“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 5:3)
Jesus taught on the Beatitudes as part of His Sermon on the Mount. The Beatitudes are Jesus’ important teachings on Christian ethics and values. They describe our new life in Christ and stress on our attitudes. The blessings in the Beatitudes have to do with spiritual standing and rewards rather than material riches or physical wellbeing.
The poor in spirit refer to those who humbly acknowledge their spiritual inadequacy. They recognize their need for God and know that they do not have to earn His love with wealth, status, or spiritual sophistication. They accept themselves and their imperfections. They depend on God.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Mt 5:5)
The meek are those who deal humbly and gently with others. A gentle and quiet spirit is of great worth in God’s sight. How can we be gentle? We can be gentle in speech and in our attitude.
We are often sorry for saying a harsh word, but we will never regret saying a kind one. Gentle speech is graceful. Colossians 4:6 reads, “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” Seasoned with salt means to weigh one’s answers before speaking so that it can be gentle and effective. We do need to speak the truth, but speak the truth in love, and let your words be seasoned with salt. A message is usually communicated in three ways: through the words we say, the tone of our voice, and our body language. Sometimes people pay more attention to, and thus receive more messages from, our tone than our actual words. Often, we either raise our voice or yell at our family members to get their attention or to demand obedience, thus creating a hostile atmosphere. Instead, we ought to use our gentlest voice at home.
“For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, Blessed is the man who trusts in You!” (Ps 84:11-12)
God is a sun to His children, providing warmth and light. His light directs our path. He is also a shield of protection for us. When we encounter trouble, He is our shield. In due time the Lord will give grace and glory. We will not be afraid of evil tidings if we fully trust in the Lord
“And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” (Luke 7:23)
Those who have false expectations of Christ’s work may be offended when He doesn’t meet their expectations. Some may come to Christ only expecting Him to provide material abundance or physical well-being, and they become disappointed and fall away when their expectations are not met. Blessed are we if we accept God’s plan and His will for us, even if it is contrary to our expectations or requires us to endure painful trials.
“Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; They will still be praising You.” (Ps 84:4)
Dwelling in the house of God means dwelling in the grace of God and abiding in His love. “Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young” (vs 3). The ‘home of the sparrow’ and the ‘resting places for the young swallow’ are built at the altars. This teaches us to build our dwelling house in the grace and love of God. As David said, “I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple.” (Ps 27:4).