Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Opposite Way: Study on the Beatitudes

The Opposite Way: Week 2
The Beatitudes
Jesus shows us the countercultural way of life in Christ in the Beatitudes

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:6-8 NASB)

Open: what is blessing? It is more than asking a blessing over your meal before you eat. Check out this hilarious video "PRE-BLESSED FOOD"

Being blessed means "inheriting the kingdom of heaven, being comforted, inheriting the earth, being satisfied, receiving mercy, seeing God, being called sons of God, your reward in heaven is great. This is the type of blessing we should seek. It is counter-cultural to seek blessing that is not monetary or tangible in this life.

1. Opposite way is hungering and thirsting for righteousness
Righteousness is doing what is right just