Summary: The desire for God should dominate us.
WHAT DO YOU REALLY WANT?
C: Desire for God
Th: Live the Difference
Pr: THE DESIRE FOR GOD SHOULD DOMINATE US.
TS: We will find in our study of Matthew 5:6 three factors that describe what it is to be a Christian.
The _____ factor is…
PA: How is the change to be observed?
• We should desire God above all else.
RMBC 31 October 04 AM
What do you have an appetite for?
ILL Notebook: Food (Chocolate is a vegetable)
As many of you know, I have an appetite for chocolate, so I have some important tips for you when it comes to this delicious subject…
Did you know that chocolate is a vegetable?
Chocolate is derived from cacao beans.
Bean = vegetable.
Further, sugar is derived from either sugar CANE or sugar BEETS.
Both are plants, which places them in the vegetable category.
Thus, chocolate is a vegetable.
Along with that…
Chocolate candy bars also contain milk, which is dairy.
So candy bars are a health food.
Chocolate-covered raisins, cherries, orange slices and strawberries all count as fruit, so eat as many as you want.
And here is a diet tip…
Eat a chocolate bar before each meal.
It’ll take the edge off your appetite, and you’ll eat less.
Put "eat chocolate" at the top of your list of things to do today.
That way, at least you’ll get one thing done.
We all have appetites.
And if we care to admit it, many of us hunger for junk food.
We like our Big Macs, potato chips and Twinkies.
It makes my mouth water just thinking about them.
But what is of even more concern is that we have an appetite for junk food of the mind and soul.
In fact, I think it is fair to say that we have an obsession with man-made menus.
We have a fascination for sexual adventures, movie productions and fanciful vacations.
We love our sports events and hobbies.
But the problem with the pleasures of this world is that they are like cotton candy.
They look good.
They seem inviting.
But when you eat it, it’s nothing but air.
And we end up giving the best of ourselves to matters that, ultimately, don’t matter.
So, is this a problem you are having?
The theme we have had for 2004 is “live the difference.”
We have been continually challenged to live lives that are characterized by holiness and righteousness, and thus are able to make a difference in the communities to which we have been called to live in.
So, here is the question…
1. Are you able to “live the difference” as a Christian?
The trouble that we often have as Christians is that we settle for ordinary.
We don’t really desire to live anything that is extraordinary.
Instead, we find ourselves willing to live with a semblance of holiness.
We are willing to live faith by the numbers and discipleship by the book.
We do it.
But we do it out of duty.
We don’t do it because we “want to,” but because we “have to.”
But if this the way we choose, we are missing the blessing that God has for us.
2. God has designed us for a life characterized by blessing (Matthew 5:1-12).
Do not be mistaken.
We are not designed for unhappiness.
The Christian is not meant to be miserable (although there are some believers that act that way).
We are designed for joy.
We are designed for true rest and contentment.
Let’s once again consider the text known as the Beatitudes…
 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. [2 ] And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
 "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
 "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
 "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 "Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
In our study last week, we considered verses 3 – 5.