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When Bankruptcy Becomes a Blessing

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers
The Truth Network Radio
May 7, 2024 4:00 am

When Bankruptcy Becomes a Blessing

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers

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May 7, 2024 4:00 am

The world tells us, “Blessed are those with wealth, strength, power, knowledge and popularity.” But in Matthew 5, Jesus puts an emphasis, not primarily on what a man has, but on what a man is. In this message, Adrian Rogers reveals how bankruptcy can become a blessing.

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Adrian Rogers was a motivator, an encourager, and a leader of the faith. He was also passionate about presenting scriptural application to everyday life circumstances, and you'll hear that in today's message.

Now, let's join Adrian Rogers. I've enjoyed it, but we're going to look at it, I trust, in a new and a fresh way. And today we're going to start with that part of the Sermon on the Mount that we call the Beatitudes. Someone has called these Beatitudes the attitudes that ought to be. The Beatitudes. And what they are is really a blueprint for happiness.

What they are are foundation stones for building your home and your home. And your life, really what they are, they are the keys to the kingdom. Now, I begin reading in Matthew 5, verse 1. It speaks of the Lord Jesus. And it says, Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.

The attitudes that ought to be. These wonderful Beatitudes. I've heard that a big dog saw a little dog chasing his tail. Said the big dog to the little dog, why are you doing that? The smaller dog said, well, I have been studying philosophy, and I believe that I have mastered philosophy. I have discovered the deep as need of a dog is happiness. And he said, I've also discovered that happiness lies in a dog's tail.

That is why I am chasing my tail. He said, if I can ever apprehend that tail, then I shall be a happy dog. The old dog who was wiser said, I too have studied philosophy. I too think it is a good thing for a dog to be happy. And I too believe that to some degree, happiness lies in a dog's tail. But he said, I have made a discovery that the more I chase my tail, the more it runs away from me. But he said, when I forget about chasing it and go about my business, it always comes after me. So it is with happiness, the more we pursue it, the more it runs away from us.

But when we go about our business, it comes after us. But my dear friend, happiness is not in a dog's tail even for a dog. But for those of us who know the Lord Jesus Christ, there is happiness, there is joy. That's what this word blessedness means.

It's a word almost hard to be translated. It could be described to be full of joy. It could mean to be congratulated, to be self-contained, to have what you want. To have what you need within you. And we call it blessedness. And so we're going to be thinking about a blueprint for blessedness. Laws for living.

Attitudes that ought to be. And the first one is found in verse 3. This is the first key to the kingdom. Blessed, blessed are the poor in spirit. Now notice in all of these beatitudes, Jesus Christ is talking about what we are, not primarily what we have.

Now we have a world today that puts the emphasis primarily upon what you have. Blessed are those who have wealth. Blessed are those who have strength. Blessed are those who have power. Blessed are those who have knowledge. Blessed are those who have prestige. Blessed are those who have popularity.

You know, the big B's. The bucks, the brains, the beauty, the brawn. Those are the things that people think bring happiness. But a lot of people have those things that don't have joy. They don't have blessedness. Jesus here is putting an emphasis not primarily upon what a man has, but what a man is. Blessed are, and then he describes character qualities.

And the very first of these character qualities is a character quality called, poorness of spirit. So I want us to think about this number one key to the kingdom, poorness of spirit, and what's he talking about? Well, he's really talking about being a beggar. He's saying, blessed are the beggars.

Blessed are the beggars. Now there's several words in the Bible for being poor. One word is a word that just speaks of poverty like the widow who put her two mites in the offering place. You remember that story, the widow's mite? She was poor, but at least she had two mites.

She had something to give. That's one word for poverty that's found, but that's not the word that's found here. The word that is found here does not speak of that kind of poverty. It's another word. It's a word that means a beggar, a man that has absolutely nothing. It's a word that was used in Luke chapter 16. You remember the story of the beggar that was at the gate of the rich man named Lazarus and the dogs came and licked his sores and he ate the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table? That is, he was absolutely, totally, completely destitute.

