Richvale Church
Sunday, September 26 2021
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        Aurdrea Lynn Badial

        October 2, 2021 - 1:00 PM - 1:00 PM
        The service will be held at the Oroville Veterans memorial Hall
  • Good morning, we are in a sermon series entitled, The Upside down Kingdom and we are looking at the Sermon on the Mount.
    The Sermon on the Mount has been called the greatest sermon ever preached. Jesus spoke and taught with authority and power — and a crowd had gather from all over the region to listen to him preach and to teach…
    Jesus message is on the priority of living in His Kingdom. It is a call to have Kingdom mindset that is counter intuitive and counter culture..It is a call to a different set of values.
    The beatitudes are written in a literary form called an inclusio which means that the last verse and the first verse of the stanza all end with the same phrase.
    "For theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven."
    The reason that is significant is the the sermon is a complete body of knowledge… The sermon of the mount is significant.
    The sermon on the Mount Parallels Moses and giving of the law on Mt. Sinai. Where he gave Israel instructions on how to relate God and others in the Newly form Nation... Jesus in on the sermon on the mount addresses principle for living in the New Community of faith..
    Most of us at some point spent time playing with lego.. Growing up my grandmother had this great big box of Lego at my grand parents house.. And the first thing we did when we go to her house what’s the tip out the whole box and start building… We could spend our build all kinds of things. What makes legos so much fun is there connectedness. There are multiple shapes and colors and sizes… but they all fit together…The reason is that each piece can connect to the pieces above and the pieces below..
    This is what Jesus is teaching in the beatitudes.. Kingdom Connectedness.
    Each of the beatitudes is connected to each other... starting with Spiritual Poverty our need for God... blessed on poor in spirit... blessed are those who mourn - repentance -- blessed on the meek they will inherit the earth...humility, Blessed are those who Hunger and thirst for God.... These are all our connectedness to the things above..
    Colossians 3:1–2 ESV
    1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
    The first four beatitudes talk about a connectedness to God and the second for beatitudes talk about our connecting us to each other..
    Jesus tells us that being part of the Kingdom of God.. means not only being connected to God but to community…it is the great commandment
    Mark 12:30–31 ESV
    30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
    Love God with all your heart and Soul... and to love your neighbor as yourself...
    This morning we are going to be looking at Kingdom Connectedness and the ways we relate to others...
    T/s The beatitudes... are Be-attitudes -- It is our attitude towards God and towards others..The first attitude of Connectedness is..

