TO BE BLESSED
Saturday, December 30, 2017
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“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33

“Blessed” is one of those biblical words we often use without really knowing what it means. We pray blessings over food, ask God to bless those around us, and even bless people after they sneeze. We tend to use the word “bless” in vague ways, but in the Beatitudes, Jesus uses it in a very specific way, which conveys its true meaning.

The Greek word we translate as “blessed” is markarios. This means “happy” in Greek, but Scripture avoids this translation because the English connotation of happiness is rather superficial. Happiness markarios style is a deep, lasting inner sense of well-being and contentment, regardless of circumstances.

There is no denying that happiness is something most people are looking for. We might look for happiness in food, sport, art, money or sexual pleasure, hoping that having just a little more of what we desire will make us happy. The problem is these things fulfill that superficial sense of happiness instead of markarios happiness. Pleasing our bodies might make us temporarily happy, but the reality is there is no physical pleasure that satisfies the deeply-seated need for lasting peace and contentment the way Jesus speaks of.

This is because we are more than just bodies. Every human being consists of body, soul and spirit. The body is, of course, our physical self. The soul consists of our mind, will and emotions, which are basically comprised of our likes, dislikes and character traits. Our attempts to find happiness are usually derived from satisfying our bodies and souls, but this is not where true happiness is found. Jesus said, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness,” which means we must look to the spiritual first. Our spiritual side, not to be confused with the Holy Spirit, is what make us question our purpose on earth. Why are we here? Where are we headed? This leads us to recognize there is more to life; something far greater in control, which prompts us to seek God, and connecting with our Creator is the deepest need of the heart.

We all want to be happy, but so many people have it backwards. True and lasting happiness has nothing to do with our bodies and little to do with our souls. Each one of the Beatitudes, though sometimes seeming counter-intuitive, is focused on spiritual things. The Beatitudes reveal that we are blessed when we seek God’s kingdom first and His righteousness. This is the disposition of heart that prepares us to recognize our need for reconciliation to God, and in relationship with Him through Jesus Christ, everything else falls into place.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your blessings in my life. May I seek You and Your kingdom first, and learn to depend more on You in the process. Thank You, Jesus.


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