Summary: Matthew 7:24 says 'Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock'. In this series we will go through those teachings of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount and see how to be that wise bu
Have you ever watched a cooking program or some kind of kids craft TV? Nicky loves to watch cbeebies, and in particular Mister Maker. And I won't lie to you, I enjoy watching it too!
This is Mister Maker and what he usually does it take your ordinary things like cereal boxes, or egg boxes or lollipop sticks and then makes something out of them. Like this
And what's normal, and you'll find this for any 'how To' program or website you see, is first they show you the finished thing and then they tell you how to make it!
And Jesus starts the Sermon on the Mount in the same way! Before He teaches us how we are to live in the Kingdom of God, He paints the picture of the finished article, in what is known as The Beatitudes.
'Blessed are... '
'Blessed are... ' etc.
But before we get into them individually, let me just introduce them as a whole and say 4 things.
1) What we see here we see in Jesus! He IS the Beatitudes! Everything we see here we see in Jesus, both the description of character and the promise attached.
2) The Beatitudes are a description of the character of ALL Christians! Sometimes it's easy to but Christians in 2 categories, 'Special' Christians and the rest. And by 'Special' I mean those who've given their lives to the service of Christ -- pastors, missionaries etc. and the 'Rest' as those Christians who work in secular jobs and attend church meetings. They are not a description of the Hudson Taylors, John Wesleys, George Mullers of this world, but rather of ALL Christians! It's how we should ALL be! From the youngest to the oldest no matter what our vocation!
3) As Christians we should be displaying ALL of these characteristics in our lives not just one or two. It's not right to say you should aim to be 'poor in spirit' while you aim to 'mourn' and you aim to be 'meek' and I'll try to 'hunger and thirst after righteousness'. No, these are characteristics of one in the Kingdom of God, living under his rule and authority. Sure one may be more clearly seen than another but they should all be seen!
4) Finally, and probably the most important thing, nothing in the Beatitudes refers to what we would call 'natural tendencies'. No one, left on their own, will ever be able to display these characteristics because they are not natural to the unregenerated soul. No, each one is produced solely by the grace of God and the work of the Holy Spirit within us!
We said a few weeks ago that Jesus' teachings were, are radical, completely different from what the people were hearing, and last week we said that the Kingdom of Heaven and Kingdom living is the complete opposite of this kingdom on this kingdoms living!
And we see that here, we see it in the very first Beatitude 'Blessed are the poor in spirit... '
Every Tuesday and Thursday we teach mothers English in our school, and what I like to do is start the class with a Speaking Diary. On a Tuesday I like the class to tell me what they did on the weekend, and on a Thursday I like the class to tell me what they will do or what they want to do over the coming weekend.