Matthew – Day 20 – Sorry Enough To Change
lease begin by reading the Shema out loud and continue trying to memorize it.
“Hear, O Israel. The LORD is our God. The LORD alone. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Amen.”
Continue trying to memorize “The Beatitudes” (Matthew 5:1-12). Today we add verse 4.
On Day 18, we looked at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount. We also discussed that Matthew 5:3-10 is known as “The Beatitudes.” These verses speak about relationship with God. On Day 19, we learned that the beginning of spiritual growth and spiritual maturity in our relationship with God is being humble and recognizing that God is the Creator, and we are the created.
Today we are going to look closely at Matthew 5:4. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” When we humble ourselves before God, and try to see ourselves as He sees us, we start to get a real picture of sin. We have misused the lives that He has given us. We have wronged Him. We have rebelled and messed up the perfect innocence given to us. We have wasted time chasing after ungodly things that we knew were wrong, but didn’t care. But now, we do care, and we mourn over our sins and our selfishness, and we determine that we will follow God’s way. These are the ones who can be assured that they will be comforted.
In our world today our view of sin has become twisted. This is another very effective tool than Satan uses. He tweaks the truth just enough to where it still seems true, but it is a trap. People no longer take sin seriously. It is accepted that since we all sin and fall short, that it is part of our daily life and is no big deal. According to David, every sin, whether small or big, is a sin against God. Read Psalm 51:3-4 (out loud). We need to take sin seriously. It is very personal – it is between us and God.
We must realize that when we sin, we do so with God right there with us. When I violate one of God’s commands, at that moment, I show by my actions that I could care less about God’s will. When I sin against another person, I am sinning against one that God created and loves. I am doing the mean things that I do with no consideration of the fact that all that I do is done in His company. Remember, we were made in His image, and when we choose to sin, we are acting in direct opposition to His actions and His nature. It is very personal with God.
The Greek word used in Matthew 5:4 that has been translated “mourn” means to lament, to have a great sorrow accompanied by tears. Read Ezra 9:6 (out loud). When we realize the depth of our sin, mournfulness will be the appropriate response. When we come to see reality, when we pull away from the worldly justification and watering down of our sins and come to see things spiritually as they really are, it is truly devastating. Read Isaiah’s response in Isaiah 6:3-5 (out loud) when he saw a vision that placed him in the presence of God. He immediately saw his own flaws – his unholiness – and he knew that he would not live.
Those who have a humble heart are saddened, because they realize that they have horribly wronged the One who created them. Those who mourn are blessed, because they realize their condition and are able to turn to God and do something about it.
Repentance means to return or turn back. In the Jewish Bible, there was a ritual for repentance where people fasted, tore their clothing, and mourned. A change of behavior was expected to follow the ritual.
Read Joel 2:12-13 (out loud). The LORD in this scripture points out that He is more interested in the inward change of the heart than the outward display of the ritual.
Paul even talks about how sorrow leads to repentance and a change of heart.
Read 2 Corinthians 7:8-10 (out loud). It is important to understand the difference between worldly sorrow and Godly sorrow. Worldly sorrow brought Judas to kill himself (Matthew 27:3-5). Godly sorrow brought about a deep mournfulness in Peter (Matthew 26:69-75) and a restoration to his Savior (John 21:15-19).
The next level of mournfulness that follows being mournful for our own sin is that we become more like the Father and Christ in how we view things. We find ourselves being sorrowful over the sinfulness in the world. Becoming more like God, as we mature in Christ, leads us to view the world with a similar view of sin – God abhors, or hates, sin – and, at the same time, has compassion for those who are struggling in it.
Today, stop and look at yourself to see what God sees. Do you take your sin seriously enough to be sad about it? Are you sorry enough to change? Pray that the LORD will make our hearts tender, and open our eyes that we might see our sins as they really are. Pray that He will help us to treat every person with respect and honor out of our love for Him.
Let today be the day that we find Godly sorrow that leads to repentance and a changed life.
Stephen Willis’ Discipleship Materials