Garry spoke last night from Matthew 5:1-12, looking at the subject of what it takes to be a hero for God.

We generally think of heroes as someone brave, fearless, with exceptional strength and courage. Soldiers often have to perform heroic tasks, saving the lives of other people, earning medals for their bravery and heroism. In films, heroes used to be portrayed as virtuous, honest, steadfast and perfect in every way. More recently, the concept of the ‘flawed hero’ has been promoted: heroes who are perhaps easier for us to relate to because they are not perfect but still do good, heroes such as Batman, Spiderman or Superman:

More recently, Hollywood has created the ‘antihero’, where someone perhaps performs good deeds almost against their will, since they stand for values which may not be seen as good! Then, of course, there are the ‘unsung heroes’ of everyday life, people who do good on a regular basis and yet whose good deeds may never receive recognition or fame.

In the Beatitudes, Jesus shows us what God is looking for in people and what, therefore, He classes as heroic. Garry looked at the first Beatitude: ‘blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’

The spiritually poor recognise that they have nothing of worth to offer God. All of us are in this position of being wholly dependent on the grace and mercy of God, but many of us fail to realise it. Eph 2:1-3 clearly shows us the state of all mankind without God. The spiritually poor are those from whose eyes the scales have fallen, so that we can see this present reality as it really is. We recognise the beauty and value of the now, but we understand that there is so much more to be revealed. We understand that what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. The spiritually poor actually see life the way God sees it.

The reward for a hero in the world’s eyes may be medals, honours, recognition. God also rewards His heroes. The reward promised to the poor in spirit is the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of heaven is everything that the earthly kingdom is not. It is eternal, will not pass away or fade; it is a place of no more suffering or pain or tears. Rev 22:1-5 paints a vivid picture of this kingdom, showing us that the poor in spirit will reign forever and ever. God is in the middle of this kingdom and will be with us forever. He has given us this inheritance freely because of His grace and His Spirit is the guarantee of this inheritance.

God’s heroes maybe look very different to the world’s heroes, but we need eyes to see eternal values and to look at life the way He sees it so that we can be His heroes.