Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 117

In this series we are immersing ourselves in the beatitudes – Matthew 5:3-12.  We’re trying to figure out what each beatitude means for us practically and how that affects our relationship with God, and in particular, our times of quiet with God.

The reason this is on my mind is because I am preparing a teaching and preaching series for the Thames Valley churches of Christ, and a teaching day for the Watford Church of Christ based on the sermon on the mount.

Join me today as we conclude the Beatitudes series by looking back over the first twelve verses of Matthew chapter 5.

  1. The first four beatitudes see the godly person on their knees in humility before God. As a result they are close to the heart of God.  This being the case they are changed in their dealing with others.
    • ““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.”
  2. The second four see the godly person as a citizen of the kingdom transformed in relations with the other members of the kingdom and those beyond its borders.
    • “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.”

What does this mean for our times of quiet with God? At least the following three things:

  1. Pray for strength. These qualities are seen as ‘soft’ by the sceptical and worldly-minded, but they are anything but.  Their practice is the toughest thing to which a man or woman can commit him or herself.  That’s why we need a robust devotional life. Without God’s strength, living the beatitudes would be intolerably burdensome.
  2. Pray for a new mind. The beatitudes are, amongst other things, a description of the attitudes necessary to inhabit the kingdom.  This takes a heart and mind change (repentance). “As Thielicke puts it, ‘Anybody who enters into fellowship with Jesus must undergo a transvaluation of values.’”
  3. Pray with gratitude. The awards outweigh the challenges. The promises outshine the costs. Where else, and from whom else could we ever begin to imagine receiving such marvellous gifts as those offered by God to those who live the beatitude-ship life?

Question for today: “What stands out to you most about the beatitudes?” 

Retreat updateThere are still a few places left for the spiritual disciplines retreat, “Wait for the LORD”.  You can find details on the dedicated page of my website.  If you have any questions, please drop me a line: malcolm@malcolmcox.org

I’m working on the booklet which I will send out in advance. This will contain information about the area, the details of the schedule, some tips on how to make the most of the retreat and an exposition of Psalm 130.

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community. 

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

If you’d like a copy of my free eBook on spiritual disciplines, “How God grows His people”, sign up at my website: http://www.malcolmcox.org.

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God bless, Malcolm

PS: You might also be interested in my book: “An elephant’s swimming pool”, a devotional look at the Gospel of John