That's the word that's used here. A beggar, not just a poor man, but a person who is absolutely, totally, devastatingly impoverished. Jesus calls such a one blessed. Blessed are the poor in spirit. Blessed are the beggars. Now who are these blessed beggars? I mean, what is all of this? The world wouldn't say that's the way to be blessed.

Not at all. Well, three basic things I want you to see with me today as we look at this passage of Scripture. And first of all, I want you to see the spiritual beggar and his bankruptcy. The spiritual beggar and his bankruptcy. What does Jesus Christ mean when he says blessed are the beggars? Blessed are the beggars. Blessed are the bankrupt.

What is the meaning of this? Well, let me say right away, Jesus is not talking about financial poverty. Jesus never said it's a blessing to be financially poor.

Don't ever get that in your head. The Bible never puts a premium upon being financially poor. Now the Bible teaches we ought to have compassion for the poor. The Bible teaches we ought to help the poor. The Bible teaches we ought to give to the poor. The Bible teaches that many times poor people are rich in faith. But never any place does the Bible teach that material poverty as such is a blessing. If Jesus Christ is talking about the blessedness of financial bankruptcy, then it is our job to make everybody on this earth poor and to get poor ourselves. I mean that would be our responsibility.

To immediately divest ourselves of any wealth and to help everybody else to do the same thing and just have one world of poor people so everybody could be blessed. Does that make sense to you? Do you think that's what Jesus Christ was teaching?

Not at all. Jesus Christ had many friends who had material blessings. So he's not talking about financial poorness here. He's not talking either about a person being poor spirited. He says blessed are the poor in spirit, but he doesn't say blessed are the poor spirited. That is a person all hung over. Sort of a milk toast type of person. You know, I'm just no good.

Poor me, you know. What some people call humility, I call poor posture. That's not what our Lord is talking about. When he says blessed are the poor in spirit, not the poor spirited, he's not talking about some outward expression.

Going around with a face as long as a saxophone, looking like a cruise director for the Titanic. That's not what he's talking about either. As a matter of fact, Jesus Christ said when you fast, wash and anoint your face so you don't appear to other people to be fasting. That's not the way. He's not talking about that. He's not talking about a person being poor spirited.

What's he talking about? Blessed are the poor in spirit. Now human nature is made of body, soul, and spirit. With your body you have physical life, with your soul you have psychological life, and with your spirit you'd have spiritual life. With your body you know the world beneath you, with your soul you know the world around you, with your spirit you know the world above you, the spiritual world.

God is a spirit and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. But before a person can enter into the kingdom of heaven, he must first of all admit that in his spirit, in the realm of the spirit, no matter how much he may have in the material realm, no matter how much he may have in the psychological or the soulish realm, in the spiritual realm, he is absolutely totally bankrupt and a beggar before God. And if he doesn't see that, he will never ever get into the kingdom of heaven. Not just that he is spiritually poor, but that he is spiritually a beggar. That he is bankrupt. Remember, when you come to Jesus Christ you do not strut into his presence. The very word for beggar, the very word for poor comes from a root word which means to cringe and to cower, to shrink back.

He is a peacock in heaven. He is talking here about a person who is totally, completely, devastatingly bankrupt to the point of being reduced to being a beggar. And when he comes to God, he must say in my hand, no price I bring. Simply to thy cross I cling. That's where it begins.

That's where it begins. That's the reason that this character quality is put first. Blessed are the poor in spirit. Now, you'll see some people who will sit in a congregation like this and they'll say, well, yeah, pastor, that's right, I'm not perfect, but I'm not as bad as some other people. I say, dear friend, you're not yet bankrupt.

You're not yet bankrupt. When you have that attitude, yeah, I know I'm not perfect, but yeah, I've got my faults, but on the other hand, pastor, there's some pretty good things about me. Friend, you've never seen yourself. You've never discovered what the Bible says, that even your righteousness is as filthy rags in the sight of a righteous and a holy God. We're going to see later on in this sermon on the mount that Jesus Christ said, except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and the Pharisees you will in the wise enter into the kingdom of heaven.

