The Beatitudes

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

—Matthew 5:16

In a section known as the Beatitudes, Jesus opened the Sermon on the Mount with nine ways that blessings can come into our lives. In these statements, Jesus addressed actions, attitudes, self-control and contentment, morality of heart and mind, and mercy when persecuted. He confidently asserted blessings can be found in all these things.

Jesus further said that a life lived in accordance with these principles will not be regretted but rather rewarded in heaven. He followed this with the reason it is important that these things “be our attitudes” (beatitudes): we the church are the only preserving and purifying influence on the earth.

The Lord then explained that the beatitude kind of life begins with being a lamp in the home and then spreads outside the home as a lamp set on a hill, meaning the surrounding community. Then He said, “Let this light shine through your good works in such a manner that others glorify the Father in heaven.”

I find it interesting that Jesus, in providing this list of attitudes, labeled them as works. This tells us that works are not limited to the cup of cold water and the feeding of the hungry we read about in Matthew 25:35. Visible works that cause others to glorify God also include attitudes, such as being humble, offering comfort to those who mourn, walking in meekness (power under restraint), hungering for righteousness, and being pure in heart. It even includes, as Paul said, being “simple concerning evil” (Rom. 16:19); that is, living in peace when facing false accusations.

This kind of life is a blessed life, and the greatest blessing of all is that it reveals God to others. That is the summary of the great truth of the Beatitudes.

Look around today through the lens of the Beatitudes and you will see more opportunities for good works than you have ever seen before. Through them, you will bring glory to God by leading others to Him!

Excerpt from “Body Builders” now available on Amazon.

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BARRY STAGNER

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