Summary: Detailing the values of a new church
Your True Colors
Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:1-12
Good morning. My name is Bob Hostetler, and
I’d like you to play a game with me,
a game that almost everyone in the room can play--
maybe not Aidan Oglesbee but certainly Kyla;
AS A MATTER OF FACT,
even Graham Crain can play this game.
It’s nothing fancy . . .
I would like you to imagine with me--
now, this part is a little scary, so brace yourself--
imagine that a tornado is coming
straight for your house,
and all your family members and pets
--even your hamster--
are all safe somewhere. Okay?
Now, what if I told you
that you had just enough time
to dash back into your house
and save three things from destruction--
small or large, as heavy as you want,
but only three. . .
What would you save?
I want you to take a few minutes & think about it, because I’m going to ask for several of you to share
what you would save. . .
Just three things.
If you faced the loss of everything in your house,
everything you own,
except for three things,
what would you choose to save?
ANYONE? [Invite audience participation]
That’s an interesting exercise, isn’t it?
Because it forces you to decide
what you really value . . .
which is not something
we routinely give a lot of thought to.
I don’t think anyone here,
except maybe Dave Wilkes,
has ever tried to pick up a girl with the line,
“Hey, Baby, wanna go uptown and maybe (chk chk)
talk about our values?”
But it can be very insightful and rewarding,
to take a careful look at
the things that really matter to you,
your most deeply held values,
your “true colors,” so to speak.
And that’s what we’re gonna do this morning,
with the help of God’s Word, the Bible.
So, if you have a Bible with you, would you please open it to the first book of the New Testament, Matthew, chapter 5, as we look at the first twelve verses of that chapter and then kind of survey the rest of Jesus’ famous “Sermon on the Mount.”
Now, a lot has been written, and said, and taught
on these chapters that make up our text today;
and a lot of people stumble around in these chapters, because they misunderstand some basic things that are going on.
So I want us to try to look at it with new eyes this morning. . .
Because I believe that the true meaning of these verses
opens up to us if we study this passage
as Jesus’ statement of his core values,
of the values he holds dear,
of the things that really matter to him . . .
and to the Kingdom.
And the first thing that Jesus says he values is . . .
KINGDOM VALUE #1 - TRUE HAPPINESS
Now, I believe this is a message that a lot of us Christians today really need to hear. God--in Christ--values happiness, blessedness.
Look at Matthew 5:1-12:
Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them, saying:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:1-12, NIV).
Now, don’t panic--we’re not gonna go verse by verse through all three chapters of the Sermon on the Mount.
But I do want to spend just a little time here
before we kinda barrel our way through the rest of the text.
It’s important to understand, first, that when you read the word, “blessed,” in your Bible, you’re looking at a translation of a Greek word, makarios, which means, “happy.”
But it’s a happiness that’s different from the circumstantial “feel-goodism” that we associate with the English word . . . It’s a deep, abiding, joyful kind of happiness Jesus is talking about here.
And it’s a happiness that’s also different from what his first listeners were accustomed to.