Focus text: Matthew 5
How often do you think of the Kingdom of God?
If I’m honest, I don’t think about it as often as I should. More than ever, I find myself taken up with mundane things like a job, a house, a car and any other number of things that are honestly distractions from eternal matters.
Today’s reading takes us to the beginning of the Sermon of the Mount – three chapters in the Gospel according to Matthew that talk a great deal about the Kingdom of God and what it looks like to be a part of it.
Matthew 5:3-12 is a powerful portrait of what a citizen of the Kingdom looks like:
- They are the poor in spirit – they recognize their need for God and their lack in light of that need
- They are those who mourn at their sin and realize God is the only One who can truly comfort them in their mourning
- They are the humble – those who recognize their lowly position in light of God’s greatness
- They hunger and thirst for righteousness – they desire God’s righteousness intensely
- They are merciful in their dealings with others, knowing that God has been merciful with them and continues to be merciful with them
- They are the pure in heart – not by any merit of their own but solely by the gracious, sovereign work of God who sets them apart and causes them to desire that which is pure
- They are peacemakers – flowing from the peace that we experience with God
- They are those who are persecuted – persecuted because they live in line with the values of God’s Kingdom and not this world.
The Beatitudes are a reminder of kingdom living – life not in our strength and not by our merit but solely by the grace of God shown to us in Christ.