“Blessing according to Jesus”
Joke about counting your blessings: Matthew 5:3
A group of seniors were sitting around talking about all their ailments while drinking coffee.
“My arms have gotten so weak I can hardly lift this cup of coffee,” said one.
“Yes, I know,” said another. “My cataracts are so bad, I can’t even see my coffee”.
“I couldn’t even mark an ‘X’ at election time, my hands are so crippled,” volunteered a third.
“What? Speak up! I can’t hear you!” shouted another.
“I can’t turn my head because of the arthritis in my neck,” said a fifth senior, to which several others nodded weakly in agreement.
“My blood pressure pills make me so dizzy!” exclaimed another.
“I forget where I am, and where I’m going,” said another.
I guess that’s the price we pay for getting old”, winced an old man as he slowly shook his head. The others nodded in agreement.
“Well, count your blessings,”
said a woman, “thank God we can all still drive”!
Nel and Annso – 2 pics from Germany 2020
Do you want to be blessed in 2021?
Blessing – a beneficial thing for which one is grateful
What does it matter if men say we are blessed?
Do not be overawed when others grow rich,
when the splendor of their houses increases;
for they will take nothing with them when they die,
their splendor will not descend with them.
Though while they live they count themselves blessed—
and people praise you when you prosper—
they will join those who have gone before them,
who will never again see the light of life.
But what about according to Jesus?
So to begin 2021, we’re starting a series on the Beatitudes from Matthew 5.
Consider what’s important…
It doesn’t matter if I say I’m blessed, or if others say it, but that God says it.
The Beatitudes are…
Compelling, Searching, Leading me into worship
1. the defining marks of a Christian.
The beatitudes do not describe how to become a Christian.
They describe what it means to be a Christian.
They are tools we can use to evaluate ourselves.
(Is this describing me?)
Are my decisions different because I know Jesus?
Example: Following Jesus and the world might have been possible but it won’t be for long.
“If you don’t live it, you don’t believe it.” – Mike Glenn
Belief must be proved by action.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and PUTS THEM INTO PRACTICE is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.…”
Saying I am a Christian and still indulging my sins of choice are not the marks of a Christian, but the marks of a hypocrite.
Do I make progress over time or do I stay the same over the years?
“If we do not imitate his life, we cannot be saved by his death.”
– Thomas Watson
In the verses right before the one about putting his words into practice, we see it plainly stated.
Many will say to me on the day, “Lord, Lord did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evil doers.” Matthew 7:22-23
These people obviously considered themselves blessed and probably so did many others, but Jesus didn’t.
You can be a pastor, involved in ministry and good works and not be poor in spirit
think about the thief on the cross.
But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:40-43
He had poverty of spirit… without DOING anything for God.
The beatitudes are describing what a true Christian is like.
Ask these questions of yourself.
are poor in spirit (Am I humbled before God?)
mourn (Do I mourn over sin or do I gloss them over?)
are meek (Do I submit to what God wants over my own desires?)
hunger and thirst for righteousness (Do I have an appetite for his righteousness?)
are merciful (Do I identify with the weakness of others?)
are pure in heart (Am I sensitive spiritually?)
are a peacemaker (Do I bring peace or strife where I go?)
are persecuted because of righteousness (do I make decisions that cost me?)
As we go through these, you might find that you are not a Christian.
It will be the biggest blessing of your life.
The Beatitudes are…
2) a progression.
a key to making progress in your life
Each one flows out of the one that went before.
Rings. (You can’t go to the next one without the one before.)
They are not, “pick and choose” which ones we want.
Example: Because I was behind in math, I couldn’t just skip to Calculus. I had to have the previous math courses to be ready to start the next one.
The Beatitudes are…
3) keys to unlocking the blessing of God.
The first 3 are: about our need. (the roots)
The others are the fruit
Why can’t I forgive? Why don’t I hunger and thirst for righteousness?
BAD ROOTS CANNOT PRODUCE GOOD FRUIT
Going from one to the next, not starting in the middle.
those who know they do not have what it takes posses the kingdom of heaven
repentance of heart cultivates a willingness to submit to God
Application: If we want to be blessed this 2021… let’s use these to actually become like Jesus.