Jesus talked a lot about the Kingdom of God. He surprised people by describing a picture of God's Kingdom that looked rather different from the things of this world. The Beatitudes are a great example--normally we wouldn't think of the poor and mourning and meek as being blessed, but Jesus did.
God’s kingdom is upside down compared to the values of our society. What would it look like to live the beatitudes in our families?
To be poor in spirit is to recognize that we need Christ. We cannot do things in our own strength, but rely on our Savior to equip us for the tasks that lie ahead. Does your family understand that they need spiritual nourishment? How are you structuring the day to provide for the spiritual needs of your family?
We weep now for the injustice in this world and for the pain of our sins. In God's Kingdom, the Lord is close by, and all the wrongs will one day be made right. We are called as God's family to demonstrate compassion, caring about the hurts that one another might experience. Comfort one another and in doing so you will demonstrate Christ to others.
Our secular culture may value taking a strong approach, but God's kingdom values humility. Being meek does not mean making yourself a doormat, it means leading through service and living in community with gentleness. How are you modeling meekness in your home? How can you lead as a servant?
Righteousness means doing the right thing and protecting the weak from injustice, even when inconvenient. Blessings come from earnestly seeking the priorities of God's kingdom rather than personal gain. God satisfies us with the richness of a life filled with his Spirit. How is your family seeking God's kingdom priorities?
Whatever we are doing for the least of these, we do for Christ. Our families grow empathy as we extend compassion and it gives us a front row seat to seeing God's kingdom growing here on earth. Mercy is a challenge in our individualistic, self-centered society. Tony Campolo states,“If we were to set out to establish a religion in polar opposition to the Beatitudes Jesus taught, it would look strikingly similar to the pop Christianity that has taken over the airwaves of North America.” How is your family demonstrating mercy?
God wants us to live with purity within our hearts, having an undivided loyalty to him. Our families are a place for us to model hearts that desire God alone. This means focusing our hearts on the things that matter to God and not flirt with temptations. We can only live with a pure heart when we are dwelling with God and empowered by his strength. Can others see your desire to follow God?
Set an example of peace within your home. Choose to let kindness and love guide your conversations and even your disagreements! Donald R. Clymer states,"Peacemaking is the result of not only taking the beatitudes seriously, but living them. It involves right relationships." We can choose to follow the heart of God and dwell in peace with one another. How is your family modeling peace in your home?
When we follow God, there will be opposition to us and our beliefs. It's not easy to endure, but God assures us his kingdom is for those who have faced persecution. God walks with us through even the most painful circumstances that we face in life. Are you trusting God to handle your challenges?
When we follow Christ, we will face opposition. We can be assured that Jesus understands the pain that we face and that he will ultimately make things right. In God's strength we can handle whatever challenges we face in life. How might God be equipping your family for the challenges that you face?
We can still find joy in the midst of challenges because God has overcome this world and established for us an eternal home with him. How are you finding joy amid the challenges that you face?
May we model the qualities of the beatitudes in our daily lives. May God’s grace and peace be active in our lives so that everyone we meet experiences Christ through us. May we live as people who are in step with God's kingdom. May we bring glory to His name and experience the blessings of His kingdom.