Summary: Now a lot of times today we get asked about Moses and the Law? Questions like are we still obligated to obey that law How should we respond?

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Charlie was a regular visitor at the racetrack. One afternoon he noticed an unusual sight. Right before the first race, a Catholic priest visited one of the horses in the stable area and gave it a blessing. Charlie watched the horse race very carefully, and sure enough the blessed horse came in first!

Charlie followed the priest before the next race, and again the priest went to the stables and performed a similar procedure.

Charlie played a hunch and put a couple of dollars on the blessed horse. Sure enough, the blessed horse came in by two lengths and Charlie won close to fifty bucks!

The priest continued the same procedure through the next few races and Charlie won each time. He was now ahead $1000 so between races Charlie left the track and went to the bank and withdraw his life's savings, $20,000.

The biggest race of the day was the last one. Charlie followed the priest and watched carefully which horse he blessed. He then went to the betting window and put his whole $21000 bundle of cash on that horse to win. Then Charlie went out to watch the horses' race. Down the stretch they came and as they crossed the finish line, the horse Charlie's fortune was bet on fell over and died on the race track.

Charlie was crushed. He located the priest and told him that he had been watching him bless the horses all day and they all became winners except the last horse on which he had bet his life savings.

Charlie then asked, "What happened to the last horse which you blessed? Why didn't it win like the others?"

"That's the trouble with you Protestants," sighed the priest, "you never can tell the difference between a blessing and the Last Rites."

So what does it mean to be blessed

• Jesus starts out His “Sermon on the Mount” by telling us

• He gives us a whole list of things that will bless us

• We refer to this as the beatitudes and I would like to share them with you now

The Beatitudes

Mt 5:1 Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him,

Mt 5:2 and he began to teach them, saying:

Mt 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Mt 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Mt 5:5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Mt 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Mt 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Mt 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart,for they will see God.

Mt 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers,for they will be called sons of God.

Mt 5:10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Mt 5:11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

Mt 5:12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Can you imagine what these people must have been thinking after hearing this

• After they got done hearing Jesus’ definition of the kind of person God blesses,

• They gotta be thinking that no matter how bad they may want these blessings

• There is no way we are ever going to be able to pull it off

• And this must have really messed a lot of them up

• Probably upset a lot of them as well because they wanted to be blessed

• And now they are faced with the reality that they can never achieve it

These people want to know how they can have this righteousness.

• Where does it come from?”

• How does Jesus’ teaching go along with what we’ve been taught all our lives.

• So Jesus takes this opportunity to teach them

Now a lot of times today we get asked about Moses and the Law?

• Questions like are we still obligated to obey that law

• Didn’t Jesus do away with the law when He paid the price on the cross

• Through the Law of Moses, God revealed His standards for holy living.

• In Jesus’ day The Pharisees defended the Law

• And not only did they defend it but they spent every waking moment trying to obey it.

• But Here Jesus is telling them and us that true righteousness

• The kind of righteousness that pleases God has to exceed the righteousness of the scribes / Pharisees / and the common people,

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