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Posts tagged ‘sermon on the mount’

COUNT YOURSELF BLESSED EVERY TIME PEOPLE PUT YOU DOWN

COUNT YOURSELF BLESSED EVERY TIME PEOPLE PUT YOU DOWN

SERMON ON THE MOUNT Photo taken near Salt Lake City, Utah Photo by Pastor Davis

SERMON ON THE MOUNT Photo taken near Salt Lake City, Utah Photo by Pastor Davis

CHILDREN OF GOD, it is truly the SEASON to be filled with joy, for the Lord our God has bestowed upon each one of us many great and wonderful BLESSINGS throughout this year.  As the year begin to come to a close and the birth of our Lord and Savior JESUS CHRIST, is near, the Spirit of the Lord prompted me to remind each of you just how BLESSED you readily are because He spoke these words as a reminder from HIS SERMON ON THE MOUNT.

When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:

 “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

 “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

 “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.

“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.

“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.

“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.

 “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.

“Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble. (Matthew 5:1-12 MSG)

Brothers and Sisters, the Lord has spoken these words to you.  I ENCOURAGE you to stay focus and keep your eye on the prize during this CHRISTMAS SEASON.  Never forget that JESUS is the reason for the SEASON.

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WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE “BLESSED” AND HIGHLY FAVORED?

JESUS SERMON ON THE MOUNT

THE BLESSED MAN (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

THE BLESSED MAN (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Let us begin by understanding the word “BLESSED.”  It is a Greek word that is derived from the root mak, which means “large or “lengthy,” and means “fortunate” or “happy.”  The Greek word was used in Greek literature, in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament,)  and in the New Testament to describe the kind of happiness that comes from receiving divine favor.  The word can be rendered happy.  In the New Testament, it is usually passive; God is the One who is blessing or favoring the person.  God says the Blessed person is a “Happy Person” and He describes that person in this manner, BLESSED is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” ( Psalm 1:1-2)

In the Beatitudes, each one describes how to Be Blessed.”  They describe how the followers of Christ should live their lives.  To be blessed means more than happiness, it means to be “favored” and “approved” by God.

THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount and it challenged the teaching of the proud and legalistic religious leaders of the day. It called people back to the messages of the Old Testament prophets who, like Jesus, had taught that God wants heartfelt obedience, not mere legalistic observing of laws and rituals.

The most well-known portion of the Sermon on the Mount is known as the Beatitudes. These are, a series of “blessings,” promised to those who exhibit, the attitude of God’s kingdom. They are called the “Beatitudes.”

In verse three, we note that the Beatitudes describe how Christ’s followers should live. According to worldly standards, the type of people whom Jesus described does not seem to be particularly blessed by God. However, God’s way of living usually contradicts the world.  Jesus explained that “God blessed those who realize their need for him, for the kingdom of heaven is given to them.” Only those who humbly depend on God are admitted into the Kingdom of Heaven. The final consummation of all these rewards, and of the kingdom itself, lies in the future. However, the believers can already share in the kingdom by living out Jesus words.

In verse four it seems a contradiction in terms, Jesus explained that “God blesses those mourn, for they will be comforted,” tied with a Beatitudes in verse three, this means that humility (realization of one’s unworthiness before God) also require sorrow for sins.  Whether Jesus followers mourn for sin or in suffering, God’s promise is sure that they will be comforted. Only God can take away sorrow for sin; only God can forgive and erase it. Only God can give comfort to those who suffer for his sake because they know their reward in the kingdom.

Blessed (happy, blithesome, joyous, spiritually prosperous–with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the meek (the mild, patient, long-suffering), for they shall inherit the earth!

Blessed and fortunate and happy and spiritually prosperous (in that state in which the born-again child of God [d]enjoys His favor and salvation) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God), for they shall be [e]completely satisfied!(B)

Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous–with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy!

Blessed (happy, enviably fortunate, and spiritually prosperous–possessing the happiness produced by the experience of God’s favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His grace, regardless of their outward conditions) are the pure in heart, for they shall see God!(C)

Blessed (enjoying [l]enviable happiness, spiritually prosperous–with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the makers and [o]maintainers of peace, for they shall be called the sons of God!

Blessed and happy and enviably fortunate and spiritually prosperous (in the state in which the born-again child of God enjoys and finds satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of his outward conditions) are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake (for being and doing right), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!

Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous–with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of your outward conditions) are you when people revile you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things against you falsely on My account.

Be glad and supremely joyful, for your reward in heaven is great (strong and intense), for in this same way people persecuted the prophets who were before you. [II Chron. 36:16.]

Finally, Jesus described the way the disciples should respond to persecution; “be happy about it!” “Be very glad!” This refers to deep spiritual joy that is unhindered and unchanged by what happens in this present life. A person with righteous character can rejoice and be glad because of a promise: a great reward awaits you in heaven. The persecution will pale in comparison to the great reward.

Please click on this short video clip as our final part of this lesson.

Now we encourage you to use the Knowledge you have gained from studying this powerful message taught by Jesus as a way to go out and Bless someone else this day.  For you are a true blessing to all of us here at Vine and Branch World Ministries. We love you and appreciate each one of you for the work you do in building the Kingdom of God.  May you continue to enjoy His Peace and beauty of all things this day.  In the name of Jesus, we pray Amen!

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE “BLESSED” AND HIGHLY FAVORED?

JESUS SERMON ON THE MOUNT

On this day as you begin to read and study this lesson, pause your thoughts and think on where you are in your life’s journey and know that the reason you are where you are is only by the mercy and grace of God’s favor.  He has touched each one of us in a very special way and given us an opportunity to look within ourselves and understand why we are Blessed and Highly Favored on this day and all the days of our lives.

Now let us begin this study by first understanding the word “BLESSED.”  It is a Greek word that is derived from the root mak, which means “large or “lengthy,” and means “fortunate” or “happy.”  The Greek word was used in Greek literature, in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament,)  and in the New Testament to describe the kind of happiness that comes from receiving divine favor.  The word can be rendered happy.  In the New Testament, it is usually passive; God is the One who is blessing or favoring the person.  God says the Blessed person is a “Happy Person” and He describes that person in this manner, BLESSED is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” ( Psalm 1:1-2)

OUR BLESSINGS AND FAVOR ARE IN THE RISING OF THE SUN (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

OUR BLESSINGS AND FAVOR ARE IN THE RISING OF THE SUN (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

In the Beatitudes, each one describes how to Be Blessed.”  They describe how the followers of Christ should live their lives.  To be blessed means more than happiness, it means to be “favored” and “approved” by God.

Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount and it challenged the teaching of the proud and legalistic religious leaders of the day. It called people back to the messages of the Old Testament prophets who, like Jesus, had taught that God wants heartfelt obedience, not mere legalistic observing of laws and rituals.

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber to be an example of a charismatic religious leader. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The most well-known portion of the Sermon on the Mount is known as the Beatitudes. These are, a series of “blessings,” promised to those who exhibit, the attitude of God’s kingdom. They are called the “Beatitudes.”

In verse three, we note that the Beatitudes describe how Christ’s followers should live. According to worldly standards, the type of people whom Jesus described does not seem to be particularly blessed by God. However, God’s way of living usually contradicts the world.  Jesus explained that “God blessed those who realize their need for him, for the kingdom of heaven is given to them.” Only those who humbly depend on God are admitted into the Kingdom of Heaven. The final consummation of all these rewards, and of the kingdom itself, lies in the future. However, the believers can already share in the kingdom by living out Jesus words.

In verse four it seems a contradiction in terms, Jesus explained that “God blesses those mourn, for they will be comforted,” tied with a Beatitudes in verse three, this means that humility (realization of one’s unworthiness before God) also require sorrow for sins.  Whether Jesus followers mourn for sin or in suffering, God’s promise is sure that they will be comforted. Only God can take away sorrow for sin; only God can forgive and erase it. Only God can give comfort to those who suffer for his sake because they know their reward in the kingdom.

Blessed (happy, blithesome, joyous, spiritually prosperous–with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the meek (the mild, patient, long-suffering), for they shall inherit the earth!

Blessed and fortunate and happy and spiritually prosperous (in that state in which the born-again child of God [d]enjoys His favor and salvation) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God), for they shall be completely satisfied!

Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous–with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy!

Blessed (happy, enviably fortunate, and spiritually prosperous–possessing the happiness produced by the experience of God’s favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His grace, regardless of their outward conditions) are the pure in heart, for they shall see God!

