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August 19, 2021 12:00 am
There is the kingdom of heaven. The pronoun is emphatic, which can be translated there.
They get these who are poor in spirit, and at the present tense verb very interesting, is promising something more than just when the promises are full-blown, and then we reigned with Christ.
He saying you how could have the right of Christ in your life.
We are right now, a kingdom of priests, we now have Christ raining in our lives. Radical and countercultural sermon in all of Scripture the way and magnitude of what Jesus teaches is truly incredible today on wisdom for the heart. Stephen Devi begins his exposition of this sermon. Jesus presented a form of wisdom that in many ways is the exact opposite of what we might expect and there's a lot of practical insight for our lives. Stevens calling this first sermon blessed are the bankers. Psychology today sent a survey out to 52,000 of their subscribers asking them to respond by telling them if they have found happiness or how they believe they would find an responses just flooded in from all over the country. Those on the poorer end of the economic scale, dreamed in fact, the most often repeated dream was that they'd win the what win the lottery. This was the favorite dream of people mentioned they truly believe that happiness was you know as close as a winning lottery ticket they really look at some of the winners I just googling some of the winners and I read about one winner who are one of I think was a Pennsylvania lottery nearly $8 million within a year. His wife left him winning alimony and child support that would eventually cost them around $1 million is landlady sue them for 30% of the winnings and one in court and then his own brother and sister-in-law were indicted and imprisoned for trying to hire somebody to kill him and attempt to get his money is one happy man right there. He got happiness and he won the lottery.
Those who responded to the magazine survey, who were in the wealthy category complained that they did not have enough most of them complained of boredom responses came in from all different geographical regions of the country as well. You might expect people from Florida to be a little happier than people from North Dakota but that what in the case that all people were in it all as I read the results mixed up, tired board angry disillusioned and confused terribly confusing fact one man responded by writing I have listed below. The reason I think I'm happy please can that matter where they were, how much they made where they lived. They all wanted something else or something less, something more, something different.
This is the myth we call the myth of the greener grass is and it causes us all the water there were something that we could get that we all have. Or maybe rid of something we do have it, we would find this happiness. One commentator by the name of William Barclay right this is human happiness is something that is dependent on the chances and changes of life. He writes this is something that life might give, but that life might also take away that's true. I think it's interesting that middle letter in the English word happiness is to guess the letter I and rightly so, because the average definition of happiness. If you ask the average person on the street, and maybe even yourself is it's it's dependent upon what's going to happen to me what's going to come to me with can occur in my life with can occur in my family's life with can happen my health.
What I'm to be able put in the bank account and on and on and on. So happiness to the human heart is effectively, all related with an all bound up with a high me and mine. What that means, then, is that we happen to be the greatest obstacle blocking our way to true happiness because we can be satisfied. I find it fascinating that Jesus Christ first sermon recorded in Scripture call the sermon on the Mount identifies this true abiding happiness and how to discover it is found in Matthew chapter 5 I invite your attention there nine times in nine verses Jesus Christ will use the word happiness is translated blessed. It's from Makarios. The Greek word that means fortunate or happy or blessed Jesus Christ is going to turn it all upside down.
He is going to literally blow the minds of his audience with what is about to deliver.
If I just went to the first few statements and you get a little Chloe says in verse three. Blessed happy are the poor in spirit. Happy are those who mourn fortunate are those who hunger verse six and Thurston after righteousness. Happy are the merciful, blessed verse 10 are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, you gotta be kidding. These sound like a group of losers, not winners.
These cannot be happy. Little wonder that when Jesus finished the sermon in fact turn over just a couple of pages to chapter 7. This is said of his audience. Chapter 7 verse 28.
Look there. When Jesus finished these sayings literally. The sermon the crowds were astonished at his teaching. They were stunned, literally from the Greek word X Pl. so literally, they were utterly beside themselves. When he finished, they were stunned, shocked they were astounded why verse 29 tells us part of it for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes fascinating. Jesus Christ will announce the authority is himself. In fact, he will save bold things like you have heard it said but I say unto you, over and over again typify verse 18 verse 22 verse 28 verse 32 verse 34 verse 39 verse 43 once more Jesus in this message.