And they were better outwardly than any man, woman, boy, girl in this building today. All right, so what we're talking about now is the spiritual beggar and his bankruptcy. But now I want you to think about the spiritual beggar and his brokenness because, you see, brokenness follows bankruptcy. And what is the brokenness, the broken behavior that follows?

Well, first of all, a man must discover and admit just who he is. Many people have never really seen this. For most people, their greatest need is to see their need. Most people sit in churches on Sunday morning in the glad rags, heady, haughty, high-minded, thinking they're doing God a wild favor by being there. That's true.

I mean, most of the people, I've said it before, are egomaniacs strutting to hell thinking they're too good to be damned. But there must come a discovery. And you know how that discovery comes?

That discovery comes, my dear friend, when we see just who God is and then we understand who we are. For example, Simon Peter. Simon Peter was naturally an aggressive man. Simon Peter was a take-charge type of fellow. Simon Peter, the big fisherman, you know, he was always giving his opinion. Of course, he was frequently wrong but never in doubt. Somebody said about the only time he ever opened his mouth was just to exchange feet.

He was putting his foot in his mouth all the time. But Simon Peter one day had a glimpse of the majesty, the glory of Jesus Christ. And then do you know what he said? He said, Depart from me, for I am a sinful man.

He finally saw his bankruptcy. Isaiah the prophet. What a great man was Isaiah the prophet.

And if you read the book of Isaiah in chapter 5, he is thundering out woes against this sin and woes against that country and woes against this people. Woe is you. Woe is you. Woe is you. Then you come to Isaiah chapter 6 where he said, I also saw the Lord high and lifted up, sitting upon a throne. And then he said, Woe is me.

Woe is me. For I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips. For mine eyes have seen the Lord. Isaiah had fullness of spirit. I remember reading in the Bible about a woman who was a Syrophoenician. That is, she was a pagan woman.

She was from a Phoenicia. And Jesus happened to be there in that place. And this Syrophoenician woman came to Jesus Christ. She had a daughter that was demon-possessed. And she wanted Jesus Christ to heal her demon-possessed daughter. And Jesus Christ, in order to bring her to a point of brokenness of spirit, said something that sounds awfully cruel to her. She said, Master, have mercy on me. And Jesus said, I haven't been sent to you.

I have come to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Jesus said, is it reasonable that we would take bread from the children and give it to dogs? And in effect, he was calling her a dog. That doesn't sound very good coming from Jesus. I mean that he would call her a dog. And here, he used the word for dog that meant household pet. You don't take the food off the table and give it to the dogs.

You give it to the children. Jesus said, I've come to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And that Syrophoenician woman, you would think she would have gone off in a huff and said, I've never been talked to such a way in all of my life. Some religious leader he is.

I thought he was a man of compassion. She didn't say that. You know what she said? She said, you're absolutely right. She said, that's the truth, Lord. In which she said, even the dogs get the crumbs that fall from the table. And when she used the word dog this time, she didn't use the same word Jesus used. She used a word that meant scrungy, back alley, cur, mangy dog, ravenous, back alley dog.

That's the way she described herself. Jesus' heart was broken. He said, woman, great is your faith.

You're going to have exactly what you ask. What happened to this woman? The same thing that happened to Simon Peter when he saw the Lord. The same thing that happened to Isaiah when he saw the Lord.

The same thing that happened to this woman when she saw the Lord. They became poor in spirit. They were beggars in the sight of a righteous and a holy God.

And these beggars in the sight of a righteous and a holy God, got exactly what they wanted. The Apostle Paul, if there was ever a man that it was hard for him to see himself as bankrupt, it was the Apostle Paul. The Apostle Paul, first of all, he had the right birth. He was a Hebrew of the Hebrews. Secondly, he ran in the right society.

