Summary: We become useful to God when we are broken of our stubborn self-will and learn to submit to His will. The beatitudes describe what it means to be broken before God¡Kwe can summarize these first 4 beatitudes with one word each.
Spiritual High Gear
1. Right now, Freddie Aldridge is in boot camp.
2. I’ve never been in the military, but I understand it does a good job of teaching people respect for authority.
3. I knew a student at Moody, Bruce¡Kflunked out¡KNavy¡Kpastor/professor
4. "The Navy has a way of breaking you¡K."
5. In a similar way, the SOM is a spiritual boot camp¡K
MAIN IDEA: We become useful to God when we are broken of our stubborn self-will and learn to submit to His will.
TS-----„³ The beatitudes describe what it means to be broken before God¡Kwe can summarize these first 4 beatitudes with one word each.
I. The Poor in Spirit: Receptivity
---. the rewards promised here are given all believers; the rewards are not earned, but given graciously and they, in turn, motivate the behavior¡K.
---. these beatitudes are not complete truths, nor are they to be driven to the extreme¡K.they rather describe the radically different nature of Christ’s Kingdom from earthly empires¡K.
Being poor in spirit, receptivity, includes the following element¡K
1. Recognizing our need
(1) lost people¡XRom. 3:23; people must recognize they are lost before they can be saved
(2) God’s people---Jeremiah 17:9, deceitful heart syndrome¡K
------we must not downplay our own personal bent toward sin¡K
2. Accepting God’s grace
(1) Some people are too proud to take the gifts God offers¡K
(2) Unbelieving Jews¡Xtoo busy trying to establish their own righteousness
(3) The Spirit’s control and leading complement and promote self-discipline/wisdom, but self-discipline/wisdom does not REPLACE it
(4) sometimes God’s grace comes through people
---Marylu and I used to feel awkward when people were kind to us¡Khad to learn to be good receivers¡K
3. Cultivating spiritual nurture¡K
(1) the poor in spirit realize they can’t be fixed "overnight" or EVER in this Life¡Xat least NOT completely
(2) so they are more prone to set up ROUTINES to address their spiritual neediness¡Xattendance patterns, devotional habits, accountability
APPLICATION: Everyone is really poor in spirit. Jesus was talking about those who RECOGNIZED their spiritual poverty¡K DISCIPLES of Jesus Christ must remind themsleves of how far they have to go and grow..(man who said he knew it all)
II. The Mourning: Reality
1. Those Who Mourn are those who are OPEN to God’s comfort
(1) Is. 61:1-3
(2) Helen Jenkins grand-daughter¡Konly God can comfort¡K
2. Mourning forces us to face reality (Eccl. 7:2-3)
3. Mourning sobers us from our drunkeness of escape, diversion, relaxation
(1) William Bennet talking to Bill O’Reilly¡Kcollege student¡Xfun
---maybe there is more---
---The events of Sept. 11th have proven this beatitude true¡Kdepth¡K
(2) Grief provides a necessary but rude awakening¡Ktherefore people who do NOT keep their heads in the sand are most in tune w/reality¡Kpersecuted church and other unpleasant facts
Application: Disciples of Jesus Christ must not live in a dream world; we must focus on reality, because reality motivates us: the LOSTNESS of those w/out Christ, the wickedness of fallen man, the need for the Word of God¡K
III. The Meek: Humility
1. Humble people do not constantly COMPARE themselves w/other people,
but to God’s standards; they compete with themselves¡K
2. Humble people are realistic about BOTH their good and bad points.
3. Arrogant people boast of their achievements, but what really mattes is God’s assessment, not man’s¡K.Rev. 3:17
4. Nebuchadnezzar thought he was hot stuff; so did Haaman.
5. True worship shows itself in humility¡K.truly exalting God humbles us
Application: Disciples need to be humble; we are to humble ourselves, which is simply aligning ourselves w/reality as God defines reality in His Word¡K
IV. The Spiritual Hungry and Thirsty: Teachability
1. Many new believers suffer from eyestrain¡Ktoo much Bible reading¡K
2. Circumstances can make us mourn or even humble, but only the Holy Spirit can give us a true craving for the God of the Bible and His Word¡K.
3. S.S.---83% (5 years later) vs. 16%
4. It is not just religious hunger that distinguishes those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, but a hunger for the Word, a hunger to see the right prevail¡K.(hearing and doing the Word)
Disciples are first and foremost STUDENTS. Disciples are not just willing to learn, they are to be EAGER to learn, and EAGER to practice what they have learned. Do you consider yourself a Bible STUDENT? Are you burdened to promote righteousness?
1. Has God broken you? Are you resisting him? Do you want Him kept on the sidelines or the center?
2. We must be open to His gracious working in our lives:
(2) facing the unpleasant realities about ourselves¡K
3. We must focus on reality, instead of burying our heads in the sand¡K
4. We must see ourselves as merely a servant; real humility.
5. And we must ask the HS to give us that hunger we need¡K