    1. An Attitude of Compassion

    One of the marks of the Kingdom of God is that we are called to be a Community of Compassion. Jesus says..
    Matthew 5:7 ESV
    7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
    The Greek word for Merciful.. ELEOS means pity or compassionate..
    One of the challenges we facing we are facing i at the moment in our world is "Compassion fatigue." Compassion Fatigue has to do with the sense of lack of empathy for others...
    Compassion fatigue used to mostly impacted healthcare providers. Where health professionals are constantly inundated by human crisis and trauma.. But today we see that as there are more natural disasters… and human need that is an is an increase of Empathy fatigue.
    What happens is that when we are overwhelmed we tend to shut down and disconnect and stop looking, listening and even caring.
    Some of the signs of Compassion fatigue include:
    1. Isolating ourselves from others
    2. losing our sense of joy
    3. Having the feeling of hopelessness
    4. Bottling up our feelings
    5. A negative attitude towards others
    One of the first steps to overcoming Compassion Fatigue is to recognize the symptoms and then take preventative measures… We need to ask ourselves… what do we feel when we see humanitarian crisis? What do we feel when we see those in need?
    We need to remember that Jesus has a compassionate heart..
    He Had Compassion for the crowds..
    Matthew 9:36 ESV
    36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
    Jesus had compassion for the marginalized. like the woman caught in adultery… or the Samaritan Woman at the well..
    In the beatitude, Jesus says compassion is part of living in the upside kingdom... is the merciful person for they shall receive mercy..
    There are two sides to the coin of mercy..
    First of all to be Merciful towards others...
    There is this tension between Justice and Mercy
    Justice means the punishment meets the crime… Mercy is not getting what you deserve… Often in life we are looking for justice… When things don’t go our way…We say things like that is unfair…Because the justice scales are unbalanced...
    God in his perfection is both Justice and mercy… In his righteousness he demonstrates both these qualities.. God does justice and shows mercy...
    Mercy is the ability to put ones self in another situation and then act with compassion..
    Jesus taught that Mercy is key to living in the Kingdom of God.... Blessed are the Merciful for they shall receive mercy… The merciful… will get mercy from God. God grants his divine blessings to those who respect His divine standards.
    Jesus taught this lesson to his disciples in the parable of the unmerciful servant… Peter ask Jesus how often we should forgive a brother? It is a great question? Peter doesn’t wait for an answer but he answers his own question!! Peter says 7 times…We know exactly what Peter is thinking…
    Where is the the point where mercy ends and justice kicks in…
    Jesus turns Peter’s question on it’s head..and says not only do we forgive seven times ...but rather ..seventy times seven — 490 times… Jesus is basically saying mercy should always been offered…
    Jesus then tells the story of a a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants.. and… there was one servant who owed him 10 000 talents. (basically 20 years of wages)
    The slave owed his master an immense sum—in today’s currency about twenty million dollars. The debt was impossible to repay, so he pleaded with his master who, with astonishing compassion, forgave him the entire debt. Now… that’s not the end of the story.. that servant had his own debtor...
    The servant received mercy... who who owed him about 100 Denari (100 days of work). About 2000 dollars in todays currency.
    Incredibly, the servant went and hunted his debtor down and seized him by neck and choke him and said, “Pay my debt.” When the man begged for mercy…The servant refused and through the man into prison until he paid the debt… Now The Kind got word of what had happened and heard of what his servant did and he confronts him.. The king said to his servant...
    Matthew 18:33–35 ESV
    33 And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ 34 And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. 35 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”
    What is this parable about?… It is about how much we have been forgiven… In salvation we have received grace… we are saved by grace through faith… but then there is mercy… when Jesus dealt with our sins… He bore them himself on the cross… He took the blow… he paid the price… that’s mercy...
    The problem in the parable is that the servant couldn't see the hypocrisy of his behavior…
    He had been forgiven a debt he could never pay himself… but unwilling to forgive a debt he could afford...
    The word Mercy carries the meaning of identification in the suffering of others, of going through something with another, of entering into another’s problem with understanding and acceptance.
    To forgive and to be forgiven, to show mercy and to receive mercy: these belong indissolubly together...
    Gregg Holder says it well he say that
    (We are) Always in need of God's grace, (therefore) I must also offer it. - Greg Holder
    John Stott puts it this way, it is “…not because we can merit mercy by mercy or forgiveness by forgiveness, but because we cannot receive the mercy and forgiveness of God unless we repent, and we cannot claim to have repented of our sins if we are unmerciful towards the sins of others.”
    T/s The beatitudes... are Be-attitudes -- It is our attitude towards God and towards others..The first attitude of Connectedness is..Develop…
    1. An Attitude of Compassion

    2. An Attitude of Acceptance.

    In recent months we have seen the divide grow deeper in our country, the way we’re relating with those we disagree with is deteriorating. It’s always challenging to show kindness to those we disagree with, but today it almost seems unthinkable.
    Jesus is teaching us in the Sermon on the mount.. how to live in an upside down kingdom.. how do we deal with those we don’t see eye to eye with?
    Jesus says blessed are the pure in heart.
    Matthew 5:8 ESV
    8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
    Martyn Lloyd-Jones paraphrases it,
    ‘Blessed are those who are pure, not only on the surface but in the center of their being and at the source of every activity”
    He goes onto sat that… This is a daunting requirement—_a radical cleanness of heart, totally focused on God_.”3
    What is a Pure Heart...
    The pure in heart are those whose vision is clear and focused, whose commitments are genuine, and dealings have integrity.”
    The purity of heart must not be confused with keeping up appearances..
    The religious leaders of His day believed the true test of spiritual fitness was found in how many of their rules were kept. The more rules you keep, the higher your score with God
    Jesus often accused the Pharisees of hypocrisy… On the outside they had everything together… … they followed all 600 plus laws to a T… Paul the apostle said that when he was a Pharisee... he was blameless according to the law.... The problem with legalism is that you apply that same standard to everyone else… Spiritual pride sets in… And piety quickly turns into hypocrisy… Jesus strongest words towards the pharisees...
    Matthew 23:27 ESV
    27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness.
    Jesus courageously exposed the hypocrisy of any religion that focuses on the outside of a person’s appearance while neglecting the person’s inner soul and real spiritual condition
    Jesus in the sermon on the Mount is teaching us how to be connected to one another… What he is saying is that our relationships need to be more than surface skin deep… Not lip service…but there needs to be a truthfulness.. transparency..
    A pure heart… is focused on God… Pay attention to yourself… It is looking at our relationships....
    Those of us that have eye exams have to look through this strange contraption called a Phoropter.. the optometrist will give us an eye exam… and change the lenses…and give us options of which lense brings clarity.. slowly the letters and numbers become clearer and clearer until we able to have clear vision.. hopefully as close to 20/20 as possible…
    This what Jesus does with the beatitudes..Each beatitudes build on each other…
    Blessed are the poor..
    Blessed are the repentant..
    blessed are the meek..
    blessed are those who hunger and thirst...
    blessed are the merciful..
    Blessed are the pure in heart..
    What happens now is that when we look at others —We are not looking through eyes of judgement… but rather through love...
    When I close my heart to people, I close my heart to God. - Carey Nieuwhof
    How do we become people who have purity of heart?
    The book of proverbs tells us to pay attention.. to our hearts..…
    Proverbs 4:23 ESV
    23 Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
    Keeping our hearts — is keeping our vision on God… It means that not only our minds but our feelings and actions are to be concentrated singly on God. If our focus is merely intellectual, we are not pure in heart.
    The promise is that the guiltless are those who will see God...
    John the apostle of love said it like.this..
    1 John 3:1 (ESV)
    1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.
    Blessed are the Pure in heart.
    T/s The beatitudes... are Be-attitudes -- It is our attitude towards God and towards others.. The first attitude of Connectedness is..
    1. An Attitude of Compassion
    2. An Attitude of Acceptance.

