Welcome to a new semester of Cornerstone Youth!
This week we kicked off our spring teaching series by going through the Beatitudes. We talked briefly about what each of these statements mean to us and how we apply these statements to our lives. Here is a quick breakdown of The Beatitudes.
Verse 3- “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Poor in spirit means we realize how lost, and in need of God we are. When we confess our brokenness and sin we realize how desperately we need God, which is the path to the Kingdom of heaven!
Verse 4- “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” This mourning is both for our brokenness and the world’s brokenness. We should mourn for the state of our world, but this too should point us towards our need for God’s forgiveness and healing.
Verse 5- “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” The meek are the gentle, not in submission but in humility. Being meek means that I trust in a God that is sovereign and all-powerful and so I don’t need to assert MY will because HIS will is being done!
Verse 6- “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Righteousness does not come from actions; true righteousness is found in faith in Jesus, if we hunger and thirst for that, and truly pursue it, we will be satisfied. We hunger and thirst for a deeper faith in Christ.
Verse 7- “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” Mercy is undeserved… God shows us mercy DAILY. The funny thing is that we do not show people around us mercy. We get stuck in a mindset that we are suppose to treat people the way they deserve to be treated, God tells us that we should treat people the way He treats us! Luke 6:37 says “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;”
Verse 8- “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” In our pursuit of righteousness, we are continually becoming more pure in heart. And the more pure in heart we become (pure in heart means we long for His kingdom and not the things of this World!) the more we see God in everything. This isn’t something that all happens at once. Reference Hebrews 12:1-2.
Verse 9- “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Being in relationship with God means I’m not here to stir up issues, I’m here to make peace. Instead of driving people apart, believers should be bringing people together. I’m not putting my trust in politics, sports, or anything other than God. Thus I’m not going to fight with you over things that have little value in my lives!
Verse 10-12- “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12Rejoice and be glad for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” It’s okay that people persecute us, talk badly about us, if it’s because our faith in Christ! In fact, you should count on it! John 15:20 “20Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.”
As we look at this list, we quickly realize that this is so much to take in. How can I possibly remember to be all these things!? But see, God is not calling us to focus on being meek, or focus on being peacemakers or pure in heart. God is calling us to focus on HIM.
This is the Gospel. That we cannot accomplish these things on our own at all! But when I ask Jesus into my heart these are the characteristics I long for and begin to display!
Talking Points for your students:
- Read through the Beatitudes, what questions do you have about what each of these mean?
- How can we live out the Beatitudes? Where should my focus be?
- What are some real life examples that you see of these beatitudes being lived out?
We are so excited about all the challenge and learning this semester holds for us! Be on the lookout for more posts and info about what’s going on in Cornerstone Youth!