One day, Jesus led the crowds up a small mountain, where he sat down. His closest students gathered around him and he began to teach them (37):
God wants to bless you, as you bless other people:
• When you admit your self-inflicted spiritual poverty, then you will begin to be aware of spiritual poverty in other people, too. Deliverance from spiritual poverty comes in serving God as king.
• When you mourn for your self-inflicted spiritual poverty, then you will begin to notice when other people experience similar mourning. Comfort in mourning is found only in God.
• When you humble yourself before God — admitting that He is God, and you’re not — then you become aware of how humility can draw all people closer to God. In humility, God releases us from being enslaved to the world, and makes us inheritors of far more than the world has to offer.
• When you desire to live the right way, God’s way, then you will begin to be aware when other people desire to live God’s way, too. Only in God can we find fulfillment for all our desires.
• When you are merciful toward other people — when you hold back from giving them what you think they deserve — then you will experience a more profound appreciation of God’s infinite mercy toward you.
• When you try to focus on God’s pure heart — instead of being preoccupied with your own impure heart — then you will become more aware of God’s preoccupation with purifying the hearts of all people.
• When you begin to experience God’s peace, then you will become aware of how desperately other people long for peace with God, God wants to use you as a peacemaker.
Jesus added a warning & a powerful promise: These new attitudes & behaviors will bring you troubles in this life, but God will greatly reward your faithfulness in the next life.
Then Jesus returned to his main point:
- When you live for God, you’re like salt, which makes other people thirsty for God.
- When you live for God, you’re like light, which helps other people see God in the darkness.
(37) Matthew 5:1-16