Matthew 5: The Sermon on the Mount: The Beatitudes (3)
Pray Psalm 37.1-6.
Do not fret because of evildoers,
Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.
For they shall soon be cut down like the grass,
And wither as the green herb.
Trust in the LORD, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.
Sing Psalm 37.1-6.
(Neumark: If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee)
Let not the wicked make you worry; envy not those who break God’s Word.
Like dying grass will they be sorry, and fade like every dying herb.
Trust in the Lord and do His will; dwell in His grace, be faithful still.
Delight yourself in God’s salvation; He’ll give you all your heart’s desire.
Commit to Him your every station, and His good purpose will transpire.
Your righteousness a blazing light He will bring forth against the night.
Read Matthew 5.1-6; meditate on verses 5, 6.
1. What expectations does Jesus hold out to us in these verses?
2. What qualifications does He require for us to realize those expectations?
In verses 3 and 4, Jesus outlined the entry requirements for those who would be blessed with the Kingdom of God. They must recognize their spiritually impoverished condition, and weep for their sins. These are not one-time conditions, but the ongoing posture of those who know the happiness of being citizens in God’s Kingdom.
In verses 5 and 6, Jesus sweeps His hand across the horizon of history, as He teaches us what to expect from this Kingdom life, that is, what His priorities for the Kingdom are. The whole earth lies before us, and Jesus intends to give it to His followers, that they might fill it with righteousness. The Kingdom of God is righteousness, Paul reminds us (Rom. 14.17, 18), and righteousness is the highest objective of Kingdom-seekers (Matt. 6.33).
Jesus reached back to Psalm 37 for these two verses. The whole psalm, because it tells us what to seek in the Kingdom, warns us to expect opposition, and encourages us to delight in the Lord, shows He’ll bring the Kingdom to pass in and through us.
We are truly meek when we are like Jesus (cf. Matt. 11.29 where NKJV gentle is actually meek), and we can only be like Jesus when we are in Him – heart, soul, mind, and strength. Believe in Jesus. Trust in Him and fear nothing. Delight in Him above all else. Let the indwelling Spirit transform you increasingly into His image, and you will be meek, and you will bring righteousness into every aspect and to every person of your Personal Mission Field, just as Jesus did in His.
Ah, but we must hunger and thirst for righteousness. We must earnestly desire this, so that we will work at attaining righteousness, whatever it takes. And this means desiring Jesus, for only Jesus is righteous! When we want to know Jesus, see Jesus, learn Jesus (Eph. 4.17-24), be transformed into the image of Jesus (2 Cor. 3.12-18), put on Jesus (Rom. 13.12-14), and have Jesus increase in us even as we decrease to make more room for Him (Jn. 3.30), then we will be hungering and thirsting for righteousness. When we do, we will delight in the Lord, and He will give us what we want desire – which should be more of Him (Ps. 37.3-7)!
Here is the vision of life in the Kingdom: The earth, filled with followers of Jesus, hungering and thirsting above all else for more of Jesus, being filled with Jesus to overflowing (Jn. 7.37-39), and filling all the earth with Him (Eph. 4.8-10). This is the vision that should animate and move us in everything we do, as we seek the Kingdom and righteousness of God.
1. How would you explain Christ’s vision for life in the Kingdom to a new believer?
2. What does it mean to delight in Jesus? How can you tell when someone truly delights in Him?
3. Is Jesus’ vision for life the Kingdom the vision that animates and moves you each day?
The meek are those who submit to wickedness and do not resist evil but overcome evil with good. Let the haughty therefore quarrel and contend for earthly and temporal things. But “blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the land.” This is the land from which they cannot be expelled. Augustine (354-430), Sermon on the Mount 1.2.4
Make me more like You, Lord Jesus, so that, as I go into my Personal Mission Field today I can…
Pray Psalm 37.7-16, 34-37.
The Lord has given you a Personal Mission Field, as the place on earth He intends for you to inherit, in the meekness and power of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wait on the Lord, and go forth to serve Him, delighting in the Lord and His peace.
Sing Psalm 37.7-16, 34-37.
Psalm 37.7-16, 34-37 (Neumark: If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee)
Rest in the Lord and wait on Jesus; fret not at those who practice sin.
Forsake all wrath till anger ceases; let anxious fears not enter in.
The wicked perish from the Lord, but they are blest who heed His Word!
The wicked man shall shortly perish; his place no longer shall be found.
The humble will God’s grace inherit, and in His blessings much abound.
The wicked plot the righteous’ fall: God laughs; He will destroy them all!
The wicked wield their sword and arrow to cast the righteous to the ground.
Them they would slay and fright and harrow, but God shall turn their schemes around.
The little of the just is more than all the wicked lay in store.
Wait on the Lord, His way observing, and He will lift you up on high.
Those prone to wicked ways preserving, your eyes shall see cast down to die.
The blameless man shall stand upright, for God preserves him by His might!
T. M. Moore
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).