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Through the Fog

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:3-11 ESV)

Focus of the month: Jesus Teaches: Sermon on the Mount/Beatitudes

A thick fog hovers over fields and roadways. I can barely see the car in front of me. On-coming traffic cannot be detected but for the light shining from their headlamps. If a careless driver forgets to turn on his or her lights, it could end in tragedy for someone. Have you been there? In a place it’s hard to see what is in front of you? A place covered in darkness or confusion that you beg for the slightest glimpse of light? Me too.

Over the past two months we’ve searched scripture for the true Light of the World; the One who shines into our souls, our desperate situations, our lives. We have found HIM in His Word. We discovered Jehovah, Messiah, our All in All! He is called by many names, but He is one God. We’ve met Jesus, the Son of God, our Hope, our Mediator, and our Teacher. We now set our focus on a portion of one of the most important messages Jesus ever gave. It is known as His Sermon on the Mount. Here He lays before us a pathway for our salvation. He describes who we are to be, what we need and how we receive these gifts. This will be the ride our lives depend on. His light will lead the way…I pray you are ready; I know I am. Let’s go!

Jesus went up on the mountain; He sat down and began to speak to those who were following Him. It is important to know that Jesus wasn’t only speaking to His disciples (those who had confidence that He was the Messiah) but also, to those who had not committed to knowing Him in this way. There was a purpose and an order in His message then, and it remains true today.
Let’s explore Matthew 5:3:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

What does “poor in spirit” mean? Does it mean lacking in faith? Is He telling us to give up all we have? Perhaps, but many theologians believe that Jesus was saying we must recognize that we NEED Him. We must become acutely aware of our personal sinfulness, our spiritual emptiness, and know that we can do nothing on our own to deliver ourselves from sin…then we can come to God – in faith – to receive what He alone offers. Hear this-We cannot be filled with what Jesus gives if we don’t realize and believe we are truly empty.

I was empty. I was running on fumes as I lived a life far from Him. I realized I was a sinner, making choices He would not endorse; yet He would forgive if only I sought it. When Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” He is showing us that there is an order to follow to enter God’s kingdom.

Until I understood that I desperately needed Him and that I could not save myself by the good works I might happen to do…I could not enter His kingdom. I praise and thank Him for lifting the fog of my sinful life, for shining His light on me and bringing me to a place of restoration. A life in the kingdom of heaven is mine. The fog has lifted, the light is shining and I know the view will be amazing!

Holding Fast to Hope,


Scripture References: Matthew 5:1-12


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