Scripture: "Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. He said: Blessed are..." Matthew 5:1-12
Study: The Old Testament ended with a curse (Malachi 4:6). Righteousness had been reduced to a little more than ceremony and tradition, sacrifice of animals, and man-made temples. Their understanding of the kingdom was nothing more that the hope for a king that would bring political power to the nation of Israel. But, God is the God of hope. The New Testament begins with a blessing, eternal life. Jesus had travel throughout the surrounding area of Galilee teaching the blessing to all who would receive it, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
The kingdom of heaven is a new way of life. Because so many misunderstand the coming kingdom of Christ, Jesus sat down and began to teach them what it meant to be kingdom-minded or for Christ to reign in their lives. He was so careful but in reality, he was telling them they needed an attitude adjustment. In other words if you belong to me your attitude will reflect my character.
Application: Many see the gospel light and hear the gospel sound but never experience transformation in their lives because they will not allow the light and sound to sink into the the depths of their mind and heart. Kingdom living, abundant life, is not just for tomorrow but how we live our lives in the present. However, without an attitude change will not be blessed. Jesus was telling the crowd, to inherit the kingdom requires evidence of an attitude change. In other words, "A bad attitude is like a flat tire, you are not going anywhere until you change it."
As a child of God we are changed or transformed into the likeness of Christ. Our new attitude and character is evidence of the baptism of the Spirit. Without this new attitude we will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.
How blessed are you? Some days I need an attitude adjustment. What kind of attitude adjustment do you need?
Dear Father, reveal to me the attitudes in my life that are not kingdom-minded. Help me to surrender my attitude so that you can produce in me your attitude and character. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.