Summary: They say that the greatest sermons are lived not preached. As Jesus delivers the sermon on the mount, we see that it is not just a sermon he preached, but one that he lived.
They say that the greatest, most impacting sermons are those that are not preached, but are lived. No one lived a better sermon than Jesus.
At the outset of his sermon on the mount, Jesus lays out the steps that lead to blessing.
Step one: Realizing your spiritual condition.
"Blessed are the poor in spirit."
Many people may think they are rich spiritually, for all the wrong reasons.
I go to church every Sunday
I have pins for perfect Sunday School
I give lots of money in the offering plate
I am a good person
It is only when we realize that we are poor spiritually that we will take a step toward fulfillment.
We must realize without God, we have nothing spiritually. When we realize that we need God, and we totally give our lives over to him the reward is clear.
"For theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
Heaven goes to those who realize they need God and give their whole selves to him.
Step two: Seeing our sin as God sees it.
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."
When we see our sin as God sees it, we will mourn just as God mourns over our broken lives.
Satan says: Your sin doesn’t affect anyone else.
Your sin is just a little sin.
Your sin doesn’t matter.
Sin breaks God’s heart and ruins our relationship with God. That is why Jesus had to come.
When we mourn over our sin, we will repent of it. When we repent of it and ask God to forgive us, he will.
When we are baptized (immersed) into Christ our sins our washed away and forgiven. (Acts 2:38)
Once our sins our taken away, we are comforted with the peace and grace of God.
Step three: Getting your life under control.
Meekness does not mean weakness. It literally means power under control.
When you bring your life to Christ, and give Him total control over your life you step toward meekness.
When you look to Jesus as the authority, rather than relying on your own power you develop a meek attitude.
Jesus demonstrated meekness or power under control many times. When he was on the cross, he had the power to call on legions of angels. He could have saved himself in an instant. But he chose not to.
You and I will be amazed at the blessing from God we receive when we chose meekness over self-centeredness. The road to joy and blessing is not through obtaining power, fame, fortune, but through seeking to live a meek life that always seeks to please Jesus Christ.
Step four: Always have an appetite for the good things of God.
One year in youth ministry, I held an event for our youth known as the “30 Hour Famine.” We went for thirty hours without food. We only drank juice. Each young person had adults sponsoring them and the money went to needy children in third world countries.
By about the twentieth hour, I was so hungry and thirsty for something other than juice. It was the first time in my life that I can say I was truly “hungry and thirsty.”
Jesus says that a step toward blessing is to always be hungry and thirsty for the good things of God. For God’s righteousness. Instead of focusing on the things of this world we need to have a great appetite for God. An appetite that makes us want to:
Worship him more than just once a week.
Read his word on a daily basis.
Spend time in intimate prayer.
Serve one another in love.
The resulting blessing will be that we will be filled. We will be filled in a way that nothing in this world can accomplish.
Step five: Show mercy to others.
This is a very simple principle. The way we treat others will determine how we are treated.
When we are merciful with others, the Lord will show us mercy.
When we forgive others, the Lord will forgive us.
When we extend grace to others, God’s grace is extended to us.
When we are cold and harsh and judgmental with others, then the Lord will
certainly not bless us.
Step six: Keep your life pure.
Years ago my computer started acting up. I found out that my security filter was not turned on. I had a virus. It really messed up my computer. I thought I didn’t need security software since I only visited sites that were “wholesome and safe.”
I was wrong, I still managed to get a virus on my computer.
Our spiritual lives are the same way. We need a “spiritual filter” in our lives to keep out the bad things of this world. We must do all we can to keep our lives pure for God.