To often, we expect people to leap from sinners to saints in a single bound, sort of like Superman, is able to leap tall buildings. But I have found more often than not, it is a process, much like anything else. God gives us the means and information and we must take advantage it in order to become more like him. Like soap you have to use it in order to stay Clean.
Here is how I feel about our Christian Walk; it is just like our physical walk. When we were babies, we crawled around on the floor until we learned to walk, but once we learned to walk, we are committed for life, no longer it is acceptable to crawl around the floor. That is what I want to talk about this morning, the process of becoming “Christ Like”. For I find that too often, we return back to our immature stages of our Christianity.
In our passage of Scripture, commonly referred to as the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus speaks of different groups of people, but in a way he also speaks of a process, for we can see a transformation taking place through an eight step process.
Don’t groan to loud, I think I can do this in 30 minutes or less.
I. Blessed are the poor in spirit.
a. This is how so many people come to Christ.
b. Poor in spirit, down and out.
c. Tragedy in their lives or some sort of catastrophe turns them to God.
d. If not, when they realize their sinful nature, they should become poor in spirit or at the very least ashamed.
II. Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.
a. Once we realize our physical state, mourning is a natural state
b. Mourning would signify a sadness or sorrow
c. Poor in spirit and mourning seem pretty close
d. But mourning comes more from finding out the key to happiness and realizing that you could have had it all along.
e. It’s kind of like filling up on a bologna sandwich only to find out you could have had steak
III. Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth.
a. Meekness to me is a sign of humility
b. Now you can see the process beginning
c. A realization that you cannot necessarily do your own thing.
d. God is in control and you are subject to his will
e. It is a humbling experience
f. Sometimes we have to go through a humbling experience in order to grow in Christ.
g. It is essence what the Prophet Isaiah went through when he witnessed the Glory of God, and said Woe is me, for I am a man of unclean lips.
IV. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness.
a. Now you are on the right track.
b. Can you see the pattern beginning to develop?
c. Can you identify what part of journey you are on?
d. After we realize our inadequacies, we should hunger and thirst to do better.
e. We should want to be more Christ Like
f. We see a lot of people who stop right here.
g. You see, this is where the outward life changing begins.
h. This is where others will see the difference in you or should see the difference.
V. Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy.
a. We begin to bear fruit.
b. In Charles Dickens Classic, “A Christmas Carol” we see Ebenezer Scrooge go from a grumpy grouchy old miser to a generous charitable man.
c. That is basically a picture of what should happen in our lives as Christians.
d. Others should see a change in our lives.
e. We all have room for improvement.
f. An amazing metamorphosis should occur.
g. From a caterpillar to a butterfly.
h. You cannot receive Christ and remain the same
VI. Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.
a. A change not only in our actions but our attitudes
b. The way we see every situation should change.
c. Little things like correcting the cashier when she gives you too much change back. Instead of walking out thinking of how lucky you are.
d. Our motives should change to a more service-oriented attitude toward others.
e. We should become more compassionate and charitable.
VII. Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the sons of God.
a. From a hawk to a dove
b. From a lover of envy and strife to a lover of peace as long as it does not compromise the word of God.
c. Peace is something we all have to work on. It usually means putting the interests of others first.
d. Too often we see the peace in peoples lives and in the life of their church go by the wayside, because people would rather have their way than peace.
e. James says, “What causes fights and quarrels among you, it is because you want and you do not get.
VIII. Blessed are those who are persecuted for Because of Righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
a. The defining mark of a Christian.
b. The highest honor you can receive.
c. The most Chris like you can become is to be persecuted for your righteousness.
d. Think about, Christ was crucified for his righteousness, his beliefs.
e. James writes in James 1:12, Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
f. When you are persecuted for Christ, You are on the right track; you are headed in the direction you have been called to go in.
So where do we fit in.
Or we poor in spirit,
Hunger and thirsting after righteousness
Pure in heart