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What does it mean to be blessed?

1/13/2020

This past week we started a new sermon series looking at the Sermon on the Mount. The beginning of the sermon starts off with Jesus proclaiming “Blessed are the poor in spirit… Blessed are those who mourn. and it continues on in this manner. We have often referred to this as the Beatitudes. A word meaning supremely blessed. I would have us ask ourselves -What does it mean to be blessed?
We will often see friends or family and ask them how they are doing, and as we often do we give the same answers but with a Christianized rendition. Most in the world will say I'm good or I'm doing OK while in the church we say we are blessed. But what do we mean by blessed?
If we are honest many of us say we are blessed because of material or financial reasons. It is understandable when we say that because so much of the American culture and the Church is teaching that to be blessed has to do with the earthly possessions. Here are a few examples
I believe that you tend to create your own blessings. You have to prepare yourself so that when the opportunity comes, you're ready. I am grateful for the blessings of wealth, but it hasn't changed who I am. My feet are still on the ground. I'm just wearing better shoes.
~ Oprah Winfrey
There are blessings, I mean real blessings, not just cars and houses. Those are fine. Not just pools and boyfriends. Although if you get one of those or both of those, I'll celebrate with you, but far beyond that, God wants to bless you at the very state of your being.' That's what He said to Abraham, 'You will be a blessing.' Not just you will be blessed, but everybody you touch, talk to, even look at will be blessed just because they got in proximity to you.
~ Steven Furtick
Jesus had “a nice house,” “a big house,” “Jesus was handling big money,” and he even “wore designer clothes.”
~ John Avanzini
As Gloria Copeland put it in her 2012 book, God’s Will is Prosperity, “Give $10 and receive $1,000; give $1,000 and receive $100,000. . . . In short, Mark 10:30is a very good deal.”
~ Gloria Copeland
“When we pray, believing that we have already received what we are praying, God has no choice but to make our prayers come to pass. . . . It is a key to getting blessings as a Christian.”
~ Creflo Dollar
When you speak the right “I am’s” you’re inviting the goodness of God. I am victorious . I am blessed. I am talented. I am anointed. Your words have creative power. With your words you can bless your future!
~ Joel Osteen
There are numerous errors these people make in their statements but the central theme of all of them is that blessings from God result in some sort of material or financial gains. But is this what Jesus meant in the Beatitudes. The answer is a resounding NO!
In fact, if you did a Word Study of the Greek word μακάριος (Makarios) you would find that not a single time is it used in reference with material blessings but is, in fact, speaking of being highly favored by divine grace. We are blessed because God has sent His son to die for us, we are blessed for the gift of grace, a word meaning unmerited favor. We don’t deserve this grace but it is through this grace we are saved. It is the tool in which God draws us to Himself, by which He is reconciling the world.
Consider the Beatitudes, they presuppose the grace and give a glimpse of the gospel of Jesus Christ. As you read, see the tense is future, the blessings are for the life to come in eternity.​
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.”
Being poor in spirit simply means properly evaluating your spiritual state, consider the great hymn Amazing Grace, the wretch in this song is the one poor in spirit who recognizes his own sinfulness. Jesus reminds them that it is the Kingdom of Heaven that belongs to such people.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
Following the recognition of sin the blessed mourn over the fact they have sinned against God but once again are reminded that they will be comforted, this speaks to repentance.​
“Blessed are the humble, for they will inherit the earth.”
The grace of God is the comfort that brings about a humbleness for the redeemed, they realize what God has done for them, they have nothing to boast in but Christ and these are the people who will be co-heirs to the inheritance of the Kingdom the Father is preparing for His Son.​
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
Knowing who we used to be and who we now are should produce a longing for the righteousness of Christ for all of creation. The Apostle Paul in the book of Romans reminds us the whole earth is groaning for the redemption of humanity, for humanity is what fell into sin and brought the curse, humanity must be restored for the earth to be set free from the curse and made new.​
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”
As we have been forgiven and shown mercy we will likewise show mercy to others.​
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
This in time shows the sanctifying work of the Spirit producing a pure heart so that we will be able to look upon our Lord and God Jesus the Christ.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.”
As ones who are pure in heart we long to bring peace between our God and our loved ones - the peace is the Gospel by which God is reconciling the world to Himself.
Dear Christian to be blessed means to have received the saving grace of Jesus Christ, indeed if you have received this grace you are the beatitude, you are supremely blessed, don’t focus on material things, focus on Christ and His Kingdom.
For more check out the sermon series: Sermon On The Mount