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Summary: Taken from the Beattitudes as paraphrased by "The Message". This sermon was originally penned to encourage the congregation after a week where a few different deaths happened in our community.

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You Are Blessed

Grant van Boeschoten

January 6, 2008

I love to bless people. I see you, we say hi, talk about life and when we part ways I say, “God bless you.”

Sometimes when I sneeze I get blessed.

And sometimes, I think that I can slip into apathy and an ungrateful attitude about just how much God has blessed me.

The truth is that God wants to bless his people. Part of being a Christian is being adopted as God’s very own child. Here is the truth, God wants to bless you!

1. You are Blessed when you are at the end of your rope.

Matt 5:3 (MSG) "You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

This isn’t the kind of thing that we generally think of as a blessing, it is a little bit backwards.

I can think of many occasions in life where I was at the end of my rope, and it’s safe to say that I don’t really feel blessed when that happens.

But Jesus says, “You are blessed when you are at the end of your rope.” Is there anyone this morning who is feeling like you are at the end of a rope;

• you’ve tried everything that you know how to try;

• circumstances have escalated well beyond your control;

• the walls are caving in around you and the floor is falling out from beneath you.

“You are blessed when you are at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.”

You see the kingdom of God is not always what you expect it to be. It operates in a way that forces you to rely on God, it forces you to be a part of community and the Church.

The Bible says that when we are weakest is actually the time that we are the strongest. Because it is on our weakness that God’s strength, and power, and wisdom is made complete.

Many times, when we are at the end of our rope we have to make a choice. Will we panic or will we look for the opportunity.

A parable is told of a farmer who owned an old mule. The mule fell into the farmer’s well. The farmer heard the mule "braying", or whatever mules do when they fall into wells. After carefully assessing the situation, the farmer sympathized with the mule, but decided that neither the mule nor the well were worth the trouble of saving. Instead he called his neighbors together and told them what had happened...and enlisted them to help haul dirt to bury the old mule in the well and put him out of his misery. Initially, the old mule was hysterical! But as the farmer and his neighbors continued shoveling and the dirt hit his back...a thought struck him. It suddenly dawned on him that every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back.....HE SHOULD SHAKE IT OFF AND STEP UP! This he did blow after blow. "Shake it off and step up...shake it off and step up...shake it off and step up!" he repeated to encourage himself. No matter how painful the

blows, or distressing the situation seemed the old mule fought "panic" and just kept right on SHAKING IT OFF AND STEPPING UP!It was not long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, STEPPED TRIUMPHANTLY OVER THE WALL OF THAT WELL. What seemed like it would bury him, actually blessed him.....all because of the manner in which he handled his adversity.

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