Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com/
““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. 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. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Christians are often criticized for being too focused on the next life that they do not care about this one. But when Jesus says, “great is your reward in heaven” it is meant to help his followers better focus on how they should live in their earthly lives! What does Jesus highlight for all those who will have a great reward in heaven? A hunger and thirst for righteous living, mercy, purity, making peace, and perseverance for doing what is right. That sounds extremely practical to me! What would a world filled with people like this look like? At the very least, there would be a lot less fear, anxiety, violence, hatred, animosity, war, greed, and suffering. When we focus on the hope we have in Jesus we are able to live in a way that transforms us and this world. Let us focus on Jesus, our great reward so that God would use us to bring about His kingdom here and now.