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Set Apart for Kingdom Living 1

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Set Apart For Kingdom Living (1 of 4); The Pursuit of Poverty (nv 4/22/07am)

OS: 1 A fortune-teller studied the hand of a young man & told him, “You will be poor & very unhappy until you are 37-years old…” The young man said, “Well after that, what will happen? Will I be rich & happy?” The fortune-teller said, “No, you’ll still be poor, but you’ll be used to it by then…”

TS] 2 Teachings of Jesus – “Kingdom” – Vision Casting – this is what it is….

I.       Jesus is answering some questions of the Kingdom.

A.     Matthew 3:17, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”

                       1.       What is the end result supposed to look like? (Typical Jew was pictured an earthly kingdom that abolished Roman rule, and returned their promised land.)

B.     Reality – The Kingdom is people who all are subject to the King.

                       1.       3 Luke 17:20-21, Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”

C.     If Jesus is our King then we are of His Kingdom:

                       1.       4 1 Peter 3:15, But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

                       2.       Who is on the Throne? – (Not about just going to church – what we do on Sunday and what name we put on our sign does not determine our identity – the one we place on the throne of our hearts is our identity.)

TS] Question: What does a Kingdom person look like? The answer to that question also answers our task as a congregation of His Kingdom.

II.    Beatitudes – these are misunderstood in various ways – but Jesus is simply presenting a picture of what the people of His Kingdom are like.

A.     There are 8 beatitudes - combine and cover eight in a 4 lesson series: “Set apart for Kingdom living”

B.     Special note: don’t confuse the term “blessed” with the term “happiness” as it is used today – think more on the lines of “right with God”

III. Why the Beatitudes? – We live in a culture today that is completely opposite from the Kingdom of Christ and the American culture is being the light of the religious rather than the other way around.

A.     5 Faith commitments sometimes play a role in what people do - but less often than might be assumed. In comparing the lifestyle choices of Christians to the national norms, there were more areas of similarity than distinction. Christians are more likely to volunteer for their church; however, they are no more likely than average to help the poor and homeless. Christians were also among the least likely groups to recycle.  In evaluating 15 moral behaviors, Christians are statistically indistinguishable from non-believers on most of the behaviors studied. (Barna Research - 2007)

B.     The American Dream has gone wrong – We live in a great country of opportunity, but the opportunity is now all for me rather than another. Individualism has taken over, and that is one of the greatest struggles of the church/Kingdom.

C.     Nothing New – 6 Revelation 3:17, (Laodicea) You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

TS] 7 Two together this morning - 3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.  (THE PURSUIT OF POVERTY)

What we find in these beatitudes is what makes life worth living – Jesus’ Kingdom vision is a picture of living life to its fullest. Being Poor in Spirit and Meek ensure Kingdom living at it best. PQ: Why?

I.       8 To be poor in spirit is key to starting where we need to start. (Theirs is the Kingdom of…)

A.     “Poor in Spirit” - Dirt poor – so poor that our very existence is totally dependant on another.

                       1.       Here – Totally dependant on God. – Not just in matters of salvation though…

B.     Poor in Spirit – Jesus is on the Throne of our heart –

                       1.       Daily guidance – not just understanding but guidance in life. “What would Jesus do?” Fad or reality?

C.     Imagine what being poor in spirit does for your life.

                       1.       Prayer, Worship, Service,  – (Sunday or daily?) Different from the world – light, salt,

D.     2 Things will keep you from being poor in spirit:

                       1.       Pride – We want to earn it!

                       2.       Then there was the old fable of the frog who wanted to go south with the geese.  …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.

                       3.       Self-Confidence – In Kingdom living this is called self-righteousness

a.    Galatians 6:14, May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

b.    Philippians 3:3, For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh—

TS]  9 Kingdom Living – You must set apart Christ as Lord in your hearts. What we find in these beatitudes is what makes life worth living – Jesus’ Kingdom vision is a picture of living life to its fullest.

Being Poor in Spirit and Meek ensure Kingdom living at it best. PQ: Why?

II.    10 Because when you start right you learn to be Meek.

A.     Define Meekness – Gentleness, Considerate - Meekness is not weakness – Strength under control.

                       1.       It is a will that has been trained and brought under control – Jesus has been placed on the throne!

B.     Numbers 12:3,Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.

C.     Matthew 11:29, Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

11 One of the ancient kings of Persia loved to mingle with his people in disguise. Once, dressed as a poor man, he descended the long flight of stairs, dark and damp to the tiny cellar where the fireman, seated on ashes, was tending the furnace.. The king sat down beside him and began to talk. At meal time the fireman produced some coarse black bread and a jug of water and they ate and drank. The king went away but returned again and again for his heart was filled with sympathy for the lonely man. They became very good friends as time passed. At last the king thought, “I’ll tell him who I am, and see what gift he will ask.” So he did, but the fireman didn’t ask for a thing. The king was astonished and said, “Don’t you realize that I can give you anything—a city, a throne?” The man gently replied, “I understand your Majesty. You have already given the greatest gift a man could receive. You left your palace to sit with me here in this dark and lonely place. You could give nothing more precious. You have given yourself and that is far more than I could ever deserve.”

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