Sermons

Summary: A sermon on the Fourth Beatitude.

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“Happily Starving”

Matthew 5:6

Shiny Happy People

I. Holy Scripture

A. Matthew 5:6

i. Happy are people who are hungry and thirsty for righteousness, because they will be fed until they are full. (CEB)

ii. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. (KJV)

II. Why we don’t understand this Beatitude

A. We don’t understand real hunger

i. Fake hungry

a. Go to restaurants because the atmosphere and food makes us feel hungry

ii. We equate our stomach growling to starving

iii. Real starvation can be seen in many third world countries

iv. We really don’t know what it is like to wonder if we will eat again

B. The Israelites that Jesus was talking to understood real hunger

i. Most Israelites extremely poor

ii. Many suffered from starvation

iii. Would have been conflicted when Jesus began this Beatitude

III. Personal Righteousness vs. Social Righteousness

A. Scholars have interpreted this two different ways

B. Personal Righteousness

i. Sacraments

a. Holy Communion

b. Baptism

ii. Spiritual Disciplines

a. Bible Study

b. Worship

c. Fasting

C. Social Righteousness

i. Mission Work

a. Local Missions

1. Food Pantry

2. Free Clinic

3. Door-to-Door Mission

4. Tornado Tubs and Flood Buckets

b. World Missions

1. Mexico Missions

2. Compassion Project

3. UMCOR

D. The problem with focusing on one

i. People who are personally righteous but don’t care about their neighbor

ii. People who care about others but disengage from things that help them spiritually

IV. Jesus expects total righteousness

i. One or the other is not good enough

a. Luke 10:27: You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself. (Luke 10:27 CEB)

b. Love God = Personal Righteousness

c. Love your neighbor = Social Holiness

ii. Total righteousness encompasses both personal and social

V. The Heart of Life

A. Blending personal and social righteousness is key to holiness

B. John Wesley called this “Holiness of Heart and Life”

VI. Call to Action

A. Where are you?

B. If you lean too much to one side, personal or social, recognize that and add some things from the other to balance it

C. Balancing your life comes from total righteousness


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