3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
INSIGHT: It’s humbling to realize that I went through several beliefs about the beatitudes, before God finally gave me better understanding. At first, I thought they were simply something to aim for, but completely unattainable. Then there was the time I concluded that Jesus dying on the cross surely cancelled out our need to try to live up to this unreachable standard. Finally, there was the time when I realized, “Wow, I am actually living these and I have a deep desire to continue to do so.” I was partly correct in my first assumption; these are absolutely unattainable without the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. However, when you fully surrender to the Spirit of Christ, these become the natural outflow of abiding in Him. I want to caution against you misinterpreting what I’m about to say, such that you think I’m saying it’s not important to learn and intentionally apply the teachings in the Bible. Nevertheless, here has been my wonderful experience. There have been many times that I read a precept or command and realize that I am already obeying it without having ever consciously or intentionally tried to. That is life in the Spirit. You begin to think like He thinks and desire what He desires and act like He acts. It’s incredible because He enables you (grace) to be able to live like He requires you to live. Praise God!