Blessed (enjoying [l]enviable happiness, spiritually prosperous–with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they shall be called the sons of God!

Blessed and happy and enviably fortunate and spiritually prosperous [r](in the state in which the born-again child of God enjoys and finds satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of his outward conditions) are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake (for being and doing right), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!

Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous–with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of your outward conditions) are you when people revile you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things against you falsely on My account.

Be glad and supremely joyful, for your reward in heaven is great (strong and intense), for in this same way people persecuted the prophets who were before you. [II Chron. 36:16.]

Finally, Jesus described the way the disciples should respond to persecution; “be happy about it!” “Be very glad!” This refers to deep spiritual joy that is unhindered and unchanged by what happens in this present life. A person with righteous character can rejoice and be glad because of a promise: a great reward awaits you in heaven. The persecution will pale in comparison to the great reward.

Now I pray that this lesson speaks to each one of your hearts and you will fill the love, joy, peace and blessings that surround each one of you in a powerful way and that you will use this opportunity to bless someone else on this special day.  It is truly the first day of the rest of your life.  We love you and appreciate all that each one of you are doing to advance the work in God’s Kingdom.

 

POVERTY IN AMERICA IS NO JOKE

POVERTY IN AMERICA IS NO JOKE

THE POVERTY OF POOR IN AMERICA (PHOTO BY BLOGSPOT.COM)

THE POVERTY OF POOR IN AMERICA (PHOTO BY BLOGSPOT.COM)

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT THE POOR ARE GOD’S CHOSEN PEOPLE

We live in the riches country in the WORLD, the most powerful nation on the face of the universe, but here we are in the 21st century daily awaken to headlines reading; half of our high school seniors are dropping out and not graduating, 28 million people are now receiving food stamps, our soldiers are returning from the war zone and not able to receive proper medical treatment, some are living on the streets, seniors are having to go without their daily doses of medication because of the high cost, over 40 million AMERICANS do not have health insurance, and the headlines continue to broadcast more doom and gloom.  Where will it all end, and is there a way for a new beginning?  The real deal is this, “POVERTY IN AMERICA IS NO JOKE!”

I personally believe there is, if we are willing to set aside our own selfish pride and seek the one who can change the condition of this world as well as our own personal circumstances.

Our government seems to be paralyzed when it comes to helping the poor among us.  JESUS told us that the poor will always be with us.  Therefore, I ask you this one simple question, “DID YOU KNOW THAT THE POOR ARE GOD’S CHOSEN PEOPLE?

THE POVERTY OF POOR IN AMERICA (PHOTO BY FANPOP.COM)

THE POVERTY OF POOR IN AMERICA (PHOTO BY FANPOP.COM)

When Jesus preached his SERMON ON THE MOUNT, he spoke these words, BLESSED are the poor, for yours is the KINGDOM OF GOD.  BLESSED are you who hunger now, for you shall be filled.  BLESSED are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.  BLESSED are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the SON OF MAN’S sake.  Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!  For indeed your reward is great in heaven.

We see here that at face value, it appears that JESUS was making a blanket promise of salvation and blessing to anyone below the POVERTY line.  In this view, the poor are seen as GOD’S CHOSEN PEOPLE.  Though they suffer now, they can expect glorious blessing in the WORLD TO COME.  And the adherents of this view believe that while in this world the people of GOD should do everything possible to alleviate the suffering of the poor.  In this way the kingdom of God is extended.

However, when we don’t offer ourselves up as servants of CHRIST or our brother’s keeper, listen to what Jesus issues out as His Woes in the same sermon.  He says, “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.  Woe to you who are full, for you shall hunger.  Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.  Woe to you when all men speak well of you.”

THE POVERTY OF POOR IN AMERICA 03.jpg PHOTO BY ED YO

THE POVERTY OF POOR IN AMERICA 03.jpg PHOTO BY ED YO

Jesus wanted us to know, that we have the opportunity to change the conditions and circumstance in which we find ourselves living in.  If we don’t step up to the plate now there will be a price to pay latter, this is His warnings in the Woes.

Jesus wants us all to experience the hope and joy that he freely offers to those of us who recognize our spiritual poverty before God.  When a person rejects worldly value and embraces the godly teachings of Jesus, then that individual begins to experience the reign of Christ in his or her life.  This is how we enjoy the kingdom of God now in this fallen world.  One day we will experience the joys of this kingdom in a fuller, more glorious way.

