The Beatitudes are not telling you how to become a Christian—they tell you what a true Christian looks like.
Everyone wants to be blessed. We want to be blessed in life, blessed in death, and blessed in eternity. In the Beatitudes, the Son of God tells us about the life that is blessed and about the people who are blessed. But Jesus does more than just describe a blessed life, He gives us a way to actually pursue it.
If you want to make strides in overcoming sin, growing in godliness, abounding in good works, and enjoying intimacy with the Lord, this book is for you. And if you have lost hope that any of these things are possible, this book is especially for you. You can make progress, starting today.
Colin Smith's Momentum: Pursuing God's Blessings through His Beatitudes explores the idea that the beatitudes represent a progression, a path to spiritual maturity in the Christian life. Far from one of those self-help spirituality books, though, Momentum is focused on the spiritual life as a gift of transforming the heart and all its passions through the progression of maturity that is life in Christ.
That progression follows certain steps along the path: Poorness of spirit, spiritual mourning, meekness, hunger for righteousness, mercifulness, purity of heart, and peacemaking:
I'm convinced that there is a roots-life-fruit pattern to the Beatitudes: the first three beatitudes form the roots of a godly life, and since these roots lie in an awareness of our own need, they produce a deep longing for what we do not have. Becoming poor in spirit, mourning over your sins, and submitting your life to God will produce a deep hunger and thirst for righteousness in your soul. This desire is the life of godliness, and it will produce the beautiful fruit of mercy, purity, and peace that Christ speaks of in the fifth, sixth, and seventh beatitudes (page 96).
The goal of Momentum, then, is to describe the Christian life with the detail that focuses on life lived with Christ. Those who are saved by Christ's grace go on to live transformed lives in the way Christ lived. The "momentum" necessary to live that life is the holiness Christ brings in salvation, not something we muster or act on for ourselves.
Momentum is one of those books on the spiritual life that I'll revisit again and again.