Summary: Through this text, Jesus teaches the attitudes that will be necessary to live a successful Christian life.
Intro: There he stood, in the midst of the Golden Corral Restaurant, with 2 gallons of Thousand Island dressing dripping from his hair, over his glasses, down his face, all over his jacket, pants and shoes. A service person had been struck from behind by the swinging door which launched the salad dressing all over this guy. --- He went ballistic! He cursed and shouted calling the girl everything including “stupid.” It happened to be Sunday afternoon. Do you suppose the man had been to church and heard a sermon about love? Not only did this man need a change of clothes. He needed a change of attitude as well. (from A Blessed Attitude Toward God by Steve Shepherd – SermonCentral.com)
I. That’s what Jesus is saying here. I like to refer to these simple, yet wise words as BE ATTITUDES.
A. Blessed, happy (MAKARIOS / ASHERE) M = JOY which is serene, untouchable and self-contained.
B. Actually there is not form of the verb “to be” here. It is more like an exclamation. A = “O THE BLESSEDNESS OF”
C. Upside down / POOR IN SPIRIT / MOURNERS / MEEK / HUNGER AND THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS / MERCIFUL / PURE IN HEART / PEACEMAKERS / PERSECUTED - - - “Aren’t you the lucky one?”
II. The young man poured out his heart’s devotion on paper as he wrote to the girl of his dreams: “Darling, I would climb the highest mountain, swim the widest stream, cross the burning desert, and die at the stake for you. P.S. I will see you on Saturday --- if it doesn’t rain.” (A Blessed Attitude Toward God by Steve Shepherd – SermonCentral.com)
A. Sounds like some people’s attitude when it comes to church. If it rains or if there is any kind of bad weather, let’s just stay home. Or if there is something else we’d rather do, let’s go do the other thing. “I love you, Lord, but not that much.”
B. One thing that is badly needed in our culture and yes, even in this church is a change in attitude. We need to change our attitude from one of negativity and criticism to a positive attitude of encouragement.
C. Give each person a rubber band. --- Put that rubber band on your wrist. Every time you say something negative, snap it and then put it on the other wrist. - - - BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION.
III. Not only do we need a change in attitude, we need a change in our actions.
A. Man ordered a steak and was rather obnoxious about complaining about it to the waitress. “too rare” / “burnt crisp” / “too tough” / baked potato had a black spot / “look at this potato. It’s a bad potato.” / Waitress: “bad potato, bad, bad, bad” spanking it as she did. Put it back on his plate and said, “If you have any more trouble with that potato, just let me know.”
B. Being a church member is not a spectator sport. Yet, people are often like the man in the restaurant expecting everything done exactly his way, to his satisfaction.
C. In the BE ATTITUDES – Jesus tells us not to think like the world thinks. Think God’s way! Do things God’s way! Do things in a more spiritual way!
Conclu: Some might say that what we do here on Sunday morning is “Playing church.” --- Maybe they are right! I will be here in this sanctuary at 4 PM this afternoon. I encourage those of you who want to have a closer walk with God, a more spiritually enriched experience to come meet me here. We will pray together, we will listen for God together and seek to become the disciples Christ Jesus is calling us to BE!