To summarize, anyone, rich or poor (and in a spiritual sense we all are poor), can taste the deep joy of God’s rule and blessing of His kingdom.  But doing so requires that we renounce the ways of the world and humbly submit our ways to God.  This kind of poverty, an emptying of ourselves of our self-centered desires, is what God expects from everyone.

THE POVERTY OF POOR IN AMERICA 04.jpg PHOTO BY FIGHTFORRIGHT.ORG

THE POVERTY OF POOR IN AMERICA 04.jpg PHOTO BY FIGHTFORRIGHT.ORG

Let us live with the blessed assurance that God will never leave us are forsake us.  Those who believe can rest on God’s promises and enjoy the fruits of our labor knowing that we are truly a child of THE KING who can do all things but fail.  In our knowing and understanding of the WORLD, let us be mindful that, “POVERTY IN AMERICA IS NO JOKE!”

 

 

RECOGNIZING YOUR REAL SELF AS BLESSED (LESSON 5)

God Blessed the Poor

The Harvest is Plentiful (Photo by Pastor Davis)

We live in the riches country in the world and the most powerful nation on the face of the universe.  Now here we are in the 21st century daily awaken to headlines reading; half of our high school seniors are dropping out and not graduating, 28 million people are now receiving food stamps, our soldiers are returning from the war zone and not able to receive proper medical treatment.  Some are living on the streets, seniors have to go without their daily doses of medication because of the high cost, 40 million Americans do not have health insurance, and the headlines continue to broadcast more doom and gloom.  Where will it all end, and is there a way for a new beginning?

These Stats are just part of the problem.  What we want you to understand after looking at the picture above is this; the harvest is plentiful, because God has provided more than enough food to feed the world many times over. Given us enough resources to last forever.  But until we learn how to share and truly love one another there will never be enough to go around.  Now click on this video clip that is being presented by ABC News and Diane Sawyer, then we will meet you on the other side and see how God wants us to deal with this vast problem.

Now take a moment and meditate on what you have seen and heard, and allow it to stir up feelings deep in your soul.  Because, I personally believe there is a solution to this problem, if we are willing to set aside our own selfish pride and seek the one who can change the condition of this world as well as our own personal circumstances.  In these first four lessons, you have learned how to first bless yourself and then how to begin the process of blessing others.  You see everything is a process; you must go through the process in order to get to the end where your crown of glory is waiting for you.  The problem is, no one wants to go through the process.

Our government seems to be paralyzed when it comes to helping the poor among us.  Jesus told us that the poor will always be with us, but we must not wait on the government to provide for us, some things we must do on our own.  Jesus told us that if we had the faith of a grain of mustard seed that nothing would be impossible for us.   We must learn to stay focus; always keeping our eyes stayed on Jesus who will never fail us or forsake us.  He is truly our crown of glory and nothing must ever deter us from reaching our goal.

When Jesus preached his Sermon on the Mount, he spoke these words, “Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.  Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be filled.  Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.  Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake.  Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!  For indeed your reward is great in heaven. Now let us pause our reading for a moment and look at some of the people Jesus was speaking of. Watch, and we will continue on the other side.

We see here that at face value, it appears that Jesus was making a blanket promise of salvation and blessing to anyone below the poverty line.  In this view, the poor are seen as God’s chosen people.  Though they suffer now, they can expect glorious blessing in the world to come.  Moreover, the adherents of this view believe that while in this world the people of God should do everything possible to alleviate the suffering of the poor.  In this way, the kingdom of God is extended.

However, when we do not offer ourselves up as servants of Christ or our brother’s keeper, listen to what Jesus issues out as His Woes in the same sermon.  He says, “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.  Woe to you who are full, for you shall hunger.  Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.  Woe to you when all men speak well of you.”

Jesus wanted us to know, that we have the opportunity to change the conditions and circumstance in which we find ourselves living in.  If we don’t step up to the plate now there will be a price to pay latter, this is His warnings in the Woes.

