Category Archive: The Beatitudes

Jan 04

Blessed are the Persecuted

It was the morning of Good Friday, almost 2000 years after Jesus was on trial. My father and other organization members had gone to the courthouse. I lived with my family in Central Asia, and for months our whole team had faced investigation from the government, court summons, attempts to sneak out of the country …

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Dec 06

Blessed are the Peacemakers: 3 Places to Encounter Shalom

When I look at the news headlines, I almost always see accounts of discord and power struggles, which catch out attention because of our aversion to pain and conflict. The global history of wars speaks of the human tendency to seek power, yet there remains a deep desire to live in a place of peace. …

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Nov 14

Blessed Are the Pure in Heart: An impossible goal?

When reading the Beatitudes, the descriptions of those being blessed often seem lofty (I know my focus is not always on righteousness) or unpalatable (whose goal is it to be meek and mourning?). We all know that no one is perfect, so the next statement appears out of our reach. Jesus said: “Blessed are the …

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Nov 10

Blessed Are the Merciful: 3 Ways to Show Mercy

Have you noticed the cyclical patterns of relationships? It can go two directions: When one person demeans another, the recipient will often react negatively and hurtfully, giving more grounds for hard feelings, a pattern of conflict gradually escalating as the lists of wrongs grow longer. One the other hand, a display of kindness can spark …

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Oct 27

Blessed Are Those Who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness

I just read in the news that between 1990 and 2014 the percentage of people going hungry in this world has dropped from 18.7% of the total population to 11.3%. An incredible global effort has been reaching out to those who hunger and thirst, because of the fundamental nature of these needs. While this pattern …

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Oct 27

Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

We’ve been exploring what it means to be part of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, starting with Jesus’ descriptions of its citizens, including those who are “poor in spirit.” He goes on to say: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” This one hits close to home for the many who …

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Oct 21

Blessed are the Meek

As we read through the Beatitudes (so far covering the poor in spirit and those who mourn), we encounter a word I don’t hear very often in daily conversation: Meek. Jesus used this word, also translated at gentle or humble, to draw a fairly strong conclusion: “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the …

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Oct 21

Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

  We’ve started talking about the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus begins his longest recorded sermon by diving right in to descriptions of people found in that kingdom (poor in spirit, mourning, meek, merciful, etc.), which sound much more like people on this earth than those experiencing eternal bliss. Yet, his statements of how such individuals …

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