He was a Pharisee. Thirdly, he had the extra accoutrements of being a Roman citizen. Next of all, he had the best education that money can buy. He was learned at the feet of Galileo. And he would have today the equivalency of a triple PhD. He was fluent in many languages. He was a world traveler.

He had been keeping the Jewish laws with an exactitude that was amazing. But one day he caught a glimpse of Jesus Christ. And he said, all these things that I counted gain, I now count as loss.

I took them from the asset side of the ledger and I put them on the liability side of the ledger. All these things I was depending upon. He said, I count them, are you listening, as dung, d-u-n-g, excrement. That's what I count them as, that I might gain Christ. Spiritually bankrupt. I mean totally, totally, totally a beggar in the sight of God. Now friend, you talk about something that knocks the legs out from underneath human pride, that does, doesn't it? I mean, there are a lot of people listening to me today who say, boy, I'm not going to go that route.

Who does he think he's talking to? I'm a pretty good guy. Well, you and all the rest of the pretty good guys are going to go straight to hell. Until you see yourself as a beggar in the sight of a righteous and a holy God.

Blessed are the poor in spirit. Now, when he discovers this, then he gets a different dependency. You stop depending upon the things that you used to depend upon. You don't depend upon your natural birth, your pedigree, what your parents may have been. You may be from the finest family in this city, but that's not even an account of the judgment.

God has children, but he has no grandchildren. You have to be born again. You may depend upon your position in life when you die. They may have a big funeral for you.

A lot of Cadillacs, Mercedes, BMWs parked out in front. They may stand up and eulogize you and say, here lies, oh, one of the finest citizens in this city. He did this, a man of prestige, a man of influence. But your soul will be in hell before the undertaker. Here's your dead, if that's what you're depending on. You're depending upon your money, your wealth.

Billy Sunday said, you can't take it with you, and if you could, it'd melt where some of you are going. What are you depending upon, education and knowledge? And you say, well, I'm not here to listen to some narrow-minded preacher. I am erudite. I am a learned person. Well, you may be. Thank God for your education.

Get all you can. But I'll tell you something, friend, I'd rather be in heaven saying my ABCs than in hell spouting philosophy. Jesus Christ, not Adrian Rogers, but Christ said, blessed are those who are spiritual beggars.

Spiritual beggars have come to this place. Maybe you have personality and ability, and you've always gotten through. I mean, there's some people who are just blessed with sweet personalities, just sweet personalities. They always get through.

I mean, you know, just they know how to meet folks. But if that's all you've got, dear friend, try flashing that big smile at the judgment seat. Give God a right hand and slap him on the back.

See if that's going to get you through. Muhammad Ali, when he was in his prime, I mean when he was the top, got on an airplane, sat down, and the stewardess said, fasten your seat belt. He said to her, Superman don't need no seat belt.

She said to him, quick as a flash, Superman don't need no airplane either. I don't care what you've gained, my dear friend. I don't care who you are.

I don't care what your ability. When a man sees what he is, bankrupt in the sight of God, then he ceases to depend upon all of these other things that cannot help him or do him any good whatsoever. Look here in Matthew chapter 5 and verse 20. For I say unto you, except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and the Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. Well, exceed it how much?

Well, I'm glad you asked. Look in verse 48. Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

That's how much it exceeds it. Be ye therefore perfect. Anybody here would stand up and say, I'm as perfect as God?

Absolutely not. But that's the standard that God demands. And the standard that God demands can only be met through the atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ as the righteousness of God is imputed to you. You understand that? But you'll never know that righteousness.

You'll never have that perfection that is given through the Lord Jesus Christ until first of all you understand exactly what you are in the sight of a righteous and a holy God. Now, what most of us need to do is to stop measuring ourselves by some false standard. You know what most of us like to do?

We like to find somebody else that we're better than. Generally, it's a hypocrite in the church. Every now and then somebody says, I don't want to go to church. There's so many hypocrites in the church.

Do tell. I've always been hypocrites in the church. One of the 12 apostles was a hypocrite.