Jesus wants us all to experience the hope and joy that he freely offers to those of us who recognize our spiritual poverty before God.  When a person rejects worldly value and embraces the godly teachings of Jesus, then that individual begins to experience the reign of Christ in his or her life.  This is how we enjoy the kingdom of God now in this fallen world.  One day we will experience the joys of this kingdom in a fuller, more glorious way.

To summarize, anyone, rich or poor (and in a spiritual sense we all are poor), can taste the deep joy of God’s rule and blessing of His kingdom.  Nevertheless, doing so requires that we renounce the ways of the world and humbly submit our ways to God.  This kind of poverty, an emptying of ourselves of our self-centered desires, is what God expects from everyone.

In concluding lesson five we hope it has touched your heart in some way that will allow you to reach out to those who are less fortunate than you are and seek to bless them with the blessings God has blessed you with.  We have ministered this lesson today from a position of God’s love, His purpose and power to help you find peace and joy within your soul, because He truly has provided the prosperity for the world to enjoy.  I remain your brother in Jesus Christ, Pastor Davis/Master Teacher!

Finally we leave this last video clip as our prayer blessings for you.  Do enjoy the rest of your life’s most precious moments in Jesus name.

JESUS TEACHING OF THE BEATITUDES WAS A LESSON IN HOW TO BE BLESSED

PULPIT IN THE SKY by Pastor Davis

JESUS TEACHING OF THE BEATITUDES WAS A LESSON IN HOW TO BE BLESSED

This lesson is one that speaks for itself, because there is nothing I can add to it that is not already spoken in plain language.  However, please allow me the opportunity to bring you into the setting as Jesus presented this very important lesson to his disciples.

Jesus often presented his teaching up on a mountainside.  His disciples came to him, and he sat down to teach them.  Large crowds would gather and be seated on the slopes below him.  Much of what Jesus said referred to the ideas that had been promoted by the religious leaders of the day.  The disciples, the closest associates of Jesus, might easily have been tempted to feel important, proud, and possessive.  However, Jesus told them that instead of fame and fortune, they could expect morning hunger, and persecution.  Jesus also assured his disciples that they would receive rewards, but perhaps not in this life.

The Beatitudes describe how Christ’s followers should live.  Each beatitude tells how to be blessed.  To be blessed means more than happiness.  It means to be favored and approved by God.  According to worldly standards, the types of people whom Jesus described do not seem to be particularly blessed by God.  Nevertheless, God’s way of living usually contradicts the worlds.  Jesus explained, “God blesses those who realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them.”  Only those who humbly depend on God are admitted into the Kingdom of Heaven.  The final consumination of all these rewards, and of the kingdom itself, lies in the future.  However, believers can already share in the Kingdom (as far as it has been revealed) by living out Jesus words.

Now here is the message that Jesus gave, which we call the SERMON ON THE MOUNT

When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:

You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.

You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.

You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.

You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.

You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.

Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble. (Matthew 5:1-12 MSG)

Be Blessed, my brothers and sisters, for your purpose in this life is to serve and bless your fellowman.  We minister to you from a position of peace, purpose, power and prosperity.  I remain your brother in CHRIST, PASTOR DAVIS/MASTER TEACHER!

THE POOR IN THE WORLD ARE GOD’S CHOSEN PEOPLE

THE POOR IN THE WORLD ARE GOD’S CHOSEN PEOPLE

We live in the riches country in the world, the most powerful nation on the face of the universe, but here we are in the 21st century daily awaken to headlines reading; half of our high school seniors are dropping out and not graduating, 28 million people are now receiving food stamps, our soldiers are returning from the war zone and not able to receive proper medical treatment, some are living on the streets, seniors are having to go without their daily doses of medication because of the high cost, 40 million Americans do not have health insurance, and the headlines continue to broadcast more doom and gloom.  Where will it all ends, and is there a way for a new beginning?

I personally believe there is, if we are willing to set aside our own selfish pride and seek the one who can change the condition of this world as well as our own personal circumstances.

Our government seems to be paralyzed when it comes to helping the poor among us. Some of our government leaders are hell bent of cutting the safety net from those who can least afford losing it.  Jesus told us that the poor will always be with us.

When Jesus preached his Sermon on the Mount, he spoke these words, “Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of GodBlessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be filled.  Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laughBlessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake.  Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!  For indeed your reward is great in heaven.

