Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Book of Matthew: Morning Moments with God, Day 12

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Day 12: Nothing without Christ

Mathew 5: 7-13
 "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 the merciful, for they will be shown mercy." (Matthew 5:7) I looked up the word 'merciful'- it means 'full of mercy.' So, I looked up mercy and it read, "compassion or forbearance 1) shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one's power." I have seen myself show mercy to others, but in all honesty I only had compassion on another because of the mercy God had shown me. Growing up in a home where mercy was not given or shown, each time the Lord has granted me mercy I was in complete awe. His compassion is endless. His mercy, eternal. For me, each time I have been shown mercy it's like a new revelation of who God is. Mercy to me is completely not of this world. It is only through God constantly extending it to me that I know how to give it away. So, what's my point? It feels like the Beatitudes should read: 'Blessed are those who have been shown mercy for they will be merciful.' I am nothing without Christ. Any mercy found in me to give away is what He put in my heart and nothing whatsoever to do with me. I need and yearn for mercy from God and will keep my heart ever open to Him to pour it over me so that I can pass it along to others.

"Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God." The definition of pure, from Websters Dictionary reads, "unmixed with an other matter: free from dust, dirt, or taint: spotless stainless." Just for the record, I am not pure in heart. I have been mixed and tainted by this world and until I am in heaven my heart will remain so. So, how do we get a pure heart because I want to see God. It is only through the blood of Jesus, His death on the cross for our sin that our impure heart, our stainfilled heart, that we can be made pure. Through accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior, believing that He died on the cross for your sins and rose again, will we be made pure, washed clean and see God. 

"Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons of God." When I think of the Father I think of more love than I have ever known and that brings me peace. Jesus, Himself, is the Prince of Peace- (Isaiah 9:6) To be a peacemaker is like being a son, as Jesus is to the Father. But again, sadly, I am nothing without Jesus. I do not naturally bring peace to a situation. The Lord has done a great work in me in this area and I am better now at bringing peace, than lets say five or so years ago, but this again shows my complete dependence on God. I need Him. 

"Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness for theirs is the kingdom on 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." I have been persecuted for many things- rudeness, selfishness, meanness, disobedience, but rarely for righteousness. The memory that comes quickly to my mind is the time that my own family told me to reject Christ or die. I would not. I was persecuted for it. But God was with me. He gave me the courage to stand. He stayed close to me- I was not alone. I could not have done it without His presence. Once again- I am nothing without Jesus. 

In all the Beatitudes I believe it is a call to remind us that we cannot do these amazing things without God. To be merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers and to stand persecution for righteousness is not humanly possibly without having a relationship with God. We just simply cannot do it. When we acknowledge that we need Jesus, ask Him into our heart and lives then, and only then can we hope to possess these amazing character traits and the most wonderful blessings!

Pray with me:
Dear Heavenly Father, I come before you today with a humble heart acknowledging that I am nothing without you. All I have that is good in me is from you. You created me with special gifts and talents. You showed me love and mercy and so I know how to give it to others, but left on my own there is nothing good in me. Lord, I love you. I need you. I ask you to come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins and making a way for me to know the Father. I give you my life and ask that you make me pure in heart, merciful and a peacemaker. I love you with all my heart. Amen.

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