“Marks of a Godly People”
Rev. Mike McGarry
Emmanuel Baptist Church, July 4 2010
As we celebrate our country’s independence, we hear many references to “God Bless America” and prayers for us to become a “Christian nation.” But what would a “Christian nation” look like? The Beatitudes were given by Jesus to his disciples as a description of what He wants his followers to look like, and I believe they continue to serve as excellent “Marks of a Godly People.”
Jesus said “Blessed are:”
- The Poor in Spirit: Do you consider yourself in need of the grace of Christ to pay the debt of sin you owe to God, or are you relying on your own “goodness” and righteousness to pay that debt yourself?
- Those who Mourn: Have you received the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, through faith in Jesus Christ? Are you relying on Him for your comfort?
- The Meek: Are you the center of your world? Are you teachable and humble, or are you always right? Remember that no one enters the Kingdom of Heaven as a King, only as a servant.
- Those who Hunger and Thirst After Righteousness: Are you living on spiritual junk food, or on the Word of God? Do you regularly and honestly pray “Thy will be done?”
- The Merciful: We hear a lot about love and grace and mercy, but are you willing to truly and at great sacrifice to your own personal comfort and possessions identify with the miserable in their misery?
- The Pure in Heart: Are you relying on “clean hands” (seeming Christlike) to give you a “pure heart” (actually being Christlike)? Who are you when no one’s looking?
- The Peacemakers: Does peace or conflict follow you around? Do you live as if other people’s actions against you are more serious than your actions against God (if you won’t forgive them, then you are!)?
- Those who are Persecuted Because of Righteousness: Have you fallen into the trap of compromise or an unhealthy desire to be relevant? Do you look more like the world or like Christ?
As you hold these “Marks of a Godly People” up to yourself, how do you measure up? How do we, as a country, measure up? If we want to talk about America as a Christian nation but the Church in America isn’t even accurately described by the Beatitudes, then maybe we need to spend more time hungering and thirsting after righteousness ourselves rather than blasting politicians and the media.