Matthew 5:6-9

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5:6-9

This year has been a very strange year in my life. Last Thanksgiving several things came together to finally convince me to pay attention to the food that I eat and the exercise that I don’t do. So I looked for help and made some changes. It really has been a bit of a miracle. This past week I accomplished my goal. I have lost a little over 120 lbs. That’s a lot.

The key has been limiting my food universe by focusing on eating just a few things. Chicken, beef, fish, green vegetables, apples, oranges, grapefruit, potatoes, Melba toast, eggs, and Special K protein cereal. And lots of water. The miracle is that somehow something happened in my mind so that I have never felt like I have been depriving myself of anything. I just look forward eagerly to my next meal. And I let go of the expectation that my food would taste good (kale and cucumbers?) – but that has resulted in everything having its own unique and delicious taste. Weird but it works.

Could that be what Jesus is talking about in hungering and thirsting for righteousness?

My sense is that “righteousness” is less about being a “good little boy or girl” and more about being the people that God created us to be, content in our own skin, doing life in a way that adds to the life of others, depending upon God, and interdependent upon others. Righteousness is about living in the will of God rather than being driven by self will.

Such a life would be bathed in mercy for showing mercy is the only way that broken people can truly love one another. Being pure in heart begins with the humility that clearly sees our own need for mercy. And peacemaking is the only path to walk once we realize that violence and over powering others diminishes everyone.

We won’t get there today but we can take steps in the right direction. I didn’t lose 120 lbs. overnight. But it happened, one meal at a time, one day at a time. And I’m very aware that it would be far easier for me to go back to the 380 lbs. I used to be than to surrender to what it will take for me to stay where I am now. Jesus understands this about us. It is why he encourages us to live our spiritual lives one day at a time. “Give us this day our daily bread.”

Let us pray: Dear Lord, gift us with the hunger and the thirst to know your will and to surrender to it in our lives today. In big ways and small ways, use us as recipients and ambassadors of your righteousness, your mercy, and your love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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3 Responses to “Matthew 5:6-9”

  1. jon bright Says:

    i appreciate your journey i have gone through a process of learning to discipline my food intake to something more healthy. i have not lost the weight that you have attained (congrats) but i feel better that i am taking care of my body and achieving a better life style. thank you for your inspiring devotions

  2. BERT LEDERER Says:

    Fantastic and no small feat! God bless!!!

  3. Carolee Groux Says:

    I missed and found this email devotion in my inbox today. First of all, congratulations on your weight loss! It is not easy, but you seem to have found the right frame of mind in your approach to eating. We can apply the same theory to our lives by living one day at a time, seeking God’s forgiveness and mercy daily. Our reward is a more healthy and humble life; a life that seeks to help, not hinder others.

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