January 31, 1999
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on the side of a mountain and sat down.
Jesus' disciples gathered around him, and he taught them:
God blesses those people who depend only on him.
They belong to the kingdom of heaven!
God blesses those people who grieve.
They will find comfort!
God blesses those people who are humble.
The earth will belong to them!
God blesses those people who want to obey him more than to eat or drink.
They will be given what they want!
God blesses those people who are merciful.
They will be treated with mercy!
God blesses those people whose hearts are pure.
They will see him!
God blesses those people who make peace.
They will be called his children!
God blesses those people who are treated badly for doing right.
They belong to the kingdom of heaven.
God will bless you when people insult you, mistreat you, and tell all kinds of evil lies about you because of me.
Be happy and excited. You will have a great reward in heaven. People did these same things to the prophets who lived long ago. [CEV]
1. Look at the 8 current blessings
Blessings 1 & 8 surround the others - the context is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessings 2 & 7 find being a child of GOD to be a great comfort.
Blessings 3 & 6 find GOD being seen in creation.
Blessings 4 & 5 identifies what we want to be mercy.
To bring others comfort is to introduce them to their also being a child of GOD.
To care for creation is to find GOD.
To offer mercy is to clarify what the "golden rule" is all about.
2. Which of these blessings have you already experienced? Which do you stand in need of?
3. There are those who identify this as the Christian constitution. From this come all the other preachings and healings of Jesus. Others see it as the Christian bill of rights. How basic is this list to your faith journey? Do you keep coming back to it to measure your life?
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