Sunnyside First Baptist Church
Are We "Blessed" Enough... To Be Humble and Meek?
- The Story Behind the Story...Jesus began His earthly ministry after His Baptism by John.16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”----------------------Let’s wind our own clocks back that far.How would have we responded to God Himself talking to us?How would we be affected by God saying.. “This is my son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”And secondly - Are we ready to stand before the Lord on our final day… And are we ready to hear… “This is my son [or daughter], whom I love; with [them] I am well pleased?”In order to answer that last question we have to be willing to answer the first two questions.How would we respond to God Himself talking to us?How would we respond to God’s full and complete endorsement?Now Jesus obviously has a leg up on us… He is God-Incarnate. He has many of the same attributes that God Himself has.But… When Christ came down to earth, He did not come with all of God’s attributes.He gave many up.So that He would be in the same place that we are.He became mankind… He became brother, friend, and mentor.5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.-----------------------After satan tempted beyond what any of us could stand, we read that Jesus began to preach. His message was simple.It wasn’t a 3-pointer, it wasn’t even a 2-pointer. Here is the sum and substance of the messages of Jesus. I’m not sure that my preaching prof would’ve liked it but here we go.Matthew 4:17 (NIV84)17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”-----------------------There are literally 100’s of scholarly volumes written on each of these words, as simple as we see them is as difficult as scholars try to make them.Here are some ideas:Repent - Change one’s mind, feel remorse, be convertedKingdom of Heaven - The domain ruled by God as sovereign King.So according to the Jeff Pagel version of the Bible here is how I would say what Jesus said.Jesus began to preach for EVERYONE to commit to a life change, to feel remorse about the sins that we have committed and commit 1000% of our lives to the domain ruled by God as KING..!I’m not sure you knew this when you turned your life over to God.I know that I did not know these things when I committed my life to the Lord.The only thing that I knew was that I was in a heap of trouble, the trouble was my own doing, and I was in deep weeds.So deep I couldn’t see out.I finally at age 25, realized I could only look up. And there Jesus was, with his arms wide open and a tear on His cheek for the mess that I had made of my life.The only thing I could say was “Jesus Help Me...”He helped me, He disciplined me, He made my life whole, He demanded that I leave my past life behind, He was my brother, my mentor, my friend, my Savior and my Lord.He called me… yes me. In similar fashion that he called His first disciples. Because I was just that… His disciple!19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”-----------------I got the first part… “Come follow me.” I didn’t have a clue about the second part… “I will make you fishers of men.”I soon found out… I began talking to others about my repentance and how they too should repent. Didn’t go over well with my boss…I watched Jesus do 100 miracles in my life, I watched Him turn my life around, I watched him create in me a new heart. I watched him drive me to the cross with my sin and with the desires of my heart. And then he told me toWait… And wait I did...During that time He challenged me, he pushed and prodded, He came alongside even though I pushed him away. He was always there.My hope and prayer for us...That have committed your life to Christ in the fashion that you do.That Christ is #1 in your life,That he pushes and challenges you,That even though we push him way He still stays with us.That you have repented of your sin and are making yourself a fisher of men.By God’s Grace and Mercy he made you and me into disciples…It was Jesus next step and should also be ours to be trained. To be discipled.You see accepting Christ is enough to get you to Heaven but what about the rest of your family, your community, your world? That’s training that Jesus was doing in Matthew 5. II would encourage you to open your Bibles, your apps or however to engage with scripture to Mathew 5.We are looking at Verses 1-4 this week, and 5 & 6 next week.1 Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them, saying: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.You see in V.11 Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him,Jesus was drawing crowds… many crowds wherever He was going. Of course the crowds all wanted a piece of Him. He was healing physically, emotionally, spiritually in ways NO ONE had ever done.The disciples didn’t know what to do with all of these people. They didn’t what to say, how to say it.This is the place that ALL of us find ourselves following our repentance and commit to go in a different direction.2 and he began to teach them, saying:I hope that you found and you have a continuing relationship with a Christian mentor, Christian friend, someone to listen to, to be challenged by, to push and prod you into what God wants from you.Here is what Jesus wanted from His first disciples and here is what he wants from us!V.33 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.This verse screams… Humble, Humble-ness,I’m sorry… this is a huge challenge for me and I suspect you!If being “humble” is the sole measure of entrance to Heaven… our country, our state and our community is in some deep cow poo...Don’t get me wrong in my 3 years here in the Valley I have seen some of the most selfless acts of my life… I also seen things that Jesus is very displeased with.In our collective mind, humble… indicates weakness, meekness, willingness to get run over, willingness to be taken advantage of.That is the furthest from the truth...Would you say that Jesus is any of those things… NO!Christ asked his disciples to take on these characteristics and to win the world for Jesus using these “Be Different” principles.I’m going to give it to you as a challenge...As you approach your family, your work, your business, your farm do so with humility… Understanding that Jesus commanded it.Since he commanded it He will give us the necessary tools to make it happen.If you’re having difficulty understanding or implementing call Pastor Joel or me and we will walk through what this new person looks like and how they should act.If you have sat here for the last 12 minutes and simply shook your head, doubted my every word and argued with me in your head… OK.Keep doing what you’re doing and compare your results with what Jesus is asking of us. I’m not the final judge He is.Let’s move on...4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.Mourn is a difficult word… How do we put a framework around that word?How are we as disciples supposed to use mourning and comforting in dealing with others in our community?How are we going to mourn and comfort someone to faith in Christ?What is challenge?What are the tools that we have available in our world to understand mourning and to bring comfort for someone who is mourning?These are all really great questions...Mourning and comforting happens when someone’s house burns down and you make a visit, make a call, say you’re sorry to see it happen.Comforting happens when you’re there helping clean up the mess.Comforting happens, if your a baptist when you bring a casserole and offer to take someone’s kids in order to allow for healing to begin.Mourning and comforting happens when someone loses a farm or dairy and your there to listen and not pick up the latest gossip.Mourning and comforting happens when a child’s classmate dies, or is sick, or a family member has received a devastating diagnosis.Even the most stoic German or Dutchman can bow their head, have a listening ear and take some measure no matter how small to show that even though mourning and comforting aren’t in your nature that the current situation is really difficult and you are there to talk and comfort.Ultimately we all want to be comforted when we have hit a wall so hard that we are bruised and bleeding.Let’s return to those questions that I asked clear at the beginning...Are we ready to stand before the Lord on our final day… And are we ready to hear… “This is my son [or daughter], whom I love; with [them] I am well pleased?”How would we respond to God Himself talking to us?How would we respond to God’s full and complete endorsement?Here is my hope and prayer for all of us...That we would recognize the voice of God… That we are one of His kids!That we will be face down on the ground. Not worthy to look at him, or face him.That we would meekly approach the Throne of Grace. That we would be comforted as He un roles the scroll and we are found to be in the Lambs book of Life.I pray that we would after hearing His full and complete endorsement for life, as a life well lived that we would not look to ourselves but look to the face of Christ and give all glory and honor or him of the things that He has done!
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