“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)

The chapters in Matthew’s gospel that constitute the Sermon on the Mount are the most complete description in the Bible of the principles of the Kingdom of God. Here we find our value system, our standard of ethics and of religious devotion as well as the godly attitudes we should hold towards money, career, lifestyle, leisure and relationships.

The underlying basis for these Kingdom principles lies within the beatitudes. These beatitudes are 8 blessings given for 8 qualities that all Christians manifest. These qualities are not a smorgasbord from which we pick and choose but an interconnected group that describe every believer. Each one is to be poor in spirit, mourning, meek, hungry, merciful, pure in heart, a peacemaker. Each will be persecuted.

These standards are totally at odds with the values of the world. We are under the rule and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are not to follow the ways or ideals of people in the world: celebrities, politicians, teachers, philosophers, friends or even members of our own family. We are to look to Jesus as our source of our values and our way of living. We are to live as He desires; to follow His lead so that we may shine with His glory and righteousness as lights in a world filled with darkness.