Summary: The Beatitudes show us the right attitude to have in response to God at work in our lives.
SECRETS WITH GOD SERIES
Secrets that Bless Us
A Secret: something that is kept or meant to be kept unknown or unseen by others.
Top Secret America is a series of investigative articles published on the post-9/11 growth of the United States Intelligence Community. The report was first published in The Washington Post on July 19, 2010, by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Dana Priest and William Arkin. The three-part series, which took nearly two years to research, was prepared with the assistance of more than a dozen journalists. It focuses on the expansion of secret intelligence departments within the government, and the outsourcing of services. The Cliff Notes findings of the report are as follows:
• The report states that in approximately 10,000 locations across the United States, 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies are employed. Their work is related to homeland security, counterterrorism, and intelligence.
• More than two-thirds of these locations "reside" in the Department of Defense, where "only a handful of senior officials — called Super Users — have the ability to even know about all the department's activities."
• An estimated 854,000 people hold top-secret security clearances.
• The publicly announced cost of the U.S. intelligence system is "$75 billion, 2½ times the size it was on Sept. 10, 2001. But the figure doesn't include many military activities or domestic counterterrorism programs."
• Since September, 2001, 33 building complexes for top-secret intelligence work are either under construction or have been built. The total area is approximately 17 million square feet, equivalent to about three Pentagons or 22 U.S. Capitol buildings.
• Analysts within the agencies publish about 50,000 intelligence reports each year.
• Every day, the National Security Agency intercepts and stores 1.7 billion phone calls, e-mails, and "other types of communications", but is able to sort only a "fraction" of these into 70 different databases.
Today, we are not going to talk about those type of secrets, but rather the attitudes unknown to others, those between us and God that lead to His blessings in our lives.
Quote: “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.” Charles Swindoll
Today we are going to discuss our approach to God. How can we welcome what God has for us in our lives? If we want Jesus to be our Lord, how do we allow that occur? Our talk will focus on the Apostle Paul and how his turning to God demonstrates that pathway to the blessed position described in these verses. No matter where we are at in our faith journey, I believe we can find one if not all of these beatitudes applicable and like a gold nugget, we can take at least one of them home with us to improve our lives.
As we have shown, Matthew takes great strides to show that Jesus is the rightful heir to the throne of David, and thus the King of Israel. There is much Scripture which details that the promised Messiah would one day rule over all the earth. One such passage is found in the writings of the Prophet Isaiah, from 700 B.C. Chapter 9, verse 6, reads: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. Isaiah 9:6-7 KJV.
Isaiah’s description of Jesus as the mighty God, the everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace reveals that there is some greatness regarding person of the Christ which is yet to be understood and experienced. In Chapter 1, Matthew uses geneology to show Jesus as heir to the throne of David; in Chapter 2, we see the wise men inquiring, “Where is He that is born King of the Jews” and Jesus being worshiped by these same wise men from the Persian or Iranian Empire; in Chapter 3, Matthew writes how John the Baptist is declaring that the kingdom of heaven is at hand and preaching repentance and baptism, so that the people can prepare themselves for the coming Messianic King; in Chapter 4, we see Jesus preaching to people to repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand, then His dominion over the forces of evil and disease is shown. Matthew concludes this section of his writing with: 24 And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them. 25 And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan. Matthew 4:24-25 KJV.