Updated: Feb 2, 2022
I found myself in the book of Matthew in the bible and felt the Holy Spirit prompt me to read chapter 5 and it was what I needed to hear/read as I studied the chapter. I also felt that I had to share it to bless someone as well. I don't know what season you are in or what you are going through, but I believe this is for you. We are also going through a strange time in which a virus requires us to stay home and minimise human contact and with it, has brought to the light issues that we were blind/desensitised to but are now being addressed. There is nothing that happened God didn't already know about.
This season has also forced people to really reflect and speak out. The devil would rather we stay quiet, think the right things but keep it to ourselves in the fear of backlash, losing friends, falling out etc. But as we delve into Matthew 5: 1-16, we will see that we shouldn't be wary of this at all and should keep putting ourselves out there irregardless of the response.
So, we read in Matthew 5:1-12 the teaching of Jesus to his disciples and the crowd. He says,
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you"
When I was in secondary school, I remember being in my religious studies lesson. Our teacher was teaching us about the "beatitudes" and set us homework to memorise it because we had a test on it during our next lesson with her. I memorised it but I didn't know what they meant and the strong message it had behind it.
This section of the chapter talks about taking heart when we are facing hardship due to our faith in Jesus Christ. I have had people say to me that my life revolves around church, a few of my old friends laugh when I mention Jesus etc, and these sayings made me rethink why I would believe in God and have people make me feel like I was really stupid and was wasting my time. But having the right people around me encouraging me, reading this chapter again and remembering the promises God had placed on my life and how far he has brought me, really reassured me and brought me to a place now where I no longer fear what people will think of me because I am doing His work. There are many Christians all over the world where they literally get persecuted for saying they believe in Christ but they stuck to their beliefs because they knew the God they served would bless them and they rejoiced in their hearts because they knew where they were going. It says in Psalms 84:10 that " Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere....."
The Christian walk is not easy when done in our own strength. It is easier when we invite God to be at the centre and for Him to guide us. It doesn't mean that we won't face obstacles but we can be rest assured that wherever we go and whatever situation we find ourselves in, God is with us always and will never leave us. You are BLESSED!!!!
In verse 14-16, it talks about being the light of the world. We are meant to shine our light to the world so "they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven" (v15). There is so much potential and blessing you have within you which needs to be shared with the world that can't stay hidden. When people look at you and how you speak, the light of God surrounds you and for some people, they are intimidated by that and will try to make you dim that light. One of the devil's tactics is to place you in a situation where you are getting attacked just so you go back to the dark. But stand firm in your belief and be fearless. It says in Ezekiel 2:5 " And whether they listen or fail to listen - for they are a rebellious people - they will know that a prophet has been among them".
Let this be a challenge for you from today and always to speak out the words God places on your mouth and in your heart and be obedient. Do not be rebellious. When it gets hard, turn to God first and foremost and surround yourself with people that will lift you up. Let this be an encouragement to you.
Heavenly Father, I thank you for who you are in our lives. Thank you for your grace, provision, comfort, mercy, love and for just being a good Father. I also want to thank you for calling us your children and calling us to different tasks for the kingdom. I pray for myself and the person reading this that this message blesses us and also challenges us to choose you every time. Lord, we know that you will always be with us but when we get scared or fearful, I pray that you fill us with endurance, that you comfort us. I pray against every spirit of fear, deception, distraction that will try and make itself known in our lives. I pray that you help us stay close to you and your word. Re-spark that passion within us to continue serving you all for your glory. All this I ask in Jesus mighty name, Amen.
Set a Fire - Jesus Culture
Promises - Maverick City