Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 5:3-10
The world’s system tells people that the way to be successful is to exalt yourself. You need to learn the most, look the best, make the most, and simply excel the most in order to be successful. But what if our definition of success is backwards?
The Kingdom of God has a different way of defining success. In the Kingdom, we draw close to our destiny and purpose by sacrificing and serving, not by walking over people. The Bible says that in order to be “successful” we are to live our lives for others. Because we grow up with these worldly messages of success, it is easy to believe that life is about serving ourselves and working our way to the top. In reality the poor, the weak, and the hungry will truly taste of the Kingdom of God.
This does not mean that we have to be literally hungry and thirsty in order to see God, but it comes back to dependency. Those who let go of their dependency in the things of this world will discover the blessing of knowing God. Life is much more simple than we make it. As Pastor Rick Warren says in the first sentence of his international best seller, The Purpose Driven Life, “It’s not about you.”
When we understand that true life is found in living for Christ and others, we discover the true blessings that this life has to offer. When we begin to know God in His mercy for the poor, we see His mercy in a new way for us. When we begin to love who He loves, we will make decisions for our future that will be a blessing to His Kingdom rather than building our own. He is our example and our guide.
Research: Where Do I Belong?
As we get closer to the end of this week, we encourage you to pray and think about what you specifically could do to be a good volunteer or donor at the place you’ve chosen, and pray over the time or money you are going to spend at that place. Consider writing down ideas for how you’d like to help the organization(s) you’ve been researching, while bearing in mind that your organization of choice might just need help moving boxes or doing some other form of manual labor. All kinds of service can be valuable, and a crucial part of spending ourselves.
Activity: The First Shall Be Last
Today’s activity might seem small, but it will help to change your mindset and get you outside of yourself. Make a list of five ways you can be kind and helpful to the people around you without expecting anything in return. Maybe that means doing the dishes without being asked, helping your sibling clean their room, or writing a nice note to your mom, dad, or another caring adult thanking them for what they do for you. Maybe it means something bigger, like bringing canned goods to a local food drive or volunteering to read at storytime at your local library if they have one. Whatever you decide, think about how serving others and putting their needs ahead of your own can be a reflection of Jesus’ love to them. Pray for everyone you serve and ask God to bless them in specific ways.