My dear friend, you better not lie down in the gutter and stretch yourself out alongside some hypocrite and say I'm longer than he is. You measure yourself by the standard of Almighty God. Be, therefore, perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

If folks say, well, I'm just as good as those folks down there at the church, you better start saying, well, I'm just as bad as those folks down there at the church. And all of us, we're beggars in the sight of a righteous and a holy God until we lay our pride in the dust. There's the discovery of that situation. And once we discover it, then the dependency, we stop depending upon the things that we've been depending upon.

And not only is there the discovery of it, the dependency that comes from it, but there is the declaration that follows it. We lay our pride in the dust. I was in Los Angeles one day, and I saw a man, it was a garbage can there. I saw a man stick his head in the garbage can and begin to eat, not lift the food out.

I've been in places in the country where I've seen beggars sitting at a gate lifting up a trembling hand and pleading. I've seen mothers holding little babies, gnawing at dry breasts and saying, please, for the baby, for the baby. It breaks my heart every time.

I can't stand it. But my dear friend, I tell you, there's one thing about these folks. They've lost any sense of shame. They say, well, you know, I'd like to be a Christian, but I'm not going to go down there in front of all of those people and let them know that I need Jesus. Then go on to hell.

You're so rotten proud. You've never come to the place where you're bankrupt in the sight of a righteous and a holy God. You don't want to be seen as a person who needs God and can't do anything for himself. Blessed are the bankrupt. Blessed are the poor in spirit, not just the impoverished, the beggars, the sight of a righteous, the holy God. We've talked about the spiritual beggar and his bankruptcy. We've talked about the spiritual beggar and his brokenness. Now let's look at his blessedness. You say, boy, if I ever heard a downer message, this is not a downer.

This is an upper. Jesus is not saying this is the way to misery. Jesus is not saying this is the way to devastation. Jesus is saying this is the way to blessedness. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Why is it such a blessing? Well, number one, it's the only way you'll ever get to heaven. You see, Isaiah 57 verse 15, For thus saith the high and lofty one that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is holy. I will dwell in the high and the holy place, and him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and revive the heart of the contrite ones.

There are no peacocks in heaven. All sin is rooted in pride, and until that pride is dealt with, people are not ready and willing to receive Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord. You see, the reason that this beatitude is put first is it's the foundation of all of the other blessings that Jesus is going to talk about.

If you don't have this key, the other keys don't make any difference at all. Listen again to Jesus in Matthew chapter 18 verses 3 and 4. Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven, whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same as the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Until a man lays his pride in the dust, he cannot be saved. Even God cannot fill that which is already full.

We'll never live spiritually until we admit we're dead spiritually. Jesus said to the Pharisees, Because you say you have no sin, your sin remains. Do you know what evangelism is? It's one beggar telling another beggar how to find bread. That's all it is. You're looking at a beggar.

Evangelism is one beggar telling another beggar how to find bread. She was beautiful. She was charming. She was gifted. She was the talk of the town, a lovely, gracious, talented girl.

She sat at the piano and played. The crowds came and they told her how sweet and how beautiful she was. But there was a preacher there that night. His name was Caesar Milan. And Caesar Milan approached this young lady and said, You have charm and you have grace and you have beauty.

But if you don't get saved, if you don't see your need and give your heart to Jesus Christ, you're just as lost as the worst harlot in London. She was insulted a little bit. She was shocked by the rudeness of this preacher. I think God the Holy Spirit knew what she needed though. Because she went up to her bedroom and tried to go to sleep. She tried to laugh it off. But she couldn't laugh it off. And at 3 a.m. in the morning, Charlotte Elliott gave her heart to Jesus Christ, was born again.

She was the one who wrote a song that we sing here so often. Just as I am without one plea. But that thy blood was shed for me. O Lamb of God, I come to thee.

I come. That's the way she came. And friend, that's the way you come. And that's the way anybody will come because it was none less than Jesus Christ who said, Blessed are the poor in spirit. For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. And that, my dear friend, is the key to the kingdom.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-07 06:47:42 / 2024-05-07 06:59:14 / 12

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