Input sound file: Audio 02 04 2018
some people have said that the beatitudes are the beatitudes. The attitude you need to have the way you need to be. But really the attitude comes from the Latin word for blessing. If you can change your attitude if you can change your perception of how you see the world. A change in perception changes everything. We have a problem with the word repent. We think that to repent means to feel bad about something we’ve done. But it actually means to change our way of thinking. To think again to rethink, to review, to look at the world again. This time with the eyes of the God and Crist. To repent means that we need to change our minds. And it says when Jesus began to preach he as saying exactly this, ”It’s time to change your minds.” Because once you change your mind, once you change your perception of the world. Your behavior is going to automatically change. What we do has its roots in what we think, what we believe to be true, what we feel to be true. And until we repent its like we have our head down in the sand and were completely unaware of the way the world really is. Mathew 5:1. Seeing the crowds he went up on the mountain and when he sat down his disciples came to him with people who wanted to hear came to him. Verse 2, and he opened his mouth and talked those people the people that came to him saying, ”Blessed.” That’s the first word. Now blessed is a Greek word it means to be happy, to be blessed, to be envied. Literally, it means to make big. To say that your cup runs over. It is to be full, it is to be fortunate. It is to be a winner. I understand there’s going to be a football gameplay today. Somebody is going to win that game. They’re going to be blessed. They’re going to feel full of happiness. Now in the beatitudes, as Jesus begins to explain the way the truth is there is two parts. There is a condition and the result that comes from that condition. Here’s the first one. Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. The world wants to tell you to be bold. The world wants to tell you to be confident. Sometimes it might seem that world tells us to be arrogant, to push people around. But Jesus says, ”No, no, no. Here’s the reality. Those who are poor in spirit.” That were poor it refers to someone who crouches and who cowers. Someone who is powerless. Someone who is needy and afflicted. Someone who has to beg because they have no right to demand. When we come to God as people who need God’s help. God cares for us. The world wants us to demand that God do what we want. But the attitude that si fortunate and blessed. The attitude that causes the kingdom to happen is the one where we come before God as someone who is powerless. Because then God will answer our prayers. Jeron I think the mic is on and that’s why we might have just a tiny little bit of ringing. Let’s see if that helps. Might be me. Here is the next one. Blessed are those who mourn who grieve for that shall be comforted. The world says not to let your feelings take over. The world says that you need to be tough. That you need to be strong. The last thing you want to do is let people know that you were sad. But you were feeling low. But here’s how Jesus want’s to adjust our attitude. If you let yourself grieve you’ll find that God will comfort you. Because comfort follows grieving. Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. Well, the meek, the word actually has more of a connotation of a person who is mild or gentle. The prodigal son demanded his inheritance. But an inheritance is a gift of kindness from someone who wants to give it to you. It’s much wiser to simply calmly, mildly and gently be will to receive. Blessed are those who are willing to receive. Who are meek, gentle and mild. Because the earth will come to them. These changes are the attitude. Because God makes it right. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for things to be made right, for things to go right, for things to run right. Because people who have that hunger will be satisfied where that means full. What do you hunger for? What are you thirsty for? What do you yearn for? I want to tell you I love the idea of brownies with chocolate on the top. And I know there’s going to be some out there by the coffee. I yearn for those. And guess what? When the church is over I’m going to get at least one. But sometimes there are things that we should yearn for that are better for us. That are right for us. Jesus said in another place, ”Ask and you’ll receive. Seek and you’ll find. Knock and the door will be open to you.” And the secret of that is this. You need to pay attention for what you’re hungry for. What you’re asking for, what you’re seeking for. Because sometimes we aren’t seeking the best things for us. What are you hungry for? Are you hungry for God to do right? If you are, Jesus promises that’s what God will do in your life. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. My dad grew up on a dairy farm. I never understood how they got all those cows to come in from out in the field to be milked. I never understood that. I mean, do you whistle for them? Is there a cow whistle like a dog whistle to where, when they hear it, they just can’t help but come? I had a friend of mine who was a minister, who actually explained it to me one day. He said how much he enjoyed going to the family farm to ride the horses. And I said, “Well how in the world do you get them to come so that you can ride them because how in the world could you go out there and catch them?” I’m not very fast, you know. And he said, “That’s easy. You feed them and the minute they hear you tapping on the bucket they come running.” Mercy follows mercy. What we sew, we will reap. If you sew mercy, mercy will flow toward you. That’s how we need to see the world. This is the attitude that Jesus suggests that we have.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. pure in heart, well what does that mean? Well, it means a clean heart. James says, “Draw near to God and God will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners. Purify your heart, you double-minded.” Do you want to see God? Do you want to see God at work? Maybe there’s some cleaning that you need to do. Some sins that need to be forgiven. Some decluttering in what you yearn for that needs to happen so that your heart is clean. Because once those things are out of the way it’ll be so much easier to see God in the midst of everything you do. What are you looking for? Is it clean and good and right and true? Because if you’re looking for God, you’ll find your way through your heart to find God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. What kind of person wants to be called a son of God? A holy person, someone who is like God. I don’t know that that’s a bad thing to desire. But I don’t think that this so much is talking about popularity. There are a whole lot of people who are popular, but not because they’re like