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I so desperately want to live a life of joy. I want peace and satisfaction. I desire to live in community with others, serving them, forgiving them and being loved by them. But how do I get a life like this? I know Jesus said he wanted to give me a full life but how?

"Come and retreat with me, let’s go to a mountain side and just sit and talk and I will explain to you how you live a life of complete and lasting joy." These are Jesus’s words in Matthew 5. He makes this great offer to his disciples, to come and sit and listen as he explains how life in him works. I love the Blessed R’s; they give me a road map to life and when I follow them, I experience joy. They are not easy but they are what my heart needs.

1. Blessed are the poor in spirit
I am poor in spirit when I come to the end of my rope and realize that only Jesus has the answers for my life.

2. Blessed are those who mourn
I am blessed when I mourn over my sin and realize what it does to my relationship with God.

3. Blessed are the meek
I am blessed when I am available to be used by God. When I say "your will not mine."

4. Blessed are those that hunger and thirst for righteousness
I am blessed when my greatest desire is to do right. This happens to me when I serve people in need.

5. Blessed are the merciful
I live a life of joy when I forgive others because it constantly reminds me of God’s forgiveness for me. When I know I am right with God, I feel like I can do anything.

6. Blessed are the pure in heart
My broken heart is healed when I follow him. When he is the lamp at my feet and I follow in his actions then he will show up and I will encounter him in new ways.

7. Blessed are the peacemakers
You will know community when you help others live at peace with each other. When Jesus came to earth the message was peace on Earth and when he left Earth he asked us to his continue his mission of being peacemakers.

8. Blessed are those that are persecuted
This is a kingdom worth dying for, whatever the cost. Being with Jesus in Heaven is such a great reward it’s worth paying any price to be there.

I often review this road map to joy because it helps me understand how much Jesus loves me. He made it so simple and believe me I need it to be simple. He also encourages me through it by giving me pictures of my reward.

I love to teach this to students. Many of them think God is complicated and out to get them. The Blessed R’s demonstrate his love and deep desire to be in relationship with them. You are blessed if you follow the road map to joy!
 

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