    3. An Attitude of peacemaking

    Have you ever thought about the difference between Peacemaking and peacekeeping”? There is a subtle difference.... When I was thinking about the difference… what came to mind... is the United Nations… They have their own army… and they are stationed all over the world… mainly in war torn countries… The UN mission is to be peacekeepers… to create conditions for sustainable peace… it is all about maintaining peace… making sure civilians are protected..
    Jesus uses a different word… in.
    Matthew 5:9 ESV
    9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
    Jesus says blessed are the Peacemakers…
    The Greek word used for “peacemakers” means the founders of peace. And the emphasis is on the verb “make.”
    In other words what Jesus was teaching is that Peace doesn't normally just happen; we need to make_ peace… Peacekeeping is passive… while peacemaking is intentional it is taking action..
    Bruce Barton was a prolific writer in 1950’s and his day he was was a culture icon.. He is an quoted in just about every American History book… Barton was a Christian and he wrote about our calling to be active Peacemakers… Barton said that..
    “God calls his children to be peacemakers. This involves action, not just passive compliance. Peacemakers actively
    Peace makers…
    work for peace,
    to cause reconciliation,
    to end bitterness and strife
    Peacemaking is not appeasement but deals with and solving problems to maintain peace…
    Peacemaking is what Jesus did on the cross.. He took the initiative and left heaven in order to make a way that we might be reconciled to God...apostle
    Paul writes ..
    Ephesians 2:14–17 ESV
    14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.
    Jesus not only provided peace but he also proclaimed peace so that those who are far from Him might know him..
    Bill White in his Book the upside kingdom —describes the calling as peacemaker as finding his edge… the analogy is that repelling off a ledge…something that motivates… us to get off…edge....
    … Jesus found his edge by leaving heaven and going to the cross.. White challenges the reader and asks where is your edge?
    Where is God calling you to be a peace maker?
    The prophet Micah sums up the peace making .. in Micah 6:8..
    The question on the table is what does God require of us… In the light of his mercy and grace… How do we respond… are we to give more sacrifices..
    Micah 6:8 ESV
    8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
    It is said that..
    “The rabbis who commented on this verse in the early centuries of the Christian era called it a one-line summary of the whole Law.”
    J. M. P. Smith calls it “the finest summary of the content of practical religion to be found in the OT.”
    What Micah does is says this is the ledge… this core of what its about....
    We don’t have to go accross the world to find our calling…
    Our calling is never about our abilities it is always availability…
    Calling is all about finding our Edge … The edge between Chaos and Shalom.... The space Between the hurting and the healer…
    When we find our Edge… we seeking after the well -being of another, seeking for their highest good..
    Peacemakers… look for opportunities to be the bridge of God’s peace…
    Do justice and love mercy..
    Jesus said that peace makers are supremely blessed are they because they are the sons of God...
    T/s The beatitudes... are Be-attitudes -- It is our attitude towards God and towards others.. The first attitude of Connectedness is..
    1. An Attitude of Compassion
    2. An Attitude of Acceptance.
    3. An Attitude of peacemaking