God in any way. But if you want to be seen as someone who is part of God’s family. If you want to be seen as someone who is Godly, or like God. If you want to be seen as someone who could be called a child of God, then focus on peacemaking. There are people in our church world who think that the way to improve prove the church is to start arguments and fights. They love to put things on Facebook calling someone out, pointing the finger of criticism at them and you know something? I used to be one of those people and decided that I needed to grow up so I became someone who would point the finger at people who pointed the finger at other people and about 20 years later I realized that that was just as dumb because the last thing this world need is more criticism, the last thing this world needs is more harsh attacks on people because they don’t agree with me. Who am I that anyone except him should agree with me? Sure hope she does. Who am I that the whole world should agree with me? If you want to see God at work in what I do Jesus says you want to be a peacemaker, you want to help people connect to teach others, you want to help people to be more caring towards [inaudible]. Somebody who’s like that they’re like the son of God, aren’t they? Because he was a peacemaker. Blessed are those who have persecuted my righteousness sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, we know someone like that, don’t we? Verse 11, Blessed are you and men we value and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. We know someone who was treated like that, don’t we? I recommend that we be like him when we feel attacked and persecuted because there is a result that comes to us from being like him, it’s called resurrection. Here is the one command in this list of attitudes, Jesus recommends these attitudes but here is what he commands. When you feel persecuted and when you’re perhaps feeling even near death under that heavy load here’s what Jesus says, “Rejoice and be glad, your reward is great in heaven.” Why? For some men persecuted the prophets who were before you, why? The world has always persecuted people who were like Jesus. But Jesus didn’t stay in the tome, he got up and he got going. Sometimes, friends, we’re alive but we feel like we’re in the grave, we’re in the tomb, we need to choose to rejoice and be glad and get up and get going and let Christ fill us with new life. Rejoice and be glad, that’s the command. But in the greek it’s a little more complicated than that, that word rejoice and be glad literally means getting so glad that you jump in celebration, did I mention there is going to be a football game later today? Rejoice and be glad, that’s going to happen in the endzones a few times. And friends it should happen where we are too. Because Jesus says to us, “Rejoice and be glad when you’re down, but you don’t need to stop when life is good.” Rejoice and be glad. Jump for joy. In fact, in Luke it literally says that– the Luke versions of this, it says, “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy.” I want to tell you, 1974, I was a college student. I was attending Eastern Illinois University. I lived in room 236 in Taylor Hall. And there was one day during that year that year that I was so down, that I was so sad, I was so overwhelmed. I think I could even say maybe I was depressed. But I sat there in the darkness in my room and I said, “Lord, what am I to do?” I feel persecuted. I feel attacked. And not only that, the bad guys are winning. And something reminded me of this verse in Luke that just literally says, “In that day, at that time, what you need to do is rejoice.” And don’t just rejoice, you need to jump for joy. I want to tell you, I was alone in my dorm room. My room roommate was not there. The lights were off, nobody could see me. I got up in the dorm room and I said to myself, “This is really stupid.” And I began to jump up and down. Thank God nobody could see me. But I began to jump up and down because the Bible said to do it. The Bible said to jump up and down so there was no way I was not going to do what the Bible said that I should do. So I began to jump up and down and I tell you, within two minutes of jumping up and down, I realized that this was so stupid and so silly that I began to laugh as I was jumping up and down. Friends, if you ever feel that low, what you need to do is get up. It’s a resurrection morning. You need to get up. In fact, you shouldn’t just get up. You should jump up. And if you began to jump, you will, just like me, begin to realize how stupid that is and maybe how stupid you are for feeling that despair and begin to trust in God. Sometimes we have to let ourselves feel a little stupid for us to learn what we should believe in. Now, I want to tell you, when I was younger, I can maybe get a foot off the ground. I played basketball until being able to touch the rim was not good enough and then I had to stop because I’ve never been able to jump very much. And I’ll be honest with you, I don’t think I could jump now. You know what a jump shot is? My jump shot now is where I go up on my tiptoes. I don’t get any farther than that. Sometimes, this all the higher you can get when you jump. All you can do is just get up and keep moving forward. But you know something? If you let God change your attitude, if you let God change the way you see the world, if you let God change your perception. A change in perception can change everything. You remember Christmas Day? You remember how you were singing this song? No more let sin and sorrow grow. When Jesus preaches that we need to repent, that’s what’s he’s saying. No more let sin and sorrow grow, nor thorns infest the ground. Why? Christ comes to you and to me. He comes to make his blessings flow, far as the curses found. Far as the curses found. Far as. Far as the curses found. Let Jesus Christ change your mind. Let the words of Jesus Christ change your mind. You’ll be glad you did. Please pray with me. Lord Jesus, we’re surrounded by messages that come to us from the world. Every single commercial attacks our self-worth. We’re no good unless we wear this brand of jeans. We’re not attractive unless we wear this cologne. No one will love us if we don’t drive that brand of car. We’re a loser if we don’t live in that neighborhood. Lord, the world can grab a hold of this the way the flu virus– it just takes one. The way the flu virus can grab a hold of us and change everything that we feel. Lord, help us to see the world as you see it. To see life as you see it. Lord, help us to let you change our minds so that we might be those who are blessed and who are jumping for joy. Amen.
The photo …
This post is based on the sermon “___” from the sermon series “___”
*date*, at Kinmundy United Methodist Church.
Slides and audio for this message can be downloaded from http://www.disciplewalk.com/K_Sermons_June_2018.html
All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.