February 12, 2017
PP - The Beatitudes – Sermon Two
PP - Matthew 5:4 NIV
NIV: Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
- We know that mourning is inventible at some point in our lives. There will be a time when you experience a loss that just shakes you. Something that leaves you full of sorrow and anguish.
- It’s just not something that we look forward to or something that we hope we get to do at some point in our lives
- If we are honest, we hope we never have to experience mourning at all.
- However we know that mourning is certain. But we also know we can rest assure in the promise in Mathew 5:4 that tells us that those who mourn will be comforted.
- Isn’t it odd and somewhat strange that Jesus tells us that we are Blessed when we mourn?
- For those of us that have been through the mourning process...it just doesn’t feel like a blessing.
- If we look at all the other 7 Beatitudes, the blessing seems to make sense with the action…let’s look at this:
- Blessed are those who are poor and realize their need for him (I can understand the blessing here…we are poor and we recognize we need Him)
- Blessed are those who are humble (again, makes sense)
- Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice (God is all about justice. It makes sense that he would bless those who act like him)
- Blessed are those who are merciful (makes sense!)
- Blessed are those whose hearts are pure (makes sense)
- Blessed are those who work for peace.
- Blessed are those who are persecuted for doing right
- And then there is “Blessed are those who mourn”
- Why are we blessed for mourning?
- Let’s talk about mourning for a moment. There are basically 3 types of mourning
PP – First, Natural Mourning.
- And regarding the question, friends, that has come up about what happens to those already dead and buried, we don’t want you in the dark any longer. First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word. Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus.
- We mourn with hope!
- For those of us that believe in Christ, we recognize that, even though we mourn for the loss of a loved one…. we mourn with hope because of Christ.
PP – Secondly, there is Sinful Mourning.
- Sinful mourning is becoming devastated over a relationship God never wanted you to have. And He, in His great love for you, often brings people in and out of our lives to grow us into the people of God He is willing us to become. But there are some who come into our lives who aren’t meant to stay.
- Sinful mourning is Ahab stealing a vineyard from Naboth – something Ahab didn’t need at all…he just wanted it.
- You can read this in 1 Kings Chapter 21
- Or Demas walking away from Paul and Christ because the Bible says, “He loved this present world.” He longed for what he once walked away from.
- You can read about this 2 Timothy Chapter 4.
- Fretting and mourning over what you don’t have instead of praising and thanking God for what you DO have …is sinful.
- This is why I thank God for the building we have. There is nothing wrong with looking ahead to growth and the excitement of being able to move into a building with everything we think we need.
- But right now, in this moment, we are here in this place that God has provided for us and we will continue to honor him by being good stewards over this place
- So many live their lives always wanting something else because what they have isn’t enough. They become miserable and impossible to live with. “If I had this or that. If I could go do that…” and on it goes…. What is REALLY lacking here, is not ‘stuff’…it’s the lack of Christ in your life…His forgiveness, and His true purpose for your life
- In 2016, in the United States:
- Average household Credit card debt is
- $16,061 ($747 Billion Nationwide)
- In general, credit cards are used to purchase items when you want them instead of when you can afford them.
- Please, I’m not saying using a credit card is sinful.
- I realize that many people use it for strategic purposes and also for emergencies.
- Speaking for myself, I have used credit cards when I wanted something and didn’t want to wait…just being honest.
- It’s not the credit card…Its just our nature to want things that, maybe, we are not ready for yet…in this case, financially.
- Do you see the problem? We think we know what we want and when we should have it…and when we don’t get what we want at the time we expect it…we cry and stomp around and assume God is just punishing us for some reason…and THIS is what we are talking about when we say “sinful mourning”
- And let’s be honest. How often has that helped?
1. We work so much to attain ‘stuff’ which takes so much of time away from us…then we realize that the time we lost searching for stuff ended up being a horrible investment.
- 2. All those purchases we made over the years have either been sold in a yard sale, tossed in the trash or are collecting dust.
3. Travel the world searching for treasures when we discover, sometimes too late, we had the treasure at home all along…. with family, friends, church.
- Sinful mourning is living a life of regret.
- Luke 12:15 From the KJV:
And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
- Luke 12:15 From the NLT:
- Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.”
- In the end, our earthly bodies all fit in the same size box…. I’ve never seen a U-Haul trailer attached to a tombstone.
PP – Third, Spiritual Mourning.
- The third type of mourning is different from the rest. Spiritual mourning is godly sorrow over our sins against God. It is not just feeling sorrowful, but a sorrow that leads to repentance.
- This is the mourning Jesus is talking about when He says, “Blessed are they who mourn for they will be comforted.”
- Paul said it this way in 2 Corinthians 7:10 (NLT):
- For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.
- Spiritual mourning does this:
- It begins with seeing your sins as they are.
- Not mistakes or mishaps.
- Taking ownership of what we have done or where we have fallen short.
- Our culture wants us to believe we are all good and there’s nothing inherently evil about any of us.
- But that’s not what God teaches us. Jesus did not come and suffer and die on a cross to make good people better.
- Ravi Zacharias put it this way: Jesus did not come to make bad people good, but to make dead people alive .
- Jesus came to forgive us of our sins, cleanse us from our iniquities, deliver us from our bondages, and free us from our rebellious lifestyles.
- David said it like this:
- Psalm 51:5, “For I was born a sinner – yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.”
- We were not born righteous. We are not inherently righteous. We are bent to follow after sin. We are rebels from birth.
- See if you can relate to what Paul is talking about in Romans
- PP – Paul said in Romans 7:18-25 (NLT):
And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart.23 But there is another power[b] within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
Spiritual Mourning leads us to a life of repentance.
Repentance is not just feeling sorrow for our sins. We all feel bad at times when we do wrong, however, given enough time we get over it and move on.
But repentance is change. It is not just acknowledging our sin, but doing something about it.
Asking for forgiveness
Changing our ways
Story of David – 2 Samuel 11-12
David, Gods chosen one, had done a horrible thing. He had an affair and the woman became pregnant. Instead of confession, he tried to cover it up which didn’t work. When that failed, he arranged for the woman’s husband to get sent to the front lines in battle hoping he would be killed. Which he was.
Listen to the Lords judgement:
2 Samuel 12:8-9 NLT:
I gave you your master’s house and his wives and the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. And if that had not been enough, I would have given you much, much more. 9 Why, then, have you despised the word of the Lord and done this horrible deed? For you have murdered Uriah the Hittite with the sword of the Ammonites and stolen his wife.
Now, here David’s Repentance – Psalm 51:16-17 NLT
You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
David realizes that there is no earthly thing He can do to atone for what he has done….
His sacrifice was acknowledging exactly what he did and owning it. And after owning it, his changed….he turned away….he repented.
And that’s when God blesses us for our mourning…When we come face to face with our sin and take ownership and turn away from it…
Posted on Sun, February 12, 2017
by Jon Accornero