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
Success! This is what success looks like! Here we have some pictures of some of the most successful people on the planet taken just at the point of achievement.
Look at them, tell me, what do you see? How would you describe these people?
Over the moon
On cloud 9
Success! No matter what we want to be in life, whether we dream of being an athlete, a businessman, a politician, an actor or a singer, we ALL want to be successful!
Nobody enters a competition to finish last; no one starts a business to fail, no one runs for office to lose! We all want to win, to succeed! And to be successful, we will take all the help we can get!
And it should be no different from our Christian walk, which Paul describes as a race, a fight, the good fight.
And with that in mind we began a study of the teachings of Christ found here in the Sermon on the Mount.
And what we find in these chapters here is pretty much a handbook for Christian living. What we find is a handbook for Kingdom living! If you are a Christian this is how you are to be living your life!
And Jesus starts with giving us a picture of what a true Christian should be like. He gives us a picture of what we should be aiming for. He gives us a picture, the characteristics of a Successful Christian.
And the first characteristic of the successful Christian is that he is '...poor in spirit...' that he realizes, understands and accepts that without God he is and he can do nothing.
The second thing Jesus says about the Successful Christians is this 'Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted'
Think back to those pictures we saw at the beginning, think back to those words we used to describe them and let me read that out again 'Blessed are those who mourn...'
Surely that can't be right! Surely there's some kind of mistake! Joy, happiness, riches- all words that come to mind when I think of success! Mourning- nowhere close!
When I hear the word mourning I think of death and that grief and pain you feel inside when you lose someone special.
Mourning is more than just being upset; it's more than just crying over something, mourning is the deepest state of sorrow! It is definitely a word I would never associate with being happy or successful!
I never told my guidance councillor 'when I leave school I want to be successful, I want to be poor and mourn!' mourning is NOT a word we would normally associate with being happy!
Yet Jesus tells us, that those who are truly successful, who are truly happy, are those who mourn! What does He mean?
Well, Jesus is talking about our spiritual attitude! And when we think about it, it is a natural progression from last week, for when we realize our true spiritual condition, that we are corrupt, wretched sinners who can do nothing without God, we mourn over our sinfulness!
It is more than guilt! It is a deep sorrow! It is something which brings us to our knees, crying out to God! We see it in Paul, and can almost hear him cry 'Oh wretched man that I am! Who can deliver me from this body of sin?' He recognizes his sinfulness 'the good I want to do I do not do, but the evil I do not want to do, this I do!' and then he cries out, he mourns 'oh, wretched man...'
But then Jesus promises '...for they shall be comforted!'
'Who can deliver me from this body of sin?' Paul asks, he then gives the answer 'Thanks be to God- [It's] trough Jesus Christ our Lord'.
You see, 2 Cor. 7:10 'Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.' And; Psalm 34:18 "The LORD is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit'
Remember the story of the self righteous Pharisee and the hated tax collector? 1 stood up in the temple with a 'look at me, I'm great!' attitude and began to pray about himself! Thank you because I'm so good, thank you because I'm so great! Not like that tax collector! No, I give my 10%, I fast twice a week! This was a man who mourned nothing!
Then the tax collector, this vile man, who knew exactly what he was, his spirit poor, he now mourns over his own sinfulness, doesn't even look up to God, but in humility cries out 'Oh God, have mercy on me a sinner!' and for sure this man was in tears as he did!