Read: Matthew 5:1-12
Think: Often times we use the Beatitudes as a character checklist—as if it were a prescription of what we should be to receive God’s blessing. These aren’t necessarily things you can work on building up daily. It’s not like you can say, “You know what, I feel like I haven’t been persecuted for righteousness sake enough lately. I really need to make sure that happens more often. Today, I’ll look to be persecuted, for certain.” Jesus isn’t prescribing how to be blessed, he is describing who is blessed. He’s taking the ones who are not promoted by culture and giving them hope. This is not a list of to-dos; it’s a list of Good News. So, the question isn’t which Beatitude do you relate to the most; it’s, are you so culturally detached because of your faith in Christ that you find comfort in this passage? Or are you so enmeshed in the culture of the world that you are overwhelmed by how unattainable this list is?
Pray: God, help me to see that your kingdom is so upside down from what culture tells me is important. Humble me to see that you deserve the glory and that I am most blessed when I give my life fully to you. Comfort me when I feel abandoned or left out by the world. Change me so much that people know that I am different and You are the one responsible.
Apply: Reread and discuss your thoughts about these beatitudes with a Christian friend. Pray together for strength to persevere when you are going against the cultural pressures around you.