Our Pastor has challenged us this summer to read Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount every day, letting it soak in and permeate our being. As we think, what we pour into our hearts, minds and souls, so will we behave. We are not perfect but we can always be better today than we were yesterday. In other words, what we feed our minds will be displayed in our faith and attitudes, our demeanor and relationships. Feed on the Word to stay healthy in all kinds of ways.
Because it is long, we will take this big meal in small bites. Chew well through meditating on this truth all day long.
Matthew 5 – Part 1
Introduction to the Sermon on the Mount
5 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.
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.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
WHAT DO WE LEARN?
Who doesn’t want to be happy and at peace? What Jesus is telling us is that true happiness is not constantly thinking about what we do not have or hope to have. True happiness comes to those who understand that their circumstances are growth tools for us and eternity’s gain.
Our pastor related important truths in ways we can understand;
“Happy are the humble”, the poor in spirit. You will discover true happiness when you think about yourself less and more about others. This is humility.
“Happy are the hurting”, those who mourn. Jesus tell us growth comes in and through pain. James reiterates this truth when he tells is there is joy when we suffer.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:1-4, NIV
Why? Because, in troubles, what we know comes to the forefront and helps us for that moment, but what we learn is incredibly valuable in further developing our Godly character. Perseverance, commitment, etc. helps us for the next trial.
Jesus promised great things for us but with a cautionary promise, “In this world you will have troubles…” (John 16:33) We are overcomers by trusting in the growth curve of following Jesus.
“Happy are the harnessed”, the meek. Power harnessed is doing what God says. Jesus told people many times while on earth, “I do what the Father tells me to do.” We can have this same power when we do what the Father tells us to do.
“Happy are the hungry”, those who thirst and hungry for God. That’s why the pastor challenged us to read God’s Word, this sermon, every day, for the next eight weeks. The more we feed on God’s Word, the more we want to eat! It’s a God-thing, a spiritual hunger that has been created in all of us.
“Happy are the Helpers”, the merciful. God has show mercy to us by providing more than what we deserve. Who are we as His children if we do not imitate our Father by showing the same to our brothers and sisters.
“Happy are the Holy”, the pure in heart. We are not perfect but we are perfectly forgiven through Jesus who fulfilled God’s plan to save us. Only Jesus makes us holy. It is up to us to come before God with clean hearts to grow a real and intimate relationship with Him.
“Happy are the Peacemakers”. It is up to us to look for ways and solutions to peace. Some fight because they simple enjoy the fight. Satan uses this human trait to divide us. Paul explains Jesus’ intent well, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18) We are blessed when we live for peace.
“Happy are the Harassed”, the persecuted. Jesus explains who the persecutors are…those who insult you because of Me. God sees our hearts. Jesus sees those who put you down for lifting up His name. When we think, say and do all in the Name of Jesus, evil hates it. Satan will work through unbelievers to put you down. That is his main work. Recognize it and move along. Jesus took all the persecution humans could dole out and then died for our sins. He defeated our persecuting enemy once and for all when he rose from death to live forever. Yes, great is our reward in heaven when we know He knows and will help us through all the insults.
Blessed, happy, spiritually healthy are those committed to Jesus forever, no matter what happens in this world.
Yes, and Amen!
There you have it, a review and rehash of two of Pastor Ray’s sermons on THE SERMON. This was a good exercise for me as I read for understanding.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for Your Word that gives life to our souls. Thank you for the assurances we have of love, mercy, grace, peace, and joy in following you. What do you want of me today? Help me to obey quickly.
In Jesus Name, Amen