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352: The Blessings of Meekness
One of the most difficult statements to reconcile is found in the third blessing of the Beatitudes spoken at the beginning of His Sermon on the Mount. There He said,
Matthew 5:5 – “Blessed are the meek, (why) for they (the meek) shall inherit the earth.”
But what does this mean? Does meekness mean weakness? Does it mean being soft and gentle? Somewhat effeminate? Cowardly? Maybe whimpy? And, if so, why does Jesus describe Himself as “gentle and lowly in heart”? (Matt. 11:29). How can that be?
Actually, Biblical meekness is nothing like we think of it today. And if you want to know more about what Jesus means when He says, “Blessed are the meek”, then keep listening.
351: Our Greatest Mission Field is the Church
One of the reasons the church is in the condition we now find it, is because many, if not a majority of those who claim Christ as Lord, are actually lost. They have their faith placed in something other than the true, Biblical Jesus. And their allegiance is usually to something other than Christ Himself.
But this really shouldn’t surprise us. For the mark of this church age is the simple fact that Jesus is on the outside of the church longing to come in. And His call is not to the group, the church, or the institution. It is to the individual.
Consider the following:
Revelation 3:20 – “Behold, (what) I (Christ) stand at the door (of His church) and knock. If anyone (personal) hears My voice (John 10:27) and opens the door (of His church), I will come in to him (personal) and dine with him (personal), and he with Me (personal).”
Could this be you? Could it be someone you know? If so, then keep listening.
350: What is the Kingdom of Heaven?
Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, (why) for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:3). And a few verses later He adds, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, (why) for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:10).
Which raises a few questions:
What is the “kingdom of heaven”?
Is it the same as the “kingdom of God”?
And, if not, how is it different?
Why is Matthew the only Gospel writer that uses this phrase?
And how does this all apply to me today?
You will find the answer to these questions will change the way you live your life from this day forward. It will have a profound impact on your future and your eternity.
Are you intrigued? Interested? Maybe a little curious? Good. Then keep listening.
349: Blessed are Those who Grieve and Wail and Lament
In the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus presents the Beatitudes that introduce His teaching about living in the Kingdom of Heaven. But there are some truths about living in His Kingdom that we sometimes forget. For example:
External things cannot satisfy internal needs. Got it.
And things are not always what they seem to be. Got that too.
True happiness and true blessedness cannot be found in a fallen, cursed world. Uh, if you say so.
Everything we see and touch in this world is temporary at best. I know, but let’s get all we can while we are here.
And if that wasn’t enough, in Matthew 5:4 Jesus said,
“Blessed are (who) those who mourn, (why) for they (those who mourn) shall be comforted.”
But that raises a few questions:
What does it mean to Biblically mourn?
What are we supposed to be mourning about?
And why is mourning a good thing?
To find out about the blessing that comes from Godly sorrow, keep listening.
348: Did You Worship Last Sunday?
We’ve worked real hard to redefine what worship means today? And, in doing so, we’ve made it more about music or style or a feel-good experience than what it has historically meant in the past. But what does “worship” really mean?
According to Webster’s Dictionary (1828) worship means: “To honor with extravagant love and extreme submission. It means to declare or attribute dignity and worth. Worship is to show profound reverence and adoration.”
And this has nothing to do with a style of music or what I’ve seen in church most of my life. Which brings us to the question: Did you worship last Sunday? Did you honor your Lord with extravagant love and extreme submission? Did you boldly declare His dignity and worth among the congregation? Did you show, by your very actions, your profound reverence and adoration for the Lord last Sunday? And if you did, what was that like?
And if you didn’t, or if you’re not sure, then keep listening.
347: Living in the Midst of Fear
In Psalm 56, during a very dark time in David’s life, he wrote the following:
Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; (therefore) I will not fear. What can flesh (or, man) do to me?
James Montgomery Boice said: “Man can oppress, slander, hurt, hate, maim, and murder me, for starters. But, of course, that is not the answer David is giving us in Psalm 56. His answer is: Nothing!”
And he’s right. What can man do to me? Nothing. Absolutely nothing? Why? Because “God is for me” (Psalm 56:9). Do you want to know how to live in the midst of fear? Do you want to know how to not let your view of God limit you because He is too small. If so, then keep listening.
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“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.”