We see here that at face value, it appears that Jesus was making a blanket promise of salvation and blessing to anyone below the poverty line.  In this view, the poor are seen as God’s chosen people.  Though they suffer now, they can expect glorious blessing in the world to come.  And the adherents of this view believe that while in this world the people of God should do everything possible to alleviate the suffering of the poor.  In this way the kingdom of God is extended.

However, when we don’t offer ourselves up as servants of Christ or our brother’s keeper, listen to what Jesus issues out as His Woes in the same sermon.  He says, “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.  Woe to you who are full, for you shall hunger.  Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.  Woe to you when all men speak well of you.”

Jesus wanted us to know, that we have the opportunity to change the conditions and circumstance in which we find ourselves living in.  If we don’t step up to the plate now there will be a price to pay latter, this is His warnings in the Woes.

Jesus wants us all to experience the hope and joy that he freely offers to those of us who recognize our spiritual poverty before God.  When a person rejects worldly value and embraces the godly teachings of Jesus, then that individual begins to experience the reign of Christ in his or her life.  This is how we enjoy the kingdom of God now in this fallen world.  One day we will experience the joys of this kingdom in a fuller, more glorious way.

To summarize, anyone, rich or poor (and in a spiritual sense we all are poor), can taste the deep joy of God’s rule and blessing of His kingdom.  But doing so requires that we renounce the ways of the world and humbly submit our ways to God.  This kind of poverty, an emptying of ourselves of our self-centered desires, is what God expects from everyone.

To the Christians dispersed among the nations Peter writes: “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (1 Peter 2:9,10).

What a privilege it is to be God’s chosen people. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, and the people whom He has chosen as His own inheritance” (Psalm 33:12). On the last day, only God’s elect will be saved: “And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matthew 24:31 // Mark 13:27).

And finally Jesus has the last word on this subject as he says to all of us these most beautiful words, “Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?” (James 2:5 NASV).

On this day, I say to each of you, think globally and work locally.  I minister to you from a position of peace, power, purpose and prosperity.  I remain your brother in Christ, Pastor Davis/Master Teacher.

FORGIVENESS AND THE FREEDOM TO LET GO

FORGIVENESS AND THE FREEDOM TO LET GO IS YOUR CHOICE TO MAKE

We are living in very difficult times; trouble is brewing in every corner of the world.  People are rising up against their governments, family and friends are fighting each other, and nowhere is anyone willing to make peace.  In our neighborhoods children are shooting and killing their parents, men are raping and murdering young children.  Where will the hate end and the love begin?  Jesus teaches us in his Sermon on the Mount, that we ought to love one another, and therefore hate will have no reason to reside in our hearts.  Now listen to Jesus teaching when he says, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”  (Matthew 5:43-45 KJV)

We must learn to allow Jesus to be Lord of our lives.  In this passage, Jesus was explaining to his disciples that they must live by a higher standard than what the world expects a standard that is impossible to reach on mere human strength alone.  People who have experienced God’s love understand what it means to be loved undeservedly.  Only with the help of God’s Spirit can his people love and pray for those who seek to do them harm.

A while back a lone gunman walked into a school in Pennsylvania tired up 10 young girls, shot and killed 5 of them, wounded the other 5.  This act was unprovoked and only through the art of love and a spirit of forgiveness was the people able to overcome.  Now watch this video and see if you can experience the same level of forgiveness as these families were able to experience.

This video should teach all of us the art of forgiveness, forgiving those who trespass against us.  If God can forgive us for the wrong we have done others throughout our life time, then why is it so difficult for us to reach that same level and understanding for those whom we perceive to have done us wrong. The art of forgiveness begins when you forgive someone.  Let these people you have just witness in this video be a lesson that can teach us the art of forgiveness.  Let not your heart be troubled for the power to forgive has already been given to you by the greatest power of all.

Forgiveness is having a humble spirit and being done with pride and self-pity.  It is taking a step toward the practice of forgiveness.  Hate is death, forgiveness is life.  Which do you choose?  The choice is always yours to make.

Getting rid of our heart aches and pains begins with us.  We must learn to free ourselves of all the negative baggage we carry around each and every day with our unforgiving spirit.

Forgiveness works the miracle of change.  When President Abraham Lincoln was asked why he did not destroy his enemies, he replied:  “If I make my enemies my friends, don’t I then destroy them?”  When you forgive you change others and you change yourself.  You change discord to harmony.

