June 6, 2022
The Year of our Lord, Jesus Christ
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The portion of Scripture that is commonly called “The Beatitudes” has intrigued Bible readers for over two millennia. Yet with so much time being passed since the Lord spoke these words, so few embrace their teachings. Over the next ten devotions in the series “The Year of our Lord, Jesus Christ” the beatitudes will be the focus.
Simply put, the word “beatitude” simply means to be blessed, to be happy.
To this preacher Matthew 5-7 contains the greatest message of all times. It’s commonly called “The Sermon on the Mount.” Its introduction is the beatitudes. Therein is contained nine blessings. Before these nine are highlighted make sure to understand this, these blessings are not like the blessings southerners espouse.
You’ve heard it, we say “Bless you” or “Bless your heart.” Frankly, this lovely phrase can be taken two ways. It can be a true desire for blessing, or it can be a nicely phrased put down. To know the difference, add three simple words. If they can be added and it makes sense the “blessing” is a put down. If these three little words cannot be rightly added it is a true sincere wish for blessings to come your way. What are the words that tell the difference?
“Little pea picking.” Yeah, “Bless your little pea pickin’ heart” is not a compliment, it is not a desire for real blessing, it is likened to “Christian cussing.” What is “Christian cussing”? Words like “stink,” or “Gee-whiz,” or even “Jeeze.” Its where profane words are replaced with acceptable words, but we know what they mean! If the words “little pea pickin’” can be added in between “your…. heart,” it’s not good.
The beatitudes are not that! They are true blessings from our Lord’s lips to any and all who would like to be blessed. Not only does He state clearly that blessings are available, but He also tells us how to secure, or receive, those blessings. Over the next nine days we will examine each.
So, I leave you with this; “Bless your heart.” In which the words “little pea picking” do not apply.
Until next time,
William T. Howe, Ph.D.