We should develop beautiful attitudes or ‘beatitudes’ in life

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Rev. Ed Ganus

In Matthew chapters 5-7, we find what is called “The Sermon On The Mount.”

Here, Jesus teaches His disciples about living life in a way that would be pleasing to God. He deals with almost every subject you can think of in this sermon. It is called, “The Sermon On The Mount” simply because Jesus gathered His disciples on a mountain and taught them about God’s way for living life.

In chapter 5:3-12, the message begins with what is called, “The Beatitudes.” Here Jesus shares ways one can develop beautiful attitudes that are like the attitudes He demonstrated in dealing with people and issues in life. Attitudes are developed in the heart and then acted out in life as we live day by day.

Jesus begins each Beatitude with the word, “Blessed,” which means happy or joyful; and states in verse 12, that those who follow Him and His teaching should rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is the reward in heaven. Many people believe the circumstances of their lives bring or take away happiness. Real happiness is not found in material things or circumstances; but in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

The first Beatitude calls for us to be “poor in spirit,” that is to rid ourselves of pride of self and realize that without God we are spiritually helpless, but when we humbly come to Jesus, He will guide into all truth, and all things are possible through Him.

The second Beatitude states “blessed are they that mourn.” This refers to sincere sorrow or grief because of sin and disobedience, causing repentance to God.

The third Beatitude calls for meekness, this is not weakness but refers to strength under control or to surrender all, our mind, body, emotions, thoughts and actions to God’s control.

The fourth Beatitude is “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness.” This is to diligently seek to be in a closer relationship with God; and completely surrender to God’s will. Jesus is identified as righteousness; therefore seek to be like Jesus.

The fifth says to be merciful. To receive mercy is to not receive what we really deserve. God grants mercy to us when He forgives our sins and saves us. He does not give us the punishment we deserve. Jesus calls for us to do the same for others.

The sixth calls for pure hearts. This can only come with the new birth as Jesus enters our heart and cleanses it and removes old sinful attitudes and guides us in God’s way.

The seventh says be a peacemaker. To be a peacemaker is to help bring to God those who have not come to peace with God through salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. When Jesus was born, angels came to the shepherds with the message of peace on earth; if all mankind would have attitudes like Jesus, there would be peace on earth.

The eighth Beatitude deals with persecuted for righteousness sake. Jesus was persecuted even to the cross, but even there He had a beautiful attitude when He prayed for those who were crucifying Him.

Jesus’ attitude was obedience to God, compassion for others, and love for all. As we see, each Beatitude describes His attitude. Let each of us develop beautiful attitudes like Jesus.