March 19, 2009

All Or Nothing

I recently started reading my way through Matthew.  I am taking just a portion each day.  Today I started chapter 5...The Beatitudes.  As you read through Matthew 5:1-12, you will see Jesus listing off what we call the "beatitudes."  Jesus goes through a list of promised blessing to people who have certain characteristics (or attitudes).

As I looked closely at this today, I asked this question: "Is there a 1 to 1 relationship between each of these?" In other words, can I do the first and fourth, while not having any of the others? Does this mean I receive only some of the blessings?

I don't think so. In fact, I think the point here is that it is all or nothing. One cannot have the kingdom of heaven and not experience comfort. One cannot be filled with righteousness(justice) and not experience mercy. They are all interwoven. On the flipside, one cannot hunger and thirst for righteousness (justice) and at the same time not be merciful. Nor can one be pure in heart and not be a peacemaker. They are all interwoven. It is all or nothing.
The problem is that to become all of these things is not easy. It takes a lot of time and a lot of work. It requires discipline on my part. What are you doing to become those things that Jesus lists in Matthew 5:1-12?

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