It is an understatement to say that we live in an age of instant gratification. I was on the Domino’s website the other week, and it said I could pay an extra $3 and they would guarantee delivery within 20 minutes. How is it even possible for someone to make a pizza, cook a pizza and deliver a pizza in 20 minutes, guaranteed? They had to cut corners somewhere surely! But that’s what we want, isn’t it? And it’s not a new concept, in 1989 the band Queen sung “I want it all, I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now” (then a stellar guitar solo). What a fitting reflection of the culture in 1989 and not much has changed in 30 years.

As we reflect on the book of Matthew, particularly the beatitudes from chapter 5, we ought to notice what God is offering. He is not offering an instant gratification ‘Domino’s’ style guarantee, and we cannot pay an extra $3 to make sure we experience this gratification at church within 20 minutes. The kingdom of God offers something that is entirely anti-cultural, it offers a reward, it offers satisfaction, it offers ‘it all’ and if you want ‘it all’, you can’t have it now. You get it when you die. Sounds like a jip, but if you think about it clearly for a second, It could be no other way. Matthew 5:12 says “12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven”. Why blessed are the meek? Why blessed are those that mourn? Why blessed are the poor in Spirit? Jesus is showing us that everything we place value in, everything that is carnal, everything that is temporal, everything that is of this world, everything of the flesh, pales in significance to one thing and that one thing, is Him.

Jesus is an eternal reward, with eternal value and eternal significance, a reward that can only be given in an eternal kingdom when we receive eternal life. I don’t know about you, but I am happy to trade the instant gratification of Netflix, online shopping and 20 minutes Pizza for that kind of reward. I am happy to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Heb 12:1). I am happy to “Fight the good fight of faith” (1 Tim 6:12). I want to be able to “rejoice and be glad” even when I am being persecuted for Christ’s sake. So if you are poor in Spirit, feeling meek, in a period of spiritual mourning, can I encourage you to turn to Jesus, truly repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. We don’t even need to do it alone; He promises to be with us, to walk with us, even to the very end of the age. His presence with us now is just a deposit; it is God’s down payment of our inheritance, a small taste of what it will be like to live in His glorious splendour forever.

Blessings, Ps. Dave.