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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sunday Recap : The Modern Beatitudes

This week started a new series at Crosspoint called 'Anything But Ordinary' where Pete Wilson started discussing the Beatitudes in Matthew, Chapter 5.

For those that don’t know, the Beatitudes are:
  • Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  • Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
  • Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
  • Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
  • Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
  • Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
  • Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.
  • Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  • Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
This week, Pete concentrated on the first Beatitude; Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

First of all, what does it mean to be ‘blessed’?  It means God is on your side.  He is divinely with you.  If you know even a little bit about the Bible, you know that people definitely thought that only certain people were blessed.  God was only on the side of certain people.

Well, what does it mean to be ‘poor in spirit’?  According to Pete, that terminology back then, meant that you were pathetic.  A loser.  Morally empty.  And, of course, by the standards back then, someone who is a pathetic, morally empty, loser, surely would not have God’s graces!

When Jesus stood up and announced to the crowd of people that those who are poor in spirit are blessed… well, I would imagine they were all fairly shocked!  Those type of people should not be blessed!  They don’t deserve God’s love!  Well, Jesus says that they DO deserve and in fact, receive God’s love!

How can we apply the 1st Beatitude in our own life?  Here are Pete’s suggestions:
  1. If you ‘have it all together’… be careful.  You may convince yourself this first Beatitude isn’t for you and become complacent.
  2. If you don’t feel you ‘have it all together’… remember… blessed are the poor in spirit.  God IS with you.  You ARE blessed.  You deserve love.

Pete also shared with us what Joe Abbey-Colborne wrote about how we live by a different set of values in this modern world:
  • Blessed are the well off and those with ready answers for every spiritual question; they have it all.
  • Blessed are the comfortable; they shall avoid grief.
  • Blessed are the self-sufficient; they wait for nothing, they have everything they want, and they have it now.
  • Blessed are those who are not troubled by the injustice experienced by others; they are content with realistic expectations.
  • Blessed are the ones who gain the upper hand; they take full advantage of their advantages.
  • Blessed are those with a solid public image and a well hidden agenda; they are never exposed and see people in a way that suits their purposes.
  • Blessed are those who can point to someone else who is a worse person than they are, they will always look good by comparison.
    Blessed are you when people praise you, give you preferential treatment, and flatter you because they think you’re so great. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, because it doesn’t get any better than this.
Isn’t this how we really see the world?  Let us strive to live our life based on the original Beatitudes and not these new ones.

If you would like to hear this sermon in its entirety, click here and see the link for ABO: Spiritually Bankrupt.  It is week one in the Anything But Ordinary Series.

See you next week when we will continue the discussion on the Beatitudes.

Join in on the Sunday Recap linky below and read others.

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