The Church in America today is facing opposition like never before. We are not being killed or in prison (yet), but social pressure like never seen in our country is rising up.
There are many who are seeing “end times” in everything around us. Perhaps so, but in the last 2000 years The Church has come under persecution in many countries and in many different times.
However what has me most concerned, is the anger that I hear in so many Christian conversations. With the political upheaval this past year, Covid-19 and the lockdowns, Mask versus no mask controversy, etc., I have seen (and been guilty of myself) of arguing one side or the other and perhaps allowing anger to creep into my voice.
Discussions about Easter, Christmas also are topics heatedly debated.
Today I want to stop and look at the Beatitudes.
THE BEATITUDES (Matthew 5:1-12)
 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Be POOR IN SPIRIT. That is, detach yourself from earthly possessions that distract, and attach yourself completely to God. Rely completely on God like a beggar relies completely on others for survival.
 Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Be MOURNFUL ABOUT SIN. Take sin seriously. Recognize how awful it is – and be sorry for your sins. Grieve the affect that your sins have on God. Remember that your sins sent Jesus to the cross.
 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Be MEEK. Consider who God is and who you are not and therefore respect Him as a child ought to respect her parent. Allow yourself to be controlled by God without disputing or resisting – knowing that he is always going to do what is best for you.
 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Be STARVING FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Strive continuously to live more in line with God’s word. Train, by God’s grace, to be more Christ-like all the time.
 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Be MERCIFUL. Step outside your comfort zone, and into the lives of the needy. Live out the gospel in the world, demonstrating self-sacrificial compassion to the down and out.
 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Be PURE IN HEART. Give sin no foothold in your life. God is holy and cannot occupy the same space as evil. Your heart belongs to God.
 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Be a PEACEMAKER. Actively pursue healing broken relationships. Don’t be a trouble-maker who causes divisions among people.
 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Be ON THE FRONTLINES. Remember that you are engaged in a spiritual battle and get out there and fight! Staying out of it might mean you’re safe from persecution and harm, but you will surely miss out on the blessing of God
Non of those above make place for anger in our conversations. Even when we are right!
Meek, mercy, peacemaker; those require a soft answer. This isn’t saying we should not stand up for the truth, but the way in which we do it might need to change. Perhaps we might consider the proverb, a soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Prov 15:1