Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Attitudes to Be

The treasury of scripture never ends.  The deeper you dig the more buried treasure there is to find.  I love this about the Word.  There isn't enough time in my life to spend studying the truths buried between the lines of each verse.  I have set to a habit of cogitating the profoundness of this great and marvelous mystery.  It is an absolute joy and privilege to have the ample resources at my finger tips to make digging into the Word easy.  Tools at the swipe of my finger, located on my iPhone like the Blue Letter Bible, software programs like Logos, pod casts from various pastors and YouTube videos of teachings.

 I always found it hard to understand this particular passage of scripture in Matthew chapter 5.  I have spent some time really studying it and wanted to share my findings.  Of course these aren't all my original thoughts.  Mostly this is due to the fact that my Bible study group is covering the life of Jesus and we just happened to finish up on this.  I have re-read this over and over.  Trying to wrap my human brain around these God-concepts.  The Holy Spirit gives us understanding when we earnestly seek and ask.  I am so thankful for this.
Matthew 5:1-12
[Mat 5:1 NKJV] And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him.
[Mat 5:2 NKJV] Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
[Mat 5:3 NKJV] "Blessed [are] the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
[Mat 5:4 NKJV] Blessed [are] those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.
[Mat 5:5 NKJV] Blessed [are] the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.
[Mat 5:6 NKJV] Blessed [are] those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
[Mat 5:7 NKJV] Blessed [are] the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.
[Mat 5:8 NKJV] Blessed [are] the pure in heart, For they shall see God.
[Mat 5:9 NKJV] Blessed [are] the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.
[Mat 5:10 NKJV] Blessed [are] those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
[Mat 5:11 NKJV] "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
[Mat 5:12 NKJV] "Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great [is] your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Verse 3
When I am poor in spirit I recognize I am nothing.  Jesus is everything and I am nothing without Him. I am a broken vessel unable to fix myself and in need of someone to save me from myself.

Verse 4
  I was always confused about those who morn.  Why would it be a blessing to just cry?  Then I understood why the crying was taking place.  When you honestly take inventory of your heart it will reveal the ugly secrets you want know one to ever know about.

Psalm 51:2-4;10-11
 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin.
For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin [is] always before me.
Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done [this] evil in Your sight--That You may be found just when You speak, [And] blameless when You judge.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

Cleansing takes place as we mourn or cry over our sin, our brokenness, our need for a savior.  I plead with God to forgive my sin and I am sorry and ask for forgiveness from my sin that separates me from God.

Bleeding Heart
Verse 5
Poor in spirit is meekness.  It is being humble.  It is an emptying of self. We can label this pride or arrogance.  It is surrendering your rights and giving full control to the Lord.

"Meekness toward God is that disposition of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting. In the OT, the meek are those wholly relying on God rather than their own strength to defend against injustice. Thus, meekness toward evil people means knowing God is permitting the injuries they inflict, that He is using them to purify His elect, and that He will deliver His elect in His time (Isa 41:17, Luk 18:1-8). Gentleness or meekness is the opposite to self-assertiveness and self-interest. It stems from trust in God's goodness and control over the situation. The gentle person is not occupied with self at all. This is a work of the Holy Spirit, not of the human will (Gal 5:23). " Copied from Blue Letter Bible

Even Jesus made himself humble (Philippians 2) even to the point of death on a cross.

Strong's G5013 - tapeinoĊ

to make low, bring low
to level, reduce to a plain
metaph. to bring into a humble condition, reduce to meaner circumstances
to assign a lower rank or place to
to abase
to be ranked below others who are honoured or rewarded
to humble or abase myself by humble living
to lower, depress
of one's soul bring down one's pride
to have a modest opinion of one's self
to behave in an unassuming manner 
devoid of all haughtiness

Verse 6
Now that I have admitted I am a sinner, repented of my sin and confessed Jesus as Lord of my life and I am in submission to Him; now I am truly empty ready to be filled.  If the previous statement is true I will be genuinely hungry  for God to fill me.  So it begs the question, am I really hungry for God in my life?  Am I looking for Him to fill me? What am I filling myself with?

Verse 7
When I extend mercy to others it will be given to me.  Because I am poor in spirit I can give to others in a self-less way.  It's not judging when really judgment is necessary.  One just simply over looks the issue at hand. 

 Ephesians 4:32 
"And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you."

Verse 8
My motivation of self promotion has died. I am not pursuing fame and recognition of man.  No I am in the business of giving glory to an audience of One.  My heart has grieved over my own sin and I am free of self seeking glorification.

 Mark 9:35 
 "And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all."

Verse 9
Being a peacemaker is not something you can fake. This is where you find out if you have thick skin or not.  People can me mean.  I have laid down my rights and my ideas of how things should be done.  Yes I still have opinions but self-promotion has ceased. I am a servant and I want to keep the peace around me by leading by example.

Romans 12:9-21
[Let] love [be] without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.
[Be] kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;
distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.
If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but [rather] give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance [is] Mine, I will repay," says the Lord.
Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head."
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Verses 10-12
This is my conviction. Do others see my beliefs lived out loud and know where I stand? To some I will be a sweet fragrance and to others the smell of death (2 Corinthians 2:15)  This is one we just don't want to talk about.  Persecution.  Here in comfy USA we just don't give it much thought.  Yet I do believe their are several types of persecution. The obvious and most easily recognized would be current day saints in chains because of their faith.  Pastor Saeed Abadeni from Boise Idaho is one of many in chains for his faith.  His story like others reminds us that persecution is real.  We can also experience persecution from friends and family when we take a stand that others don't agree with.  The end result is the same.  Persecution was meant to spark growth and the spread of the Gospel.  I have no doubt that is exactly what Saeed is doing in a very dark place. This earth is not my home.  I am on a mission to know Him and make Him known whatever the cost.  You have to decide what side of th fence you are on before perscution arrives at your door.  The reality of our world today should provoke us to live out our faith.  With news reports of school shootings, be-headings occurring globally, the rise of ISIS and Ebola outbreaks one must be ready.  Be ready now.  Don't wait church.  We were told by Jesus that trouble will come. It is not a matter of IF but WHEN.

John 16:33 
"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

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