ODB: Authentic Christianity

July 21, 2021

READ: Matthew 5:3–10 

Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven. Matthew 5:12

I applied for a position in a Christian organization years ago and was presented with a list of legalistic rules having to do with the use of alcohol, tobacco, and certain forms of entertainment. “We expect Christian behavior from our employees” was the explanation. I could agree with this list because I, for reasons mostly unrelated to my faith, didn’t do those things. But my argumentative side thought, Why don’t they have a list about not being arrogant, insensitive, harsh, spiritually indifferent, and critical? None of these were addressed.

Following Jesus can’t be defined by a list of rules. It’s a subtle quality of life that’s difficult to quantify but can best be described as “beautiful.”

The Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3–10 sum up that beauty: Those who are indwelt by and dependent on the Spirit of Jesus are humble and self-effacing. They’re deeply touched by the suffering of others. They’re gentle and kind. They long for goodness in themselves and in others. They’re merciful to those who struggle and fail. They’re single-minded in their love for Jesus. They’re peaceful and leave behind a legacy of peace. They’re kind to those who misuse them, returning good for evil. And they’re blessed, a word that means “happy” in the deepest sense.

This kind of life attracts the attention of others and belongs to those who come to Jesus and ask Him for it.

— David H. Roper

Which of the attributes from Matthew 5 do you especially need in your life? How can you grow in this?

Spirit of God, please produce these characteristics from the Beatitudes in my life.

Source: Our Daily Bread

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