January 30

Matthew 5:1-3 1Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2and he began to teach them, saying: 3"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus had a different approach than many ministries of today. Instead of going for numbers, He sought to train a small group who could teach others. God wants to work through us. He has always desired to include us as co-laborers.

Everyone is immersed in a society that has a way of viewing the world. Without even realizing it, our thinking is shaped by our culture. Jesus was from a heavenly culture. Those who followed Him on up the mountain were about to be taught the heavenly way of thinking. God's ways are very different from the cultures of man. One of the Christian's chief areas of growing into maturity is learning the mind of Christ. If we want to go on with Him, He will teach us the difference between worldly thinking and godly thinking.

This passage is called 'The Beatitudes'. Each phrase begins with the word 'blessed'. The Greeks saw this word as applying to complete satisfaction in the hereafter. Jesus applied it to the present fullness when a person enters the kingdom of heaven. We could call the Kingdom, "the place where the King reigns." The first idea He presented is basic to entering into the Kingdom. Here are a few paraphrase versions that try to catch the full meaning of this rich expression: 3"You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. (Message) 3"Humble men are very fortunate!" he told them, "for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them. (TLB) 3"Those people who know they have great spiritual needs are happy, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to them. (NCV) Begin by realizing you are unable to help yourself. Then you will find the fulfilling joy of Christ reigning in you. How opposed to the world's view!

Consider: Have you come to that heavenly realization? You have to start there. Climb on up the mountain and hear Him.