Will call God his father and he will tell everyone he will presume to know what God thinks and how God feels about certain things.
Chapter 6 verse 14 a chapter 7 verses 10 to 11. Not only that is referred to himself as the final judge who will actually be able to determine who gets into heaven. Imagine chapter 7 verse 21. No wonder the crowd was absolutely stunned, they were literally beside themselves with his boldness and his claims that was was overcome with the rest of their attention early on, go back to chapter 5 was that he claim to know how to find this elusive element of life that mankind is been chasing throughout all of human history truly lasting genuine happiness.
We in America know all about the pursuit of happiness stolen by me as our rights are constitutional righted. Benjamin Franklin made his interesting comment about our own Constitution guarantees everybody life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. He wrote this I quoted. Please note that the Constitution only gives a people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it for yourself. I told the story few years ago I preface retelling it simple because you forget my sermons but you remember my stories that I would tell it anyway. New York City red.
There are at least 8 million cats and counting.
New York City is basically concrete and steel's articles and so when you have a tent in New York City that dies seeking his guy. The backyard barrier. The city charges a fee of $50 to come and take it away: rather enterprising lady thought alike and render service to people in the city and save the money so she placed an ad in the newspaper and she said when your pet cat dies, I'll take care of it for you for only $25. Of course that's you know half the price of lady would go when she got a call to go to the local Salvation Army store. She would buy an old suitcase for to three dollars and when someone would call another pet should go over there, carefully place the pet in the suitcase.
She didn't take a ride on the subway in the early evening a perfect time for pickpockets and thieves and she set the suitcase down near the door and a thief eventually would run by Greta suitcase – out the door to go stop thief.
Imagine guy opens it up that cat the idea of happiness, and I immediately thought of that again because you you got one holds the key and you give God what would perhaps be the contents of happiness, but it never quite delivers what you thought Jesus Christ delivers this startling news. He says I know where you can get it and I know I can find it is happiness verse one. Seeing the crowds went up on the mountain when he set down his disciples came and he opened his mouth, talking, saying, just a moment the traditional posture of a rabbi teaching was actually sitting whenever he sat and taught. It was official business. The phrase there and he opened his mouth, this is actually the Greek expression to describe serious weighty statements in these particular introductory statements that are weighty are called in most of your Bible outlines the Beatitudes word simply means supreme happiness. What I have discovered is that these Beatitudes are really the key to overcoming me attitudes which stand in the way of supreme happiness because I have to admit to you I am my biggest problem and you are yours. True happiness has nothing to do with external situation.
It has everything to do with God doing the work in our internal spirit. This is why Christ's first statement here will stunned their minds literally it will rock their religious world.
He says in verse three Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. These people had heard all their lives.
Blessed are the perfect in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven know Christ is in effect.
Blessed are those who recognize they are not perfect in spirit. I just what does poor in spirit mean word translated poor is a very descriptive Greek word total cost. It describes literally on her total bankruptcy in the days of Christ. This word would be used for a person and you'd say it this way he is as poor as a beggar.
This refers to a kind of poverty that is so so deep that a person must must be given help for everything in order to survive. He is totally dependent on somebody else to take care of so poverty of spirit then is an awareness that in ourselves. There is no good thing.
Romans 718 and we are utterly and totally entirely dependent upon Christ for absolutely everything. Only the spiritually bankrupt, inherit the kingdom of heaven and its truth only beggars can receive the grace of God, Thomas Watson, the wonderful Puritan pastor of old road on this text.
He said this, this signifies those who are brought to the sense of their sins and seeing no goodness in themselves. Despair in themselves and appeal wholly to the mercy of God in Christ.
He went on to say until we are poor in spirit, we cannot receive grace, for we are we are swollen with self-sufficiency if the hand be full of pebbles.
