This sermon – The Character of Kingdom People – was originally preached 2013.09.23 by Ivan Weaver.
Scriptures used: Mathew 5:1-12, 2 Corinthians 1, 2 Timothy 2:24, Psalm 119:31, Proverbs 11:17, 1 Timothy 5:22.
Jesus saw the multitude. Jesus was moved by the people. He had compassion for them. This message seems to be for the disciples but not only for them. It is for us today. Even though Jesus isn’t here verbalizing this in an audible voice today… let us realize that He his here. These are His words. In verse two we see that Jesus taught his disciples. He taught them the message that the Father put in His heart.
The Beatitudes – Attitudes that are part of our character
These verses are talking about what a Christian is to be. When we have the character of Jesus in our hearts and our minds it has a stabilizing effect on our hearts and our emotions. Happiness depends on character rather than the circumstances of life.
Verse 3: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
This is where it begins. Humility is the foundation that all other Christian graces spring from. When we are humble we realize our need for God. The world has a warped concept of happiness. Money will not make a person happen. Things don’t make people happy. Cars won’t make people happy. Etc… A person who is poor in spirit is able to recognize his need of dependence on God. For everything. A person who is poor in spirit is able to humble himself to God and be ready to submit to God… and all of his delegated authorities. A person who is poor in spirit can accept himself without resentment. He can see that God has made him the way he is and he can accept his life and go on with God. Being poor in spirit is not thinking critically of oneself. Humility is to not think of ourselves at all. Have we come to the place in our walk with God that we can take our focus off of ourselves? The promise is that the poor in spirit will inherit the kingdom of heaven.
Verse 4: Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Do we mourn and grieve when they see that which is wrong. Are we taking a proper look, a solemn look at life and our relationship with God. The promise here is that those who mourn will experience the comfort of God.
Verse 5: Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Meekness belongs to those who are strong in the Lord. We need God’s help, but we can become meek and gentle. This is a character trait that needs to be present in our lives. The promise is that the meek will inherit the earth.
Verse 6: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Do we have proper appetites? Are our appetites for things of the kingdom of God? The idea here is of a craving. An insatiable desire. Personal righteousness needs to be a hunger that we have. To be more like Christ, is that our daily burden? The sign of good health is hunger. Pray for this hunger in your spiritual lives. The hunger for the things of God’s kingdom is a sign of a healthy Christian. The promise is that those who hunger will be filled!
Verse 7: Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Do we have compassion and empathy for others? A merciful person will put his needs second to another person’s needs. The promise is that the person who is merciful will obtain mercy. Our needs will be met!
Verse 8: Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Are we free from any form of contamination? We lose our purity when we have even a little bit of the world in our lives. This is difficult. But we are called to be in the world and not a part of this world. The promise is that the pure in heart will see God! When we keep our lives pure we can have faith and assurance that we will see God… both now and in the future.
Verse 9: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
When we have the character of Christ we will collaborate with others to create peace. This means that we don’t pick each other apart, but rather that we help put each other back together. A peace maker is one who makes a conscious effort and decision not to make problems with others. How far are you ready to go to be make peace? The promise is that we will be called the children of God. It is obvious who our father is! Christ brings peace and when that is a character trait of ours we are mirroring the character of Christ. Can those around you identify what family you belong to?
Verse 10-12: 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.”
The sign of a mature relationship with Christ is the ability to endure persecution. The Christian’s calling is to expect suffering and persecution. Again this is something that we cannot do on our own energy. But rather it is something we need the grace of God to be able to carry through with. As we live in the world we need to examine our lives. If no one reacts to our testimony we need to examine our lives! Our character is telling people something. It is telling the world around us that they will not experience the promises that are given in these verse. If we are being harassed for the cause of Christ these verses tell us that we should rejoice. Persecution, should it come, will separate those who are blessed and those who are not blessed. The promise is that the reward for those who endure persecution will be rewarded in our eternal home.
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