Teenside Daily Devotional

Read Matthew 5:1-12.

Notice that after being followed by lots of large crowds who were mostly just curious as to who Jesus was and what he could do, it is his disciples that choose to follow him up the mountain and sit with him. This is who Jesus teaches to in the next few chapters. Since he said these things to disciples, these lessons are not intended for those who have not yet committed to following Christ. Thus, we should not push them on those outside the Church. However, once someone has committed, it is their responsibility to align themselves with the truths of the Sermon on the Mount.

The first of these truths are listed as the Beatitudes. The structure of each one is a blessing on a specific group of people followed by how they are to be blessed. Each category is not determined by circumstances. They are determined by the character of one’s heart. These serve not only as a list of attributes we should strive to have; they are also a list of promises we will receive when we do attain those attributes.

The final verse in this passage says “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets before you.” We have no reason to fear or worry with these promises before us. God has called us to rejoice and be glad, even when we are persecuted. Rejoice and be glad, even when we make mistakes. Rejoice and be glad, even when you are isolated from everyone you know due to the circumstances of our world. Rejoice and be glad! Your reward in heaven is great!

*Take a moment to journal these questions. Write down your thoughts, questions, and concerns. Then date your entry. One of the coolest things is being able to look back and see how God came through for you.*

  1. Look at the beatitudes again. Are there any you feel that you align with now? Which of these attributes do you strive for?

  1. The God that tells us to rejoice and be glad even in persecution also says blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted. We serve a God that understands. He sees our pain and comforts us… but also assures us that there’s more to come and beauty to be made from ashes. What do you need Him to make beautiful? How can you cling to a hope that gives you the strength to rejoice and be glad? (Read Hebrews 11:1)

  1. Read Psalm 42:11, Romans 12:12, and Psalm 71:14-15.  Joy is not found in the absence of circumstance but in the presence of hope. This hope rests in the promise that nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:35-39). Where do you need to choose to rejoice because of the hope you have? What does it look like to choose joy?

Prayer: Spend some time praying about the things you journaled. Pray that God would help mold your character to reflect the beatitudes that you have chosen to strive for. Ask Him to continue to bring beauty from ashes. Pray specifically for the things that you need him to make beautiful in your life. Finally, pray that God would help you remain constant in hope. Ask that he would help you choose joy no matter the circumstance. Thank God for his unending love that “neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation” will be able to separate you from.

Song: Take Courage by: Kristen DiMarco

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