The Beatitudes characterize Christ's kingdom and are the first eight statements in Matthew that begin Christ's Sermon on the Mount which Pastor Steve believes are the "right hearts and attitudes" of men and women God intended them to have until, he writes, sin became a "roadblock to having a right heart."
God sacrificed His own Son to break that “heart roadblock,” whereby God would give new hearts and spirits as recorded in Ezekiel 36:26, "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh."
Pastor Steve believes "heart attitudes are important" because hearts reflect thoughts, attitudes and emotions that words and actions reveal. When God reads our hearts He knows "the inner you," he writes, not the façade so often reflected to the world. He goes on to separates the Beatitudes into two groups and believes, "the first four heart attitudes lead to the actions in the second group of four."
In twelve short chapters he explores the words and meanings of the Beatitudes, such as "poor in spirit, which he believes means to be humble," an attitude that counters the human tendency for pride when sin entered the world. Or "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted," a statement he believes is more about repentance than comfort and sadness.
The book is an easy read of short, concise chapters with space for notes and also slips easily into purse, bag or briefcase for brief moments of down time. Besides a wonderful teaching tool and gift choice, Pastor Steve also uses the book in his street evangelism with non-believers.
'Happy Are The...: Discovering Joy In The Beatitudes,' MTA Quick Commentaries, Volume 1, by Steve Hudgik, 82 Pages, 978-1539550280, $5.99
Midwest Book Reviews, “Gail’s Bookshelf” January 2017
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