Forgivenessshould span the years.  You should first forgive yourself for the wrongs you’ve done to yourself and others, for the mistakes you’ve made.  Then you should forgive and bless all those who have wronged you during your lifetime.  Thus you release others and you release yourself.  You break the chains of regret and remorse that bind you.  You free your mind from the burdens of the past so you may walk victoriously into the future.

Forgiveness works two ways.  You must forgive to be forgiven.  “He who cannot forgive others,” wrote Edward Herbert, “breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass; for every man has the need to be forgiven.”

Forgiveness should become a habit.  When the Master was asked how often we should forgive, he answered: “Until seventy times seven.”  He who forgives to infinity will never hate.

Forgiveness should start now.  Putting off forgiving only deepens the wound.  Clinging to bitterness postpones happiness.  Life is short, time is fleeting.  Today is the day to forgive.

Forgiveness is the way to personal peace.  It is performing mental surgery in you, probing deep within to remove hurts, grudges and resentments.  It is forgetting wrongs as though they had never been.  It is flooding your mind with the powerful medicine of forgiveness that cleanses and heals.  It is discovering a serenity you’ve never known before.

Now as we close, I urge you to take a moment and reflect upon your heart those whom you feel have done you wrong and seek to forgive them and bring peace and joy back into your life.  Let this video minister to you.

If you have received a blessing from this message, share it with others and be encouraged that God is providing you with the power to heal your broken heart.  There is no hurt are pain that you cannot overcome with a spirit of forgiveness.  Love one another as God has loved and forgiven you.  I minister to you this day from a position of peace, power, purpose and prosperity.  I remain your brother in Christ, Pastor Davis/Master Teacher.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE “BLESSED” AND HIGHLY FAVORED?

JESUS SERMON ON THE MOUNT

Let us begin by understanding the word “BLESSED.”  It is a Greek word that is derived from the root mak, which means “large or “lengthy,” and means “fortunate” or “happy.”  The Greek word was used in Greek literature, in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament,)  and in the New Testament to describe the kind of happiness that comes from receiving divine favor.  The word can be rendered happy.  In the New Testament, it is usually passive; God is the One who is blessing or favoring the person.  God says the Blessed person is a “Happy Person” and He describes that person in this manner, BLESSED is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” ( Psalm 1:1-2)

In the Beatitudes, each one describes how to Be Blessed.”  They describe how the followers of Christ should live their lives.  To be blessed means more than happiness, it means to be “favored” and “approved” by God.

THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount and it challenged the teaching of the proud and legalistic religious leaders of the day. It called people back to the messages of the Old Testament prophets who, like Jesus, had taught that God wants heartfelt obedience, not mere legalistic observing of laws and rituals.

The most well-known portion of the Sermon on the Mount is known as the Beatitudes. These are, a series of “blessings,” promised to those who exhibit, the attitude of God’s kingdom. They are called the “Beatitudes.”

In verse three, we note that the Beatitudes describe how Christ’s followers should live. According to worldly standards, the type of people whom Jesus described does not seem to be particularly blessed by God. However, God’s way of living usually contradicts the world.  Jesus explained that “God blessed those who realize their need for him, for the kingdom of heaven is given to them.” Only those who humbly depend on God are admitted into the Kingdom of Heaven. The final consummation of all these rewards, and of the kingdom itself, lies in the future. However, the believers can already share in the kingdom by living out Jesus words.

In verse four it seems a contradiction in terms, Jesus explained that “God blesses those mourn, for they will be comforted,” tied with a Beatitudes in verse three, this means that humility (realization of one’s unworthiness before God) also require sorrow for sins.  Whether Jesus followers mourn for sin or in suffering, God’s promise is sure that they will be comforted. Only God can take away sorrow for sin; only God can forgive and erase it. Only God can give comfort to those who suffer for his sake because they know their reward in the kingdom.

5Blessed (happy, blithesome, joyous, [a]spiritually prosperous–[b]with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the meek (the mild, patient, long-suffering), for they shall inherit the earth!(A)

6Blessed and fortunate and happy and [c]spiritually prosperous (in that state in which the born-again child of God [d]enjoys His favor and salvation) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God), for they shall be [e]completely satisfied!(B)

7Blessed (happy, [f]to be envied, and [g]spiritually prosperous–[h]with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy!

