21. Blessings

The New Testament is a record of Jesus' words, works, and legacy. Jesus was God's messenger. His ministry made it possible for you to know God face-to-face. His only mission was to effect this relationship and open God's storehouse of blessings to you now. It is not necessary to wait for another time, later in your life, to meet God. Now is the time.

The "Sermon on the Mount" is Jesus' first recorded public discourse. The first book of the New Testament is Matthew, where the "Sermon" is preserved in chapters five, six and seven. In it are the two best known lessons Jesus spoke, "The Beatitudes" and "The Lord's Prayer."

God's blessings are promised in each of the nine beatitudes, posted at the first of the "Sermon" in Matthew's chapter five. Each sentence begins with the word, blessed. Our English expression for this condition is beatitude, from the root word, beatify. We define beatify as having attained or received God's blessedness. Thus, "The Beatitudes" tell us that God's blessings are real, and provide great rewards.

Because we live in the material plane of existence, we can think about blessings only at that level. We think that God's blessings are about health, wealth, and protection. But God's blessings are not that limited. His gifts do include supplying our material needs, but extend much further. He gives personal attention, individual spiritual gifts, and faith. He lets you know his reality, love and presence. These are private events between you and your Father, so you can get to know him, and the two of you can enjoy each other.

As you read "The Beatitudes" you see that this attitude is the key to receiving blessings. Nowhere in his teachings does Jesus say your religious works, in church or out, are what causes God to act in your life. The reverse is true. He taught about attitudes. Your attitudes are what direct your acts and make them good or bad. Understanding this will open God's storehouse of blessings to you.

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