It cannot receive gold until we are poor in spirit, Christ is never precious.
We only see our wants and never see Christ's worth the world would say happy is the man who was always right there. Blessed are those who have it all together know Christ effectively says that that's what you might think. But I say to you. Blessed are the poor in spirit zooming in spirit. These words refer to the inner man, not the body, the inner person begs for the strength of Christ the inner man that is humble and contrite of spirit, who trembles at my word is a 66 verse two the Lord saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 3418. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit are broken and contrite heart of God. You will not despise Psalm 51 verse seven. This is fundamentally the difference between the hypocrite and the child of God. The inner man the inner spirit.
The hypocrite will tell you what he has just listen and more than likely he has it all spiritually speaking, a child of God mourns what he lacks is troubled by the graces that he does not evidence. Hypocrite is glad he's so good child of God is grieving is so bad like the Pharisee women the temple to pray and he reminded God a good he was number is with the less fasting, tithing is ethical.
All that the tax collector merrily reminded God how bad he was and cried. Oh God, be merciful to me a sinner but my favorite preachers is Charles Haddon Spurgeon and every time he walked toward his pulpit. He said God merciful to me a sinner.
That man in Luke's Gospel, inherit the kingdom of heaven, and so those who have his saying, spirit, and I often have people say to me it's either something wrong with me really what will I want to be like Christ.
But I'm so unlike him. I want to become holy. But I so consistently failed to meet the mark of holiness, and I usually tell them something like listen the enemy of your soul would never ever make you aware of your lack in Christ, he would tell you, you have enough of him.
He would tell you you are fine. So this is actually wonderful evidence of the work of Christ in your hearts live with a sense of dissatisfaction secure.
Yes, in Christ, but there's more of him. I actually read this perspective for the first time in writing. It was very encouraging to me again from the pen of Thomas Watson.
This made a rudderless text again. He wrote this, I quote him Christian do you grieve that you are so bad you go from moment to moment, needing God supply do you complain to God that you lack grace. You complain doing that you need a broken heart. You complain that you do not have a thankful heart. This is a good sign.
You are poor in spirit in the kingdom of heaven belongs to you. This is the perspective that is real, brings us closer to Christ. Rather than believing that somehow will reach a point where we will have it all together.
That is not from the spirit of God. Imagine this promise here to for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. That pronouncement by the way, is fantastic news. This is not a wish. This is it bears there's is the kingdom of heaven. The pronoun is emphatic, which can be translated theirs along, they get it.
These who are poor in spirit, and at the present tense verb, which is very interesting and it gives us an indication that he is not just talking about the millennial kingdom or the heavenly kingdom.
After that is he's promising something more than just when the promises are full-blown in and we reigned with Christ. He saying you now can have the reign of Christ in your life. Yes, his reign is is that future messianic aspect, but it has a right now aspect we are right now, a kingdom of priests, we now right now can have Christ reining in our lives and all the while longing for the day when we literally reign with him.
The truth is the ladies and gentlemen, the more we grow in Christ. The more we pursue Christ we will never outgrow this kind of spirit. So why do we desperately try. Why do we had that which hinders true happiness by trying to outgrow this kind of dependency on Christ. Let me let me quickly show you here where this word Makarios blessed or happy or fortunate shows up. I give you a couple two or three surprising appearances of happiness. First, the principal than the text number one happiness is discovered in commitment. When the will of God is confusing that you would think that that would never be where happiness is found, but if happiness is discovered in commitment.
When the will of God is confusing and I was gonna take the text. You can try to turn or if you want will probably move on. By the time you get there, but only chapter 1, the angel came to Mary remember she was a rather confused teenage girl, Mary is no super St. she was redeemed she called them Savior, she was someone who submitted to the will of God and that will was absolutely confusing but in her declaration of faith. She said from this time on all generations will count me blessed supremely happy totally dependent on God and we would say certain certainly she was.
She was happy she should be.
