If you need some clarity in the midst of the chaos… start here!
In addition to my weekly sermon, I have three vehicles to provide content to help people grow: my blogpost, my podcast, and Facebook Live. I’m not very consistent in producing content. It is what it is.
I’m going to use those three venues to produce the same message over the next season. I want everyone to understand the clarity that is available in the midst of our world that is in chaos right now. Saint Matthew gives us a concise version of Jesus’ lifestyle teachings called The Sermon On the Mount. These teachings are a blueprint for us. They help us get and stay calibrated in any season of life. I want to make sure everyone I know realizes such a divine blueprint is available and has a medium through which to understand it easily. Matthew 5 thru 7 is the section of the gospel where the blueprint lives. Jesus starts by giving us a pep talk for all that is available through a life that lives out this plan.
They are called the “Beatitudes”.
He said: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Sometimes people try to make these out as a list of qualities to shoot for. I don’t believe that’s what Jesus is going for here. “Poor in spirit”, means spiritually bankrupt. I doubt Jesus is saying, “It’s really awesome when you are far from God!” Also, “those who mourn”, are said to be blessed. Later, Jesus will say, “You are the light of the world!”. Seems like joy is the desired trait. I don’t think the Father gets a kick out of His kids walking around miserable.
Rather than a list of admirable qualities, I believe the Beatitudes are a kind of spectrum. Jesus is introducing His way of life. He’s saying that we are blessed no matter where we are with God- spiritually poor or aligned to the point of persecution- because God’s Way of Life is now available for us!
Jesus doesn’t come announcing that we are blessed because one day we’ll die and go to heaven if we believe the right stuff. He announces that we are blessed right here and now, no matter where we are in our spiritual growth because we can always turn to God’s plan for living. So often religion is reduced to a set of rituals and a focus on life after death. Jesus seems to make things way more relevant and real for here and now! This is about joy and peace and blessing right here, right now!
Side note: Look at the accessibility of God! He’s even for the spiritually bankrupt! They are blessed even before they turn to God because God has reached out to them!
So… we are living in a time of great negativity, chaos, and confusion. People are angry and scared. Jesus looks at our situation and says, “Man, you’re blessed! No matter where you are, you are blessed! I’m giving you the Divine Blueprint! You now have something to build around! How blessed are you! How much do I love you!”
I’m going to take the next couple of months and walk through this Divine Blueprint, the Sermon on the Mount. If we keep our eyes on the simple lifestyle of Jesus, we’ll have the clarity to get us through a season of chaos.
We are blessed!
CLICK HERE for Part 2