Welcome to 2018. It is interesting that the next day in the 12 Days of Christmas, Eight Maids A-Milking, points to the Beatitudes. These are the blessings that Jesus bestowed upon those who at the Sermon on the Mount. Blessed are: The Poor in Spirit, Those who Mourn, The Meek, Those who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness, The Merciful, Those Pure in Heart, Peacemakers, Martyrs and others who are persecuted for Christ. But these are more than blessings these are attitudes a Christian must possess. They are linked directly with the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit. What a great way to start the year than to be reminded of a right Christian attitude which we should strive to have this year.
These blessings are meant for those who are in His presence and who will listen to His Word. The simplest explanation to the blessings is this: Being a Christian is very hard work and in most cases requires no physical work because being a Christian is striving to become a more Spiritual being. WE are humbled as we mourn our fallen souls. BE gentle and kind having self-control who strive for completion in righteousness. SHow mercy, compassion, love, and forgiveness to those who suffer or are in distress. STrive to be free of all selfish and self-serving desires. BE people of true peace even to the point of dying for the sake of our beliefs.
That was the Beatitudes in a nutshell but do you see how we need to be to receive the blessings on the Mount. To start we must rid ourselves of ourselves and humbly bow into Christ, giving up all things of the world that truly do not make us happy. To many that means giving up certain vices that are such a part of life that we would be lost completely without them if we did not know God. Then we must recognize that we cannot survive in this world on our own. We are prone to deeds that go against God’s design and plan for our lives.
Following Jesus means that you might be looked at as someone who does not follow the status quo, someone who works a normal job but has a belief system that does not match how society thinks they are supposed to live. For this, we are persecuted by those the devil has a firm grip on. The Christian knows the difference. The Christian knows his/her place in the world is not to have material success. We know we are not perfect but we strive to live a right moral life in accordance with God’s Word. Because we know that, For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God. It is only through Jesus that we are saved from eternal darkness and can enter into the Kingdom of God.
THIS does not mean that once we have Jesus in our lives we are good and don’t need to do anything else. We cannot continue living as we were in the world. In other words we cannot continue to live in the sinfulness of our past but only in the spirit of the present life in Christ. Giving up our worldly nature is the most difficult thing especially in this day and age of mass media and communication. People share their sinfulness for all to see, boasting in it and in some cases actually making and serving the idol of money while taking many down with them.
WITH it being a new year, let’s continue to strive to not be enticed into temptation but seek Jesus every minute of every day. Be slow to anger and frustration by turning the other cheek where in our weakness we will have the strength of Jesus turning away from sin.
Be blessed this year. Share Christ in all things and do not let those who hate, deter your Love for Jesus. You will be rewarded in heaven, no longer needing physical nourishment nor seeking spiritual nourishment for it will be given freely.
Love to all in this New Year, New Start, Renewed Life in the Spirit, and God Bless You