She bore the Messiah but look at her life in real terms on the run after you won the angelic visitation after another somewhat confused throughout her life about the Lord along with the other children.
She and Joseph born fact on one occasion she and her grandchildren came to take Christ away privately because they thought he lost his mind. Mark chapter 3 verse 21 but then the resurrection occurred and she and Christ's half brothers were told in acts 114 were there with the disciples. They fully understood release better understood. So if you're under the impression that happiness only occurs in the lives that clearly understand what God is doing with their lives, think again.
Imagine as well. The difficulty in Mary's life never living down the suspicion of fornication never fully able to forget those years on the run. No doubt being committed to the will of God, even when it didn't seem to make any sense at all.
And in that finding dependency on God, the true blessing. Happiness is committed to Christ.
Even what his will is confusing. Secondly, happiness is persistence when the will of God is painful. James writes, beloved, we consider those Makarios we consider those extremely fortunate supremely happy who remain steadfast in testing the weight is that doesn't go together, but the context of the paragraph is suffering. John Calvin sermon on this text reminded me that the world would say a happy person is one who is free of pain, but Christ is a happy person is one who persists following God utter dependence through pain, so we have to rewrite our definition of happiness. Don't and run to Christ. It was sufficient for everything when more happiness is obedience. When the will of God is obvious. Revelation chapter 1 verse three says, and I paraphrase, blessed are all those who read and hear and obey the words of this book so it's it's right there in your face, you got it in your lap and that covers everything else that you come along in the word and you understand it in and you study editing known as San Jose and it's obvious then do it.
Happiness is for those who obey the will of God when it's obvious and and maybe that's too obvious to say we have trouble obeying the obvious will of God.
Happiness is commitment to God, even when his will is confusing.
It is persistence even when as well as painful it is obedience even when the will of God is obvious. Johnny Erickson taught at many of you know of her sweet lady had the opportunity meet her. On one occasion she's impacted the lives of so many people. This quadriplegic to her testimony she wrote a one magazine article I came across. She was speaking in a Christian women's conference and one woman said to her. Johnny always looks so together and if you've ever seen her you would say this. I think she just looks together and she always looks happy and this woman also.
But she said every sin you always look so happy in your wheelchair. I wish I had your happiness. Johnny responded well II don't do it. In fact, let me tell you how I woke up this morning. This is my average day. She said after my husband can leave for work at 6 AM I am alone until I hear the front door open at 7 AM.
That's when a friend arrives to get me up while I listen to her, make coffee, I pray Lord, my friend will soon give me a bath getting dressed, sit me up in my chair, brush my hair and teeth and send me out the door. I don't have the strength to face this routine one more time.
I have no resources. I do not have a smile to take into this day, but you do, may I have yours so she said whatever joy you see today was hard. In reality it is only when I begged God today that, ladies and gentlemen's like beggars are the truly happy for they abandoned themselves sometimes moment by moment to the all sufficient resources. God is grace to Jesus Christ at the outset of this shocking sermon says blessed are the bank around but don't forget they are the ones who inherent King of heaven. Practical insight from God's today. This is wisdom for the hearts with this message are Bible teacher Stephen Devi begins a five-part series through a portion of Scripture known as the Beatitudes.
Stevens calling this series. Overcoming the me attitudes. Today's lesson is called blessed are the beggars. One of Stephen's most popular books comes from this series and is called overcoming the me attitudes we have this resource on sale during this series, you'll find it online at our website which is wisdom online.org scroll down to the bottom of our homepage and you'll find there while you're at that website you'll have access to the complete archive of Stephen's teaching ministry free of charge and you can access at any email@example.com. I should mention that you can listen to each message or read the complete manuscript. If you prefer that. But back to the book I mentioned earlier, you could also call us today if you'd like information person. Our phone number here is 86 648 Bible or 866-482-4253 give us a call today and we can give you information about this or any of our other resources well. Thanks again for joining us today. Plan to be with us for this entire series. In the days ahead.
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