by: Rich Vaughan
Starting this Sunday (August 2nd) and running through Sunday, August 16th, I am doing a three-part sermon series on the Beatitudes that Jesus shares in the Gospel of Matthew. Working on this series got me to thinking: Did you know there are two sets of Beatitudes? Actually, there are a lot more since the term beatitude is defined as “a declaration of blessedness on the ground of some virtue or good fortune”. A beatitude always begins, “blessed is …”. There are 49 recognized beatitudes in the Old Testament. But the most recognizable and the one almost everyone thinks of when you say “the beatitudes” are the ones uttered by Jesus and found in Matthew 5:3ff (following verses) and Luke 6:20ff.
Most scholars consider the beatitudes to be an excellent summary of Jesus’ teachings. I suppose, in some ways they are the 10 Commandments of the New Testament (I know there are 12 Beatitudes but you get the idea). That brings me back to my original question. So what is the other set of beatitudes I was referring to? They are the Devil’s Beatitudes and I list them now for our own edification, pondering, and possibly repenting!
THE DEVIL’S BEATITUDES
Blessed are those who are too tired, too busy, too distracted to spend an hour a week with their fellow Christians – they are my best workers.
Blessed are those Christians who wait to be asked and expect to be thanked – I can use them.
Blessed are the touchy who stop going to church – they are my missionaries.
Blessed are the trouble makers – they shall be called my children.
Blessed are the complainers – I am all ears to them.
Blessed are those who are bored with the pastor’s mannerisms and mistakes – for they get nothing out of the sermon.
Blessed is the church member who expects to be invited to their own church – for they are part of the problem instead of the solution.
Blessed are those who gossip – for they shall cause strife and division that pleases me.
Blessed are those who are easily offended – for they will soon get angry and quit.
Blessed are those who do not give their offering to carry on God’s work – for they are my helpers.
Blessed are those who profess to love God but hate their brothers and sisters – for they shall be with me forever.
Blessed are you who, when you read this, think it is about other people and not yourself – I’ve got you!
I hope this “got you” as much as it did me. So let’s repent and get busy in breaking the Devil’s Beatitudes and keeping Jesus’! Amen? Amen!