Last Sunday we began a series of sermons on the Beatitudes from Matthew 5. Jesus gave us these characteristics that every disciple of Christ should demonstrate. I have called this series, “Portraits of a Disciple”.
Last Sunday we considered the first, “poor in spirit”, who are those who have cast themselves on God’s grace. In order to enter the “kingdom of heaven” we need to acknowledge our spiritual bankruptcy. In the same way as the tax collector in the temple, beat his breast and said: “God, be merciful to me, a sinner” (Luke 18:9-14) so we are to confess that we are sinful and utterly without moral virtues needed to please God. It is the opposite of self-reliance. Jesus declared that it is a blessing to recognize our need to be totally dependent on God’s grace.
The second builds on the first by adding an additional response in saying, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” This is speaking about godly sorrow. When we face the evil in our own lives and in the world around and it saddens us, it is a good sign that the Holy Spirit’s conviction is in our lives. It is those who mourn about their own failings who can receive comfort by admitting their errors. If we make a mistake with a family member, friend, colleague, customer, or other person, we should admit it and ask their forgiveness. This takes courage! Without the emotional blessing of sadness over our actions, we would probably never muster the courage to admit our mistakes. But if we do, we may be surprised how often people are ready to forgive us. And if, on occasion, others take advantage of our admission of fault, we can fall back on the blessing of non-arrogance that flows from the first beatitude.
This Sunday, God willing, we will look deeper into the second Beatitude under the title, “Godly Sorrow”, Matthew 5:4. Please, join us for the Worship Service and a time of fellowship after the service.
In His grace,
Bruce Davie, Pastor/Elder