CHAPTER THREE: AS DIFFICULT AS CAN BE FOR A MAN (re-blog on July 13, 2017)

matthew 5:8

I received a note from the WordPress. Here it is:
Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com! You registered on WordPress.com 8 years ago. Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.

I decided to reblog this blog which was posted on 13th July 2009. It is interesting to see how one person struggled with spiritual issues when he first encountered the spiritual reality of God.
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CHAPTER THREE: AS DIFFICULT AS CAN BE FOR A MAN

chapter three: as difficult as can be for a man

Jack was into the second day of Biblical living when he discovered it was not as simple as he thought. A modern intellectual man with no spiritual experience whatsoever who tried to put the Bible knowledge in his head into practice was doomed to failure from the start. As he started on the Beatitudes (the Sermon on the Mount) of Jesus he found that it was impossible to practice them.

As we can see from the following record in his journal, he was struggling with his head knowledge. There was no mention of him seeking the help of the Holy Spirit. He just did not know how. However, he was trying and seeking to practice what he believed. All was not lost.

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Day two: not as easy as it seems to be: humility, mourning, meek, righteousness

On this day number two, I continued to read further chapters in the Gospel of Matthew. Yesterday I thought the task was difficult as I would need to really ponder on what Jesus meant when He spoke those words. On the other hand, as what He spoke were not that many sentences, I thought it easy to summarize and perhaps even grouped some together as one action point. However, today’s readings were more difficult. In Matthew Chapter Four, I plunged into the Sermon on the Mount (which is considered an ideal as opposed to practicality in some Christian circle)!

I list below the eight crucial statements made by Jesus on the Mount of Olive.

  1. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3)
  2. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)
  3. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5)
  4. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. (Matthew 5:6)
  5. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. (Matthew 5:7)
  6. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:8)
  7. Blessed are the peace makers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Matthew 5:9)
  8. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10)

Application today

humility (poor in spirit)

In my younger days I thought blessing requirement number one referred to those who were poor materially. I was relatively poor as a young student with rather tight budget, and I thought it was easy to fulfill this blessing requirement. However, I later realized that it referred to a person who was humble enough to acknowledge that one was not qualified to enter the kingdom of heaven by one’s own efforts.

Without humility it is impossible to become God’s family members. Humility is difficult to learn and practice as by past training I tend to consider highly of myself. a close one said I still have a long way to go in un-learning my past arrogant self-talk. The good news is I accept my inability to save myself. I need God’s grace and undeserved favor. Whilst I can be assured of a place in the kingdom of heaven by faith in Jesus Christ, I need to work on being more humble so I can enjoy heaven on earth too.

mourning (for nations)

There was nothing to mourn over personally today so I have to skip statement number two. However when my mother passed away last April, we were comforted as we knew that she merely left for her favorite place, heaven, after ninety long years on earth. When I carried out chores for others’ parents I still thought of my mother and felt sadness and regret as I thought I had not paid more attention to my mother as I would have wanted to do in retrospect. Recently when a close one’s uncle passed away we mourned and were comforted too as he had also chosen to believe in Jesus whom we believe had come and led him home.

On the other hand, the original Biblical context was referred to Israel mourning over their captivity by foreign nations. Is there anything to mourn over for our nations? Plenty, I was told. I have recently joined a group (formed on the basis of Isaiah 62:6-7) of watchmen and watch-women from various churches who decided to pray for our nations every Friday morning 6am to Saturday 6am. I participate in the Friday 6-7am watch and pray. We pray for nations’ deliverance from being held captive by all the vices (blasphemers, idolaters, violence, greed, corruptions, hatred, strives, pride, abuses of power by people in authority, immorality, children rebelling against parents, love of selves and money, waste of resources, unthankful and unholiness etc) that had increased as the world progressed. I pray for my city. The more I pray the more I sense a commitment to this city and its total (physical, mental and spiritual) health and well being for the present and future generations.

In the Book of Prophet Isaiah (Chapter 61: 1-3), God has promised healing for the broken-hearted, liberty for the captives, comfort for all who mourn. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus confirmed what He had come to accomplish. Yes, those who mourn shall be comforted.

the meek (mild, patient, long-suffering)

This is a very desirable blessing requirement. Who does not want to inherit the earth/land and property? The meek shall inherit the earth. Two scenes come to mind, both present and future. In the present the meek shall not worry about having no share in a property. If that is what it means, it is good news to the landless and homeless. Al they need to do is to learn from Jesus as He urged in Matthew 11:29: “take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” In Psalm 37: 9, 11, it clearly stated that “those who wait on the Lord”, “the meek shall inherit the earth and they shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace”. Regardless of the present circumstances, as long as you wait on the Lord and follow Jesus, you are assured of your share and peaceful ownership of the earth at a future date.

How do I apply this requirement? Being truly meek is tough. Jesus said it is meekness in the heart, not outward show. Who sees the heart? Only God can see. Was I meek in heart today? To be honest, I do not think I was. I was in fact just the opposite when I read of positive comments about some of my blogs. (Repent!)

righteousness (being made right with god)

Was I hungry and thirsty today for righteousness? As I have mentioned earlier, I believe by believing in Jesus and accepting Him as my Savior and Lord, I have received His righteousness in my standing with God.

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