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Living Blessed

March 19, 2017 Speaker: Dan Davis Series: #blessed

Topic: Sunday Message Verse: Matthew 5:3–5:16, John 8:12, John 15:18–15:19, 1 John 3:12–3:13, 1 Peter 4:12

Week ten of a ten-week series discovering the pathway to God's blessings by learning and living the Beatitudes of Jesus

Matthew 5:3-10 NIV

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.

The Beatitude: More than another self-help list

The Beatitudes are not about Jesus improving your life; rather, they’re about Jesus imploding your life and radically changing you from the inside out.

“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick,” Jesus said. “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” “I’m not here for those who think they’ve got their act together spiritually and just need a little tweak here and there. No, I’m here” (Jesus said) “for those of you who know that you’re poor in spirit and need serious help because you’ve got nowhere else to turn.” That's why Jesus came to this earth, died from the cross, and rose from the dead for us.

So the Beatitudes aren't just one more, eight point “how to” list on ways we can lead a more blessed life. They’re not a lifehack for our self-improvement; they’re a roadmap for our spiritual-transformation, pointing us to our desperate need for Jesus and His righteousness on our behalf--a righteousness that not only saves us, but a righteousness that also changes us from the inside out. This gift of the kingdom of heaven is the greatest blessing you’ll ever experience.

Matthew 5:10-12 NIV

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.

Matthew 5:13-16 NIV

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Our Missional Identity as Christians

We are the salt of the earth.
We are the light of the world.

Matthew 5:13 NIV

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

Salt to a decaying world

Jesus sends us out into a morally and spiritually decaying world that needs to experience His preserving touch through us. We do that as we share good news, spread good deeds, live good lives--good lives just as He has laid-out for us according to the roadmap of His Beatitudes. Jesus also warns us that we need to be useful. Don’t be so bland in your faith that
you blend in with the world around you.

Matthew 5:14-16 NIV

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Light to a dark world

In John 8:12, Jesus says, "Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life”…

Now just to be clear, we’re not the light of the world in the same way that Jesus is… I’ve heard it said that Jesus is like the sun, and we’re like the moon… Now does the moon give off light in darkness? Absolutely. And depending on the night, it can be pretty brilliant… But you and I know that the light from the moon is simply a reflection of the sun, right? And so-it-is with us as Christians, where we reflect the righteousness of Jesus in us to the world around us. “We are the light of the world.”… Jesus goes on…

Now just to be clear, we’re not the light of the world in the same way that Jesus is… I’ve heard it said that Jesus is like the sun, and we’re like the moon… Now does the moon give off light in darkness? Absolutely. And depending on the night, it can be pretty brilliant… But you and I know that the light from the moon is simply a reflection of the sun, right? And so-it-is with us as Christians, where we reflect the righteousness of Jesus in us to the world around us. “We are the light of the world.”… Jesus goes on…

John 15:18-19 NIV

18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

1 John 3:12-13 NIV

12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.

1 Peter 4:12 NIV

12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.

How do we respond to opposition and rejection?

(2) Don't be obnoxious.

There is a difference to a negative reaction for our righteousness versus our obnoxiousness..” So if people giving you a hard time because you’re a jerk—there’s nothing spiritual about that. There are times when our obnoxiousness can disguise itself as righteousness. That’s why Jesus kept on attacking the Pharisees and the teachers of the law for their self-righteousness and hypocrisy. They weren't righteous. They were smug and acted superior toward others. True righteousness is rooted in the entirety of the Beatitudes, beginning with our desperation and brokenness before God and leading to a mercy, pure, and peace-making attitude toward others.

Because of Righteousness

“Something’s wrong if all unbelievers hate us. Something’s wrong if all unbelievers like us. If we accurately demonstrate grace and truth, some will be drawn to us and others will be offended by us—just as they were with Jesus.” –Randy Alcorn

How do we respond to opposition and rejection?

(3) Don't be defeated.

Don’t be defeated when you experience persecution, no matter how hard it might get, because the reward that’s waiting for you in the end is more than worth it. Living as a Christian isn't always a mountain top experience. There are times when our hearts get discouraged. There are times when our faith grows weary, and persecution is certainly one of the factors that can wear us down. So how do we overcome that and not give up? The Bible says the answer isn't the one we often hear: “Do more.” “Try harder.” “Have more faith.” The key to persevering faith is focusing on our future reward. The hope of heaven puts our present problems in proper perspective.

Matthew 5:11-12 NIV

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.

Matthew 5:14 MSG

14 “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

Jesus sends us out

Think about a person you know or a place you go that needs the light of Jesus to rescue them from their darkness. Ask Him, “God, show me what you want me to say to them. Show me what You want me to do for them. Show me: What. How. When. Show me, Lord. Then give me the courage and the compassion to carry it out.”

#blessed resources

You can download the Beatitudes for your phone, your tablet, and your computer at our series resource page on the Hopevale website.

http://hopevale.org/blessed

Next Sunday, March 26, we'll begin a new series entitled, Crossroads, the place where our story meets His story. We'll look at how the lives of other people intersected with Jesus in the final hours of His life. Join us as Pastor Sam kicks things off with the story of Judas. We will also celebrate communion as a church family.

More in #blessed

March 12, 2017

Rejected & Blessed

March 5, 2017

Courageous & Blessed

February 26, 2017

Pure & Blessed