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Summary: Part one of a two part message on the beatitudes.

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21, July 2002

Dakota Community Church

Step up to Blessings I

Introduction:

The story is told of two old friends bumped into one another on the street one day. One of them looked forlorn, almost on the verge of tears. His friend asked, "What has the world done to you, my old friend?"

The sad fellow said, "Let me tell you. Three weeks ago, an uncle died and left me forty thousand dollars."

"That’s a lot of money."

"But, two weeks ago, a cousin I never even knew died, and left me eighty-five thousand free and clear."

"Sounds like you’ve been blessed...."

"You don’t understand!" he interrupted. "Last week my

great-aunt passed away. I inherited almost a quarter of a million."

Now he was really confused. "Then, why do you look so

glum?"

"This week... nothing!"

Question:

Would you consider yourself a blessed person?

Lets see it through the eyes of Jesus.

Matthew 5:1-12

1 Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him,

2 and he began to teach them, saying:

3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Phase I – PREPERATION

1. Blessed are the poor in spirit.

Romans 3:22-24

22This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

- Synonyms for “poor,” such as “broke, busted, bankrupt, destitute.”

- “Happy or fortunate are people who are spiritually busted, bankrupt, destitute, broke.”

- Jesus is saying that the first step toward real blessing is to realize that you are spiritually broke, & that you really need God in your life.

- Lose the I’m a good person syndrome!

2. Blessed are those who mourn.

2 Corinthians 7:9-10

9yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. 10Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

“When you finally realize you’re spiritually broke & your only hope is to have God in your life, then:

- Your sins break your heart & you mourn.

- How long has it been since you agonized over your sin?

- How long has it been since you took a serious inventory of your life?

The word that should come to mind now is “repentance” because when your sin becomes repulsive to you, & you turn from it & turn toward God, that’s when God promises to comfort you.

3. Blessed are the meek.

Now most people seem to think that meek means weak, a spineless person without any backbone at all.

But in the original language, “meek” is used in bridling a horse, or taming a wild animal.

- The word “meek” is a picture of “power under control.”

- So when we talk about a meek person, we’re talking about one whose life has been brought under the influence of the Holy Spirit

Galatians 5:22-23

22But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness,

23Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [[6] that can bring a charge].

SUM. Now, have you noticed that these first 3 Beatitudes correspond to the steps we take in becoming a Christian? When we recognize how spiritually broke we are, & the awfulness of our sin, it breaks our heart, & we finally turn our life over & say, “Here, God, you drive my life.”

So the first 3 Beatitudes describe the inward steps to becoming a Christian.

4. Blessed are the hungry.

When a baby is born it soon lets you know that it’s hungry. Why? Because the only way it will grow is if it receives nourishment.

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