God's Word continues to amaze, convict, teach, and grow me. Who am I in Christ, what should my life look like as a citizen of His Kingdom, how am I to live? After studying the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew Chapter 5, I find myself reviewing the discussion Jesus had concerning Kingdom dwellers' characteristics with the apostles and nearby listeners:
3." Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.
12 “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Seems impossible and so different from my culture, its values and ways of thinking. So many today seem to be "full of themselves", offering their opinions with harsh, sarcastic words, living lives full of greed and condemnation. Now, I am studying 2 Peter, and in the first chapter Peter tell us that believers in Christ have precious and magnificent promises that grant us to become partakers of His DIVINE NATURE ! More Kingdom qualities.
5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge,
6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness,
7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.
8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.
So many believers remark they don't know the will of God, don't know how the Lord expects them to live....well, just these few verses supply plenty of guidelines to keep me busy for a lifetime. We have no legitimate excuse.
Paul, in Philippians 4 adds;
8 "Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
Each one of these characteristics needs to be defined, studied, pondered over and over. When the Lord tells me He will transform me through the power of the Holy Spirit that He has given me....I realize without His power there is NO way of truly changing myself. These qualities are huge, and deep, and change comes slowly.
BUT, the journey is exciting though difficult and often painful. The reward, the mind of Christ, eternal life, INCOMPREHENSIBLE!