“Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD” (Psalm 34:11).
The Bible is an inspired book in which we have “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth,” an acronym that sums up how we should view this treasure of truth. But many seem to find ways in their hearts to bypass these instructions and still believe they are in God’s grace. This mindset is shown as illegitimate: “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves” (James 1:22). Knowing God’s word is not enough to keep your soul in His grace. You must make application.
When Jesus traveled through Bible lands, He taught a new way of life. He taught how to live in a way that will keep one in God’s grace. He taught how to have the right mindset to keep you free from sin. In chapter five of the book of Matthew, Jesus taught the Beatitudes to give us a measuring tool to determine where we are in relationship to the holiness of God. We must view these teachings as goals and strive to attain their power.
One Beatitude Jesus taught was humility: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:1). God has a place for the humble. As Jesus taught He came across a few that thought they knew what God desired from them. Jesus referred to them as “healthy” (Matthew 9:12). When Jesus tried to get them to change their beliefs, they thought they were already in good standing with God, in other words they were “healthy”. They were not humble enough to see their spiritual illness and it cost them a chance to be in God’s grace. If we are too prideful to see our spiritual illness we will be left out of God’s grace also. We must be humble enough to see our error and change.
Another one of the Beatitudes Jesus taught was a desire to be right with the Lord: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matthew 5:6). When Jesus spoke the words, “hunger” and “thirst,” He spoke of the most extreme measures of these needs. If you hunger and thirst you are to the point of death. It is sad to say but sometimes we hunger and thirst more for a ballgame or a hunting trip more than we do spiritual fullness. Christians are always hungering for a perfect relationship with the Creator of life. Not just craving a snack, but dying if we do not get nourishment that can only come from the word of God. We know that if we are not fed from the Shepherd’s menu, we will die. We hunger for the truth found in His word.
Jesus taught so much more, but these two spiritual lessons really stick out. The further we get from that day at the cross the further we seem to get from the desire that took Jesus there. Remember you have been called out of the world of fleshly desires and into the realm of godliness and spiritual beauty. Continue to allow God to fill your hearts with His goodness and put aside the old ways of reasoning you might have once held. Stay hungry for the beatitudes that made Christ Who He is and remain determined to be made in His likeness more and more each day. This will bring prosperity to your spiritual life and fruitfulness in His kingdom.
In His Grace,