This is a follow-up post to our look at the Beatitudes over at theHeartSeekerBlog.wordpress.com…
Having looked closely at “The Beatitudes” (you can read those thoughts @ the above-mentioned site) I wanted to conclude by pointing out something really important.
When we see such amazing admonitions in Scripture, the tendency for so many of us is to see such things as something that we need to take great care (and apply our energies) in accomplishing. In other words, we read the Beatitudes, realize our shortcomings, and make our pledge to do better at what Jesus asks of us. We see the Beatitudes as some kind of holy “to-do” list, in order to gain all the blessings that God seeks to give us.
The problem is that we see how poorly we compare to the list, and we make it our solemn duty to try and do better to live up to the standards that Jesus lays out for us.
But I have some really good news… the Beatitudes were never intended to be a set of standards by which we measure our godliness – they were intended to give us insight into the very heart of God… and into what His work has already accomplished for us.
The profound message of the gospel is NOT that God has “turned over a new leaf” for us (so we can leave behind all our screw-ups and try to get it right this time!).
The gospel is that Jesus came and accomplished everything that needed to be done so we could live a completely new kind of life.
The Beatitudes are the description of that kind of life. They describe a life free from the burden and bondage of sin, and empowered to live just as Jesus lived when He was among us. They describe a life that is totally in love with God… and in that deep love, also deeply in love with all humanity (even those who mistreat us!).
The amazing news is that we do not have to try and do what the Beatitudes are describing – because of Jesus’ work on our behalf… we already ARE.
Jesus came to end the need for us to try hard (and try harder) to live up to God’s holy standards. Through His work, we are given a gift of righteousness, we ARE new creations, and rendered completely fit for God’s Own habitation.
True Christianity is… God living IN us, doing what God does through us.
From the very first moment that we surrender our hearts to Jesus (and receive what He has done) God comes to live within us. And from that very first moment, God is committed to doing what only He can do, through our lives.
Our failures are not because we are not doing what God wants… our failures come when we get ourselves in the way of what God wants to do through us – each and every moment of our days.
We do not have to try and do what the Beatitudes are telling us – because of Jesus, the Beatitudes ARE our new nature – the very nature of God, displayed through our surrendered hearts.