Summary: Finding God’s will to bless us in the sermon on the mount.
Fantastic News for Living from the Sermon on the Mount PART 1
A man walks up to the bar with an ostrich behind him, and as he sits, the bartender comes over, and asks for his order. The man says, "I’ll have a beer," and turns to the ostrich. "What about you?"
"I’ll have a beer too," says the ostrich. The bartender pours the beer and says "That will be $3.40 please," and the man reaches into his pocket and pulls out exact change for payment.
The next day, the man and ostrich come again, and the man says "I’ll have a beer," and the ostrich says, "I’ll have the same." Once again the man reaches into his pocket and pays with exact change.
This becomes a routine until, late one evening, the two enter again. "The usual?" asks the bartender. "Well, it’s close to last call, so I’ll have a large scotch" says the man. "Same for me," says the ostrich.
"That will be $7.20," says the bartender. Once again the man pulls exact change out of his pocket and places it on the bar. The bartender can’t hold back his curiosity any longer. "Excuse me sir. How do you manage to always come up with the exact change out of your pocket every time?"
"Well," says the man, "several years ago I was cleaning the attic and found an old lamp. When I rubbed it a Genie appeared and offered me two wishes. My first wish was that if I ever had to pay for anything, I just put my hand in my pocket, and the right amount of money will always be there."
"That’s brilliant!" says the bartender. "Most people would wish for a million dollars or something, but you’ll always be as rich as you want for as long as you live!"
"That’s right! Whether it’s a gallon of milk or a Rolls Royce, the exact money is always there," says the man.
The bartender asks, "One other thing, sir, what’s with the ostrich?"
The man replies "My second wish was for a chick with long legs."
God wants to bless us, not like the Genie who can trick us and gives us what we deserve. According to the Bible, God "is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine". Can u sense the power of that "immeasurably more" and in combination with "more than ALL we ask or imagine." What God gives is incredibly awesome. It is not a mere ostrich! Larry Crabb (2001, p.1) said:
“There’s never a moment in all our lives, from the day we trusted Christ till the day we see Him, when God is not longing to bless us. At every moment, in every circumstance, God is doing us good. He never stops. It gives Him too much pleasure. God is not waiting to bless us after our troubles end. He is blessing us right now, in and through those troubles. At this exact moment, He is giving us what He thinks is good.”
That is the rub, Crabb continues, what He thinks is good may not be the idea we have of what is good. Illus: We say ice cream is good, not spinach.
We want immediate feel good remedies often dislike what is in fact good for us. Rather than seeing God as one who gives us heavenly ice cream with the nutritional value of spinach, we pursue our own ways of getting earthly ice-cream that melts away in the heat of the day.
Our greatest happiness is to be found in God. But in our hearts we question that. We are like Jeremiah’s audience who prefer broken cisterns and walk right pass the refreshment and enjoyments of the cool Springs of Living Water. Prefer controllable digging of our own cisterns and not the offer of free cool water of the Spring.
That God wants to bless us is so evident:
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God BLESSED THEM, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. “Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was VERY GOOD. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Genesis 1:27-31 (NKJV)