Receiving God’s Spiritual Benefits

Luke 6:20-23 ESV

“And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said:

‘Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

‘Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied.

‘Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.

‘Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets’.”

When interpreting Scripture, sometimes we have to go beyond just the context in which it is written to understand its meaning. And we have to ask ourselves, “Does this make sense in light of what is being taught under the New Covenant, overall?” For, do the New Testament Scriptures teach that if you are physically poor in this life that the kingdom of heaven is yours? No! They don’t. What they teach is that the kingdom of heaven is for those who have humbled themselves before the Lord, who have repented of their sins, and who are walking in obedience to the Lord and not in sin.

So, this word “poor” must take on a different meaning here. It has to do with humility and being spiritually poor (humble before God). Those who realize that they are sinners and that the only hope they have is to bow before the Lord in humility and submission, repenting in earnest of their sins, are the spiritually poor. And theirs is the kingdom of heaven. But this is not a one-time event in our lives that secures us heaven for eternity. Daily we must deny self and die with Christ to sin and follow him in obedience, and we must continue in that faith steadfast unto the very end.

And the same applies to this word “hungry.” This is not speaking of those who are physically hungry for physical food. This is about being spiritually hungry for God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) and for his righteousness. It means you recognize your need of the Lord and that you can’t make it through this life without him. And this need for him is not just about securing you a place in heaven when you die. This means that your all is given over to him in full surrender and you long for him and his word to be ever present in your life and in all that you are and do and think and say.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

And those who are weeping are not just anyone who is crying over their circumstances. It has to do with grieving over our sins, crying our sins out to the Lord in true repentance and humility, and it can also have to do with mourning over the sins of others and over the sinful condition of this world that we live in. It should grieve us terribly to see so much evil in the world, but not just in the world. Evil is permeating what is called “church” here in America, too. Liars and deceivers abound, and sin is running rampant, while so many preachers are preaching lies and not the truth.

And to me, laughing with joy has to do with the joy that we have in the Lord Jesus, realizing that this world is not our home, and we are just passing through, and one day all this suffering we are going through in this life is going to be over and we will forever be with our Lord, provided we are walking in obedience to our Lord and not in sin. For if we walk in sin and not in obedience to the Lord, we don’t have the hope of eternal life with God.

And then we are blessed of God when we are rejected and persecuted for righteousness’ sake, because we are not walking in sin, but we are walking in obedience to the Lord. And “blessed” has to do with the Lord extending his spiritual benefits (provisions, favor) to us who are walking in obedience to his commands. He fills our lives with all good things. Even our trials and tribulations are for our good, although they are painful. For what he blesses us with are spiritual provisions which are for our good, to help us to mature in our walks of faith and to remain steadfast in him.

So, we are to rejoice even when we are being called upon to suffer for the sake of the gospel and for the sake of the name of Jesus, for our reward is great in heaven. And we are in good company, for the prophets of old and Jesus and his New Testament apostles all went through the same kinds of suffering. So we are blessed.

[Matt 5:10-16; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Matt 28:18-20; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-19; John 15:1-21; Jn 16:33; Acts 1:8; Acts 14:22; Acts 26:18; Rom 5:3-5; Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; 2 Co 1:3-11; Eph 4:1-16; Eph 5:17-27; Phil 3:7-11; Col 3:16; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; Heb 3:13; Heb 12:3-12; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 2:9; 1 Pet 4:12-17]

I Just Keep Trusting My Lord

John W. Peterson

I just keep trusting my Lord as I walk a long
I just keep trusting my Lord and He gives a song
Though the storm clouds darken the sky o’er the heav’nly trail
I just keep trusting my Lord, He will never fail

He’s a faithful friend, such a faithful friend
I can count on Him to the very end
Though the storm clouds darken the sky o’er the heav’nly trail
I just keep trusting my Lord, He will never fail

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