    4. An attitude of Perseverance

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a professor and Theologian…in Germany in 1935 when Hitler came into power..Bonhoeffer recognized the evil of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi movement from the beginning, even in the early days of the movement when most of the Protestants in Germany were Hitler supporters.
    As a result, he found himself unpopular, even with other Christians. As restrictions and then persecutions came in waves upon European Jews, Bonhoeffer cried against it and warned the church and the German people of the emerging evil. But no one listened. Finding himself in danger, he fled to America…
    but as soon as Bonhoeffer stepped off the ship and onto the harbor at New York City, he knew he did not belong there. How could he, he thought, play a role in the rebuilding of the German church if he had abandoned it in its darkest hour? It took him one month to get passage on a ship back to German….Bonhoeffer believed…Felt called … that someday Germany would survive the Nazis and someday would need to be rebuilt… That was his ledge.. as soon as he went back he was put in prison…
    for the next two years Bon ministered to fellow prisoners awaiting execution. One of Bonhoeffer’s fellow prison mates was Captain Payne Best, an Englishman, who survived the prison camp to pay tribute to the prison-camp pastor: "Bonhoeffer was different, just quite calm and normal, seemingly perfectly at his ease…His soul really shone in the dark desperation of our prison. He was one of the very few men I have ever met to whom God was real and ever close to him."
    He would preach sermons to them while they were in the back of military trucks, chained and jostling around. He would preach in the barracks as they lay on their cots and as they gathered around this thoughtful, soft-spoken academic theologian in his wire-rimmed spectacles….Dietrich Bonhoeffer once wrote, “When Christ calls a person, He bids him to come and die.”
    On April 9 1945, three weeks before American forces liberated Flossenburg, Bonhoeffer was executed. Today the tree from which he was hanged bears a plaque with only ten words inscribed on it: “Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a witness to Jesus Christ among his brethren.”
    Jesus said.. blessed are the persecuted..
    Matthew 5:10 ESV
    10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    We are fortunate to live in a country where we can practice freedom of worship… But it is not the case in many parts of the world.. It is estimated that more Christians have been martyred for their faith in the twentieth century than in all previous centuries combined.
    One study claims that 400 Christians are killed each day worldwide right now. That’s one every four minutes.
    There is a very natural progression in the beatitudes.. from one beatitude to the next.... Being a peacemaker by practicing justice and love and living by kingdom standards is initiating a confrontation with society which can be taken as a judgment…
    If we are going to be involved in business of reconciling people… we are going to face conflict and in fact the scriptures are clear that those who follow Jesus will face various level of persecution..
    The apostle Paul told Timothy,
    2 Timothy 3:12 ESV
    12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
    Jesus told His disciples in the Upper Room before He was crucified
    John 15:20 ESV
    20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.
    Jesus expounds what he meant by persecution…on one side of the pendulim it may mean martyrdom… but on the others side persecution… means that people persecute us with their words…
    Matthew 5:11–12 ESV
    11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
    Jesus says remember… when this happens to rejoice…
    Rejoicing isn’t a feeling; it’s a choice to be glad and jump for joy in the present. Rejoice—lean consciously toward joy and delight in grace.
    Rather than get discouraged.... Rejoice Press forward...Jesus is teaching His followers to practice spiritual judo,…
    In judo, you use your opponent’s strengths against him, but this requires insight and experience. When you’re ridiculed, when others attack you, put you down, make fun of you, blackball or and worse. Jesus says don’t fight back..
    … press in to Christ… Rejoice… Press back by doing Justice, love mercy walk humbly with your God..
    Practice your judo moves. Use the persecution to make you stronger and wiser. Be audacious. Instead of crumbling in fear or exploding in anger, let the joy of the Lord be your strength.
    Conclusion..
    Do you have of connection.. connection is an attitude...
    1. An Attitude of Compassion
    2. An Attitude of Acceptance.
    3. An Attitude of peacemaking
    4. An attitude of Perseverance
      • Colossians 3:1–2ESV

      • Mark 12:30–31ESV

      • Matthew 5:7ESV

      • Matthew 9:36ESV

      • Matthew 18:33–35ESV

      • Matthew 5:8ESV

      • Matthew 23:27ESV

      • Proverbs 4:23ESV

      • Matthew 5:9ESV

      • Ephesians 2:14–17ESV

      • Micah 6:8ESV

      • Matthew 5:10ESV

      • 2 Timothy 3:12ESV

      • John 15:20ESV

      • Matthew 5:11–12ESV

      • John 15:20ESV

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