Archive for the ‘True Blessedness’ Category

True Blessedness 2

October 29, 2016

Matthew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5 “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. 6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. 13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

The world thinks of blessedness as having things, of being honored, of being self-sufficient. It thinks of blessedness as extracting revenge on those you want and of being at a high state of happiness all the time. It thinks that being merciful is weakness and seeking wine, women, and song is much better than a pure heart. In other words, what the world thinks of as making it happy is precisely opposite of what Jesus said is being in a state of blessedness. This, of course, is not surprising. The world is usually opposite of the truth of God.

While it is true that the world is opposite of the truth of God, it is also true that the professing Church is also opposite of the truth of God. The difference, though, is that the professing Church uses biblical words. However we have to be careful as it will twist those words and end up saying the same thing as the world does or at least have the same basic concept that the world does. The Bible in intent is God-centered, so whether a person pursues self with outward sin or self with religion it is still the pursuit of self. The professing Church will use the word “humility” or “meekness” and yet will have self as the goal of it. The world also has a concept of humility and it also has self as the goal.

The words of Jesus in Matthew 5 (Beatitudes) give us a clear teaching on the state of blessedness and also the nature of blessedness. This is to say that human beings must be in a state of blessedness to be truly blessed but there is also something that must be true in them and about them for the blessings to flow. No, we are not talking about works for blessedness as all blessings come by free-grace. What we have to learn is that free-grace puts us in a state of blessedness and then free-grace changes our hearts that out hearts become practically blessed and receive the true blessings of God.

When the Scriptures (Matthew 5 above) starts off with “blessed are”, it is giving us nine descriptions of blessed people. It tells us that there are a people who are blessed, then it gives us what we should seek to receive blessings while in a state of blessing, and then it tells us why people are blessed. As an example, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” We can see that those who are poor in spirit are in a state of blessedness. We see what grace must accomplish in the heart for people to receive blessing. We see why those who are poor in spirit blessed. We can see that being poor in spirit is being in a state of blessedness but it is also what we should seek even more of to receive more of the nature of blessedness.

While this may sound somewhat confusing, it is simply saying that while the poor in spirit (and so on) are blessed, they should seek to be poor in spirit day after day and more and more of that in order that the blessedness may continue. It is not that they will lose out of being in a state of blessedness, but they will lose out on the flowing of blessedness or lose out on the degree of blessedness. We should seek the Lord to grant us more and more of being poor in spirit in order that we may have more and more the kingdom of heaven in us. It is not as if we become poor in spirit and receive all the kingdom that we are ever going to have, but instead this is something we are to grow in. Blessedness is something to be sought from the hand of free-grace and we should desire more of this blessedness in order that the glory of God would shine in and through us.

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True Blessedness 1

October 28, 2016

Matthew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5 “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. 6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. 13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

The present political situation in our nation sure seems to mirror what is going on in the denominations (some) across Christendom. Corruption seems to be a way of life and political sides seem to be more important than the good of the nation or church. Climbing the ladder in the political system, whether church or in the nation, appears to be a way of life. If you are on the right side, then you can have a comfortable way of life. The leaders say that they are there to lead the people and help the people, but it sure appears that they are there to gain fame and fortune. There just does not seem to be much difference between the world and the professing church.

Local churches and denominations alike seem to think along the lines of a business model, as opposed to a kingdom model as set out in Scripture. Both seem to determine success by nickels and noses, or perhaps the numbers of people coming in and the amount of money given. The thought seems to be that if we can build a nice enough building we will attract more people who will give more money. The so-called sermons tickle the ear and people are not told about the desperate wickedness of their hearts and of the sovereignty of God in salvation. They are told that God blesses people according to how much money they give to the church.

In contrast to that, however, what we must come to grips with is the nature of true blessedness. That is in direct conflict with what the leaders within Christendom are telling the people. True blessedness is completely opposite of the worldly message whether it is found in Hollywood or in the pulpit. The message of the world can be found in a lot of places, but it appears that the world can be found in the pulpit in modern America as much as anywhere else. When the world is found in the pulpit, it is also found in the pews and is with those who have itching ears to hear of the god of their own lusts and imaginations. The selfish heart (worldly heart) loves to hear of a god that loves them as they are and will give them many pleasures and worldly things if they give money to the church. In reality this is like the positive thinking people who sell their messages in seminars and differing media presentations.

True blessedness, however, is far different from the worldly message and the religious message. True blessedness, if you really want to know the truth, is quite the opposite of what the world thinks it is and it is obtained in a manner quite apart from what the world thinks or even wants to know. The reality must be pressed upon our minds and our souls that true blessedness cannot be obtained apart from the way God gives it and it cannot come in any way but that of free-grace. True blessedness is to dwell in the shadow of the Almighty and true blessedness is to drink the rivers of living water. True blessedness is to delight in the true God for who He is as the life of blessedness (Christ) lives in people and grants them to taste of the delights of God.

When people (world or church) think of blessedness, they usually think of it in terms of the world and the flesh. However, the Beatitudes tell us about true blessedness. The Beatitudes tell us the nature or condition of those who are truly blessed and then it tells us why those things bless people. The world (in and out of the church) is full of unhappy and depressed people, but at least part of that is because people simply don’t know what true blessedness is and how to obtain it. True blessedness is found only when Christ changes the heart to be like He wants and it is that heart where He dwells and works His joy and happiness in it.