As we look in Matthew chapter 5, the Lord began his famous Sermon on the Mount with a series of verses that have come to be known as the Beatitudes.
Our focus today is on BEING Before DOING.
Verse 6 in Matthew 5, is planted squarely in the middle of this section. All of the beatitudes coming before it, point to it. And all of the ones following it, come out of it.
It's important to understand the point Jesus is making here. These are the big “Be” attitudes and not the Do” attitudes. Being comes before doing, because what we do is always determined by who we are.
In the last couple weeks we’ve looked at how stress in our lives is both Predictable and Problematic for us.
Today, I want to consider the other three factors of stress: Stress is also Paradoxical, Purposeful, and Profitable.
As we’ve discussed previously, it really goes against our nature to consider trials and joy having some sort of connection. In fact, we usually and completely disassociate the two. James’s admonition seems diametrically opposed to the way we tend to look at life’s challenges and difficulties.
Trials—and the stress they bring—are predictable: all of us will encounter them. But stress from trials can also be problematic, in fact, it can be one of your worst enemies. It has ruined many lives and relationships. Stress hurts.
James directs us to consider, various, or many kinds of trials, to be—pure joy.
Stress! Perhaps no other word is used as much to describe the culprit, the scapegoat, the excuses of modern man. Many of the problems in our lives and with our health seem to relate to this stress factor.
James is writing to those Christians who have been scattered abroad because of persecution that began in Jerusalem and they know stress!
Anyone raised in a family environment has their own share of family secrets. These little tid-bits of reality are usually kept within the small family circle. Some secrets may be dark while others are filled with light, spontaneity, perhaps a bit embarrassing, and often downright funny.
Did you know that those of us who have been born into God’s family also have a family secret? There is something that we know that those who are not part of God’s forever family do not know.
I remember as kids, my sisters and I would get into debates about some topic and when one or the other of us had no evidence to support our claim, we’d come up with the defensive phrase “it's that way, just because”.
This Easter message entitled “Because” is not a lame statement from lack of defense or evidence concerning the resurrection of Jesus, but rather a proclamation of hope and encouragement for all who believe.
This chapter describes old age, in colorful metaphors. Every part of the body is used to show the deterioration of age, yet it speaks wisdom to the young, as well as the old.
I think Solomon’s writing reveals something great for all of us; it’s The Fear Factor. • Solomon has searched to find the secret of life. • He ponders every natural situation that man has experienced. • Suddenly, he turns from the natural to the spirit of man. And there He finds the answer. • The solution to any problem we have is in God. The secret to a truly successful life is to fear God and keep His commandments.
With so many distractions jockeying for our attention, we may find ourselves focusing on the wrong things in life.
Paul had it all together (best as anyone can) and expresses it to us in Philippians 3:13-14. There he states his One focus in life--it's Christ Jesus.
We would do well to heed the Apostle Paul's words even in the midst of a pandemic that seems to smother us in news and updates. Our focus should be on One thing; the person of Jesus Christ and what He's doing in the world right now.
Maybe He's calling for our attention and rightly so.
Paul needed experienced great joy as people who heard the gospel turned by faith to Christ. But he also underwent much trouble from those opposed to the message of the resurrected Christ. This message should encourage us to live by faith and trust God to bring us through whatever (coronavirus) we may face in life.
The most important question an unbeliever can ask was posed by the Philippian jailer. “What must I do to be saved?” The reason we proclaim the gospel, the reason we share God’s word with others, is to lead unbelievers to ask that very question.But what happens when they do?Are we prepared to give them the most important answer they will ever hear?
The first demand Jesus made in his public ministry was “repent and believe the good news!”That’s the heart of what we need to know to be saved.