The Blessed and Happy Life (11)
Last week we looked at the Beatitude, blessed are the peacemakers.Our take-home was to “Be Peace Makers not Peace Takers.”And I gave you a 7 day challenge, HOW DID IT GO?Should we do it again.Well today we finish our study.I have loved doing this study and it’s probably because of what was taught in Psalm 1 that we used as our main point.It taught us about being stable in life.You see this world is a mess.And by the way it has been this way since Adam and Eve disobeyed God.With that disobedience came so many problems.Unfortunately no matter how Godly you are, meaning how much you follow God you will feel the effects of the problems in the world.Sickness came, death came, evil people came into the world, As the populations grew governments started and that has caused all kinds of problemsNatural disasters happen, like the draught we are going throughAnd with most of those we have no control over them.Only God does.What Psalm 1 taught us is when we have God in our life and we follow Him stability comes with it.Those storms of life will not ruin us.But without God we are like this chaff, when these events happen they can just blow us around.In a sense we could say they control us.According to King David who wrote Psalm 1, he said the blessed person is the one that is stable through them.Week after week we have built on that base.We have spent most of our time in the Beatitudes.It was the first sermon that Matthew records for us of Jesus.He started with teaching about who the blessed person is.His teaching revolved more around who we than what we have.It had to do with how we live and do life in this world.What he taught was first we need to be poor in spirit, this is where we learn to totally depend upon God, we realize that we don’t have the power to face all these troubles in life so we look to GodWhen we do He gives us the power of the Kingdom of God.It’s not the power to change all the problems its the power to be that tree and make it through them.We then looked at mourning our sin which leads us to deal with our sin and the sin of the world, when we do we experience the comfort of God.Then we built upon that by seeing how the blessed person is a meek person, meaning they are not controlled by their emotions but ruled by God’s Spirit,We don’t need to fight our way through life but let Him control us and then He provides for us.From there we looked to see how as we do all of this we get this hunger and thirsting to please God and be in right relationship with Him.When we do that He satisfies us.Now full of satisfaction we are to learn to live with the people around us.The starting place is by learning to show mercy to others.Which simply means we need to not give people what they deserve.When you are hurt by others, forgive, when people let you down, don’t reject them.When we live like that then we will be shown mercy by others and by God.Then we are to have a pure heart in seeking God and all we do, when we do then we will see God.We will start to recognize the hand of God being with us.Finally last week we saw that we need to be peacemakers not peace takers.Boy did that one hit me.That often as we experience the storms of life, those common to all we end up dwelling on them and talking about them, complaining about them.Even thought they are true we can effect others.They could be doing really well and after spending some time with us we bring them down and make them just as miserable as us.Most of the things we complain about are just results of the messy world we live in, and there is not much we can do about that accept make sure God is in the center of all we do.This is where we finish.When you look at that person, the person we just described.That’s a pretty incredible person wouldn’t you say?Wouldn’t you just love to be around that type of person all the time?Now imagine if you have been taking this series seriously and putting all this into practiceYou might think everybody is going to love meI will be a people magnet and everywhere I go I will be at peace with everyone and people will love me want to know meHey they might even write books about me.The reality is everyone is not going like you.You will probably be persecuted.That’s where our study ends.I know that this sounds like the strangest place but it is a reality.Jesus, the prophets, almost all the apostles and many many of our great spiritual forefathers and mothers we persecuted for living a life pleasing to God.Jesus said that is part of the path to the blessed life.We will learn how and why that is today.Out take home is “Persecution needs to be because we are living to please God.”We are not blessed just because we are persecuted it’s only when we are persecuted because we are living to please Him.Let’s read
And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
We have to be very careful with this one and make sure we see what it is saying so that we apply it properly.With all the other Beatitudes you start with the statement from Jesus about the Blessed person.Then at the end it gives the blessing.Like here Theirs Is The Kingdom Of God is the blessing.With all the others the middle part is the pathway to the blessing.It’s something you would want to be.Like last week, you want to be a peacemaker so that you experience the blessing of being called the sons of God.If you read this one that way, you would think I better go get persecuted so that I can experience the blessing.That is not what I want you to do.Please don’t go away and find a way to get persecuted.Matter of fact you have to be extremely careful because it is not just the persecuted that is the blessed one.It’s all for the reason that you are persecuted.You see I have had a lot of of Christians tell me that they are being persecuted.Well when I start asking questions about their persecution it’s not for the reason that Jesus is telling here.For instance:Back in the States I had a business.I hired a couple guys to help with loading trucks because they were Christians.They would show up late to work and tell me well I had to do the Lord’s work and that’s why I am late.Or I would try and find them and they said they had to have a quiet time.I fired them and they felt they were being persecuted.They were bad employees that were using God as a reason to be lazy and that is why they got fired.That is not what Jesus is saying.But let me give you a couple other problems.I used to go to a barber that was a Christian. (don’t laugh, I had hair)And this guy used to say how once he started cutting a person’s hair he would know they were captive for 30 minutes and so he would just let them know if they didn’t give their life to Christ they would go to hell.Not everyone liked that and he lost business.I’m not sure that is what Jesus was saying either. Time and place.There is a story about Billy Graham that I love.One time he was playing golf in a celebrity gold tournament.It’s where you had two golf pros and two famous people that would play for charities.Well he would teamed up with former President Carter.I can’t remember who the golf pros were but after the tournament the one golf started throwing his golf clubs and golf balls in the club house.Another golf pro asked him what’s wrong.He said well I just had to play 18 holes with that Billy Graham.He said well did he just preach to you the whole time.He said no he didn’t say a thing he just bugged me.See this guy was convicted without Billy Graham saying a word.That’s the better way.Finally sometimes I think we read this as blessed are the persecutors for theirs is the Kingdom of God.The reason I say that is because sometimes us Christians just blast everything in a self righteous way.That’s not what this is about.Jesus says, you are blessed when you are persecuted for righteousness.Meaning if you are living your life to please God, living the way He wants you to live and if you get persecuted for doing that then you are being persecuted for righteousness sake.For instance.Let’s say your job is to weigh bags of Mellies.And you are supposed to put 10 KG in each bag but your boss tells you to only put in 9.5 KG because nobody will ever notice.You say I just can’t do that and you get fired because of that or you get in trouble for that then that is persecution for trying to live the way that God wants you to liveOr another one.Maybe you work in the front office and your boss is always telling you to lie to customers and you say you can’t do that then you get persecuted for that then that is being persecuted for righteousness sake.Just being persecuted isn’t of any value it’s only when it is because you are living for Christ.Matter of fact what Jesus is really saying is if you do live for Christ you will experience persecution in some way.So then you would ask well how does that make you a blessed person.If you’re like me I like it when people like me.That is what I consider the blessed life.How is this a blessing.This takes us back to Psalm 1 and Psalm 119 where we started this series.You either have God in your life or you don’t.This isn’t about just belief in God.That’s not enough.Satan believes in God.It’s all about living for Him.If you live for Him, If He is the center of your life then you will suffer some hardship and persecution.Paul said in
Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution
This is saying if you desire to live a life following God, where He is really part of your life you will suffer persecution in some way.But the benefit is God is with you.He will be with you every step of the way.That’s Psalm 1You will be stable and strong through it.When you live for Him, and He is with youThat is the Blessed and Happy Life.I pray that you have learned a lot from this series and everyday you would wake up with the desire to follow Him.Look to have Him as your main focus in life.