Wednesday, August 14th, 2013
Sermon On The Mount (Part 5)
The Beatitudes: Your Calling Cards
Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.
Matthew 5:7-9 (NKJV)
Mercy is mentioned 310 times in the Bible. We serve the Lord Who is 'Gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness' (Joel 2:13). Undeniably, Christians must follow suit. And if we don't? 'Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe... and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith' (Matthew 23:23).
Heart is mentioned 926 times in the Bible. We serve the Lord Who 'Looks at the heart' (1 Samuel 16:7). To be pure in heart is to be whole-hearted. 'Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation' (Psalm 24:3-5).
Take heed: lies and idol worship pollute the heart. They are stumbling blocks to success by the Hand of God. Ironically, they are building blocks to success by the hand of Satan. In Hollywood, they elevate stars and story lines. But don't be fooled. Refuse these unstable platforms, because they will fall. Instead, stand on whole-hearted purity, and let God do the lifting for you.
Peace is mentioned 397 times in the Bible. We serve 'The God of peace' (Romans 15:33; 16:20; Philippians 4:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 13:20). His instructions to us? 'Go in peace' (Mark 5:34; Luke 7:50; 8:48); 'Seek peace and pursue it' (Psalm 34:14; 1 Peter 3:11); 'Be at peace among yourselves (1 Thessalonians 5:13), 'For He Himself is our peace' (Ephesians 2:14).
Because mercy, heart and peace are calling cards for God. Every time you hand one out, God is witnessed. Once the unhappy guy on the set receives enough of these unusual cards, he may look up the God you represent. That's called evangelism.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Sermon On The Mount series.