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Beatitudes

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My husband is currently preaching through a sermon series on The Beatitudes, so naturally I thought this would be a good topic for our Tuesday series. Two weeks ago, we began by learning how Jesus set the stage for his sermon.  Last week we studied the first Beatitude and learned what it means to be poor in spirit.  (To read last week’s post, click here.) This week we’ll pick up where we left off, by examining the second of the Beatitudes.

Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted. ~ Matthew 5:4

Blessed are those who mourn…

I think anyone who has heard a sermon on the Beatitudes, or who has attended a funeral, has probably heard this verse.  So often it is applied to mourning the death of someone we love.  And while God does comfort us in our times of grief and loss, we are looking at this verse in the context of the entire Beatitudes sermon.  So the first Beatitude, which shows us how to recognize our prideful, sinful condition, then leads us to this next step – mourning the damage that results from sin and repenting of (turning away from) habitual sin.

Have you ever unknowingly hurt someone’s feelings by something you said or did?  Then, when you found out that you did hurt that person, how did you feel?  Were you sorry?  Did you regret the words or actions? Did you wish you could take them back?  Were you sorrowful because of the pain you caused?  Did you realize that nothing you could say or do could take entirely erase the damage? (Do you see where I’m going with this?)

My husband explains: “To mourn is to have a deep regret to the point of wanting to do something about it, yet feeling inadequate to do anything.  This is how we should feel about the sin life and spiritual death.” True mourning sees what sin does and responds in a way that will glorify the Lord.  James 4:9-10 illustrates this well: “Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”

… for they shall be comforted.

Comfort and forgiveness come from God, and what only God can do for you.  God raises up the spiritually dead and lifts us up into new life.  Then we can be comforted knowing that we have peace with God.  Romans 5:1: “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Comfort is sorrow turned to joy.  Comfort is an unsettled spirit becoming still and calm in His presence.  This comfort is not temporary; it is eternal.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND MEDITATION:

  • When was the last time I really took time to reflect on my sins, mourn and weep over them before the Lord, and ask forgiveness for specific sins in my life?  When can I find time to do this today?
  • When I do stumble and commit a sin, am I quick to repent and seek forgiveness?  Do I beat myself up for messing up yet again?  Do I feel helpless to fight against the one sin that really trips me up over and over again?  Have I turned this sin over to the Lord and asked for His help?
  • Do I know someone who is struggling with this issue?  How can I encourage them to seek comfort from the Lord?
Dear Heavenly Father, You know all things.  You know all about me.  You know who you created me to be, and how far I have to go to get there…. Please examine my heart and show me the issues I need to bring before Your mercy seat.  Help me to depend on You as I go through my day, trusting You to guide me and give me the strength and resources I need to do Your will.  And please help me to show your love and peace in my attitude and countenance, so that other people are drawn to You through me.  Amen.
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Psalm 51

 1 Have mercy upon me, O God,

According to Your lovingkindness;

According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,

Blot out my transgressions.

2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,

And cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I acknowledge my transgressions,

And my sin is always before me.

4 Against You, You only, have I sinned,

And done this evil in Your sight—

That You may be found just when You speak,

And blameless when You judge.

5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,

And in sin my mother conceived me.

6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,

And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.

7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;

Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

8 Make me hear joy and gladness,

That the bones You have broken may rejoice.

9 Hide Your face from my sins,

And blot out all my iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,

And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

11 Do not cast me away from Your presence,

And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,

And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.

13  Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,

And sinners shall be converted to You.

14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,

The God of my salvation,

And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.

15 O Lord, open my lips,

And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.

16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;

You do not delight in burnt offering.

17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,

A broken and a contrite heart—

These, O God, You will not despise.

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