8Blessed (happy, [i]enviably fortunate, and [j]spiritually prosperous–possessing the [k]happiness produced by the experience of God’s favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His grace, regardless of their outward conditions) are the pure in heart, for they shall see God!(C)

9Blessed (enjoying [l]enviable happiness, [m]spiritually prosperous–[n]with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the makers and [o]maintainers of peace, for they shall be called the sons of God!

10Blessed and happy and [p]enviably fortunate and [q]spiritually prosperous [r](in the state in which the born-again child of God enjoys and finds satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of his outward conditions) are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake (for being and doing right), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!

11Blessed (happy, [s]to be envied, and [t]spiritually prosperous–[u]with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of your outward conditions) are you when people revile you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things against you falsely on My account.

12Be glad and supremely joyful, for your reward in heaven is great (strong and intense), for in this same way people persecuted the prophets who were before you. [II Chron. 36:16.]

Finally, Jesus described the way the disciples should respond to persecution; “be happy about it!” “Be very glad!” This refers to deep spiritual joy that is unhindered and unchanged by what happens in this present life. A person with righteous character can rejoice and be glad because of a promise: a great reward awaits you in heaven. The persecution will pale in comparison to the great reward.

RECOGNIZING YOUR REAL SELF AS BLESSED (LESSON 5)

God Blessed the Poor

We live in the riches country in the world and the most powerful nation on the face of the universe.  Now here we are in the 21st century daily awaken to headlines reading; half of our high school seniors are dropping out and not graduating, 28 million people are now receiving food stamps, our soldiers are returning from the war zone and not able to receive proper medical treatment.  Some are living on the streets, seniors have to go without their daily doses of medication because of the high cost, 40 million Americans do not have health insurance, and the headlines continue to broadcast more doom and gloom.  Where will it all end, and is there a way for a new beginning?

I personally believe there is, if we are willing to set aside our own selfish pride and seek the one who can change the condition of this world as well as our own personal circumstances.  In these first four lessons, you have learned how to first bless yourself and then how to begin the process of blessing others.  You see everything is a process; you must go through the process in order to get to the end where your crown of glory is waiting for you.

Our government seems to be paralyzed when it comes to helping the poor among us.  Jesus told us that the poor will always be with us, but we must not wait on the government to provide for us, some things we must do on our own.  Jesus told us that if we had the faith of a grain of mustard seed that nothing would be impossible for us.   We must learn to stay focus; always keeping our eyes stayed on Jesus who will never fail us or forsake us.  He is truly our crown of glory and nothing must ever deter us from reaching our goal.

When Jesus preached his Sermon on the Mount, he spoke these words, “Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.  Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be filled.  Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.  Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake.  Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!  For indeed your reward is great in heaven.

We see here that at face value, it appears that Jesus was making a blanket promise of salvation and blessing to anyone below the poverty line.  In this view, the poor are seen as God’s chosen people.  Though they suffer now, they can expect glorious blessing in the world to come.  Moreover, the adherents of this view believe that while in this world the people of God should do everything possible to alleviate the suffering of the poor.  In this way, the kingdom of God is extended.

However, when we do not offer ourselves up as servants of Christ or our brother’s keeper, listen to what Jesus issues out as His Woes in the same sermon.  He says, “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.  Woe to you who are full, for you shall hunger.  Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.  Woe to you when all men speak well of you.”

Jesus wanted us to know, that we have the opportunity to change the conditions and circumstance in which we find ourselves living in.  If we don’t step up to the plate now there will be a price to pay latter, this is His warnings in the Woes.

Jesus wants us all to experience the hope and joy that he freely offers to those of us who recognize our spiritual poverty before God.  When a person rejects worldly value and embraces the godly teachings of Jesus, then that individual begins to experience the reign of Christ in his or her life.  This is how we enjoy the kingdom of God now in this fallen world.  One day we will experience the joys of this kingdom in a fuller, more glorious way.

To summarize, anyone, rich or poor (and in a spiritual sense we all are poor), can taste the deep joy of God’s rule and blessing of His kingdom.  Nevertheless, doing so requires that we renounce the ways of the world and humbly submit our ways to God.  This kind of poverty, an emptying of ourselves of our self-centered desires, is what God expects from everyone.

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