As many of you know, I am going back to school. I love going to BYU Idaho because part of the courses required to graduate are ecclesiastical. This term I am taking a course on the New Testament and each week, as part of the course, I will be sharing my thought on my readings.
This week we are studying The Beatitudes from Matthew chapter 5. When the Savior was teaching during the Sermon on the Mount, he spoke about attitudes we can adopt to be blessed. Each Beatitude is introduced with the phrase, “Blessed are…” The Savior could just say, ‘be poor in spirit.’ He doesn’t though. He outlines each character trait and then shares the blessings to those who adopt them. “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
We learn in Doctrine and Covenants 130:21, “…when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.” Christ clearly shares each law to live by and the blessing we receive for our obedience. As I read about these Beatitudes I chose to focus on three blessing I would like to have and what I need to do to be blessed with them.
They Shall See God: There are many ways that we can see God. One day we will all see God at the bar of Judgment and some have seen God in a vision as Stephen the disciple and Joseph Smith. For me, I think it means that we shall see God’s hand in our daily lives. For us to be able to see God though, we must be “pure in heart.” When we are pure in heart we are more worthy to receive his providence. Probably even more importantly, we are humbled to be able to recognize the blessings in our lives we might be overlooking in giving him credit for.
They Shall Obtain Mercy: We all have sinned in our lives, we all make mistakes. Some of our wrongs offend God, but many others also offend our fellow man. We want to be forgiven of our wrongs. To face the full measure of judgment is often a harrowing thought. The Savior offers more insight on how we can obtain mercy in his parable of the unforgiving servant. We must be willing to forgive this who have wronged us and mistreated us; then we can find the joy what comes from forgiveness from God.
They Shall Be Comforted: Life is not always easy, in fact it is often hard. When we face sorrows and trials, it is wonderful to know that we can be blessed with comfort from on high. For us the receive this comfort Jesus says that we must mourn. At first glance that seems an odd requirement. If you do not have cause to mourn, you likely do not have need for comfort. What does He mean by mourning then? I think the answer comes from Alma. He told those preparing for baptism that they should be ,”willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort.” When we are willing to come to the aid of those who are in need, God will inspire others to come to us when we face our trials and need someone to mourn with us and comfort us when we stand in need of comfort.
What blessing do you desire from The Beatitudes? What are you willing to do to obtain it?
Read some of our other New Testament Readings posts.
Sunday, June 21, 2015
New Testament Readings: Thoughts on The Beatitudes
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