Summary: This is the first sermon in a series on the Sermon on the Mount.
Quick Sermons for Permanent Fixes Lesson 1
Fix your Attitude
Who is the real you? How do you know? Ever heard someone say, “I just don’t feel like myself today?” Ever said it yourself? How did you know?
William James: “I have often thought that the best way to define man’s character would be to seek out the particular moral or mental attitude in which, when it came upon him, he felt himself most deeply and intensely active and alive. At such moments there is a voice inside which speaks and says: This is the real me!”
Jesus addresses our attitudes in His sermon on the Mount. If you have a Bible, turn to Matthew 5. How do we define someone who is blessed? Good looks? Money? Lots of time? Nice house or car? Lucky in all they do? The world says that blessings are found in stuff that happens outside of us – stuff we can’t control. Here Jesus teaches that the path to blessedness or being fortunate is the opposite of the world’s path to fortune.
This morning we start a series on the Sermon on the Mount. I will feel free to leave it occasionally, but generally we are going to move through these three chapters of Matthew. Jesus talks about what it takes to be His disciple and He says that we have to fix some things in our lives if we want to follow Him. It doesn’t mean you must be perfect to be his disciple, it means this is what you work on when you are his disciple.
We are all familiar with quick fixes. They are temporary and don’t usually work for long if at all. My wife tells the story about the time she and her sister found some Oreos left out on the counter and ended up needing a quick fix. It seems that some Oreos were left out and they decided to eat them. Knowing they would get in trouble for eating them, the girls decided to just lick the cream out of the middles of all the cookies, which they did. But then, they realized that leaving the flat cookies would still get them caught. What could they do? Then one of them had the perfect quick fix – mayonnaise. Hey, it looked like cream and soon the cookies were restored to their original splendor. Knowing that leaving mayonnaise out could make someone sick, they carefully placed the Oreos in the refrigerator and were shocked when their scheme was discovered later.
Unfortunately, the girls had a problem and tried to fix it with a quick fix. Often times in our own lives we try to cover our mistakes with a quick fix. Jesus says that we need to look for permanent fixes to our lives, not quick ones. I call these sermons Quick Sermons for Permanent Fixes. It will only take me about 20 minutes to preach these, but it will take you 20 years to put them into practice in your lives. This morning I want us to look at what Jesus says about attitudes. If we are going to be his disciple, we must fix our attitudes.
And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn ,For they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
When Jesus says that these people are blessed – your Bible may say happy – he means that they are fortunate. They are to be envied. It’s not that they are bubbly people all the time, but they are people that we would like to act like, to know. They are role models. And which of us wouldn’t like to get our attitudes under control?!
I promised this sermon would be quick, so let’s look quickly at the attitudes Jesus describes for us and see how we can fix our own attitudes.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven