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Beattitudes Series lesson 1

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Beattitudes Series lesson 1 - The Poor in Spirit; NV 3/7/99 p.m.

OS: We live in the day of the quick fix, fast food, instant grits and potatoes. Diet pills even! What would you say if I claimed to have a quick fix to a deeper prayer life, closer walk with God, assurance of the kingdom of heaven?

I.       I do have the answer, or rather, God has the answer. Though putting it into practice may not be so quick. Go to text.

A.   The Sermon on the Mount has generated many books and studies. It is a description of the way people of God should live.

B.    It begins with what are called the beattitudes, and over the next several weeks on Sunday nights we will consider different aspects of these.

II.    “Blessed are the poor in Spirit for theirs is the kingdom of  Heaven.”

A.   Here lies the key factor the quick fix principle leading do deeper prayer, more meaningful worship, and a closer walk with God.

B.    Poor = dirt poor, so poor that our very existence is totally dependant on another.

TS] Two obsticles we must remove to achieve being poor in spirit.

I.       Pride

A.     Then there was the old fable of the frog who wanted to go south with the geese.  They discussed the wonderful southern climate and the fall migration so much that the frog became obsessed with wanting to go.  Now the geese liked him and wanted him to join them, but his abilities as a frog simply didn't include flying.  So, they put the burden on him by saying, "If you can figure out a way to go, we'd be delighted to have you down there with us."  The frog put on his thinking cap and eventually came up with a plan.  He talked two of the geese into holding a stick between them in their bills.  He clamped his mouth on the middle of the stick and they took off.  It worked!  They began flying down, and they were doing great; but several other geese flew by and one observed, "My, isn't that a clever idea? I wonder whose idea it was?" And with that, the frog told them -- and landed in the ocean.

B.    We want to get the credit.

1.     If I do this and this and this and this I am worthy of the kingdom of heaven.

2.     1 Cor. 1031 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

TS] The second obsticle is very much akin or a part of Pride.

II.    Self-Confidence

A.   Today the self sustained image is highly valued.

1.     Over the past 30 years the institutions of our society have lost their credibility. (Government, Law Enforcement, Church, Family, etc.)

2.     Evolving from that kind of envirnoment is the idea of self-confidence.

3.     Yet, this has always been a difficulty with human beings.

     B. In the Christian arena self-confidence becomes self-righteousness.

1.     When we begin to feel self-righteous we become like that frog and fall from grace. We must not trust in our own righteousness.

2.     Doing those things that please God must be done out of love, not to earn our merit to go to heaven.

3.     Our confidence and Pride must be placed in Jesus and not ourselves. Gal. 6:14 & Phil. 3:3. Our actions or deeds can keep us out of heaven, but they cannot get us into heaven.

4.     The key is to always compare ourselves with Jesus rather than the person next to us.

     C. Note 2 Peter 1:3ff

Two Parables:

1.     The Laborers, Matthew 20:14-16

Don’t compare with anyone else, just Jesus.

2.     The Pharisee and Publican, Luke 18:9-14

The God-confident, rather than self-confident, go home justified.

Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of God.

If I understand my current position in life and eternal dwelling are totally dependant on the mercy of God how will I pray?

If I understand that by His grace I am saved how will I worship?

If I only compare myself to Jesus Christ what will by attitude towards others?

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