Blessed (happy, enviably fortunate, and spiritually prosperous–possessing the happiness produced by the experience of God’s favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His grace, regardless of their outward conditions) are the pure in heart, for they shall see God!

Blessed (enjoying [l]enviable happiness, spiritually prosperous–with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they shall be called the sons of God!

Blessed and happy and enviably fortunate and spiritually prosperous [r](in the state in which the born-again child of God enjoys and finds satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of his outward conditions) are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake (for being and doing right), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!

Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous–with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of your outward conditions) are you when people revile you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things against you falsely on My account.

Be glad and supremely joyful, for your reward in heaven is great (strong and intense), for in this same way people persecuted the prophets who were before you. [II Chron. 36:16.]

Finally, Jesus described the way the disciples should respond to persecution; “be happy about it!” “Be very glad!” This refers to deep spiritual joy that is unhindered and unchanged by what happens in this present life. A person with righteous character can rejoice and be glad because of a promise: a great reward awaits you in heaven. The persecution will pale in comparison to the great reward.

Now I pray that this lesson speaks to each one of your hearts and you will fill the love, joy, peace and blessings that surround each one of you in a powerful way and that you will use this opportunity to bless someone else on this special day.  It is truly the first day of the rest of your life.  We love you and appreciate all that each one of you are doing to advance the work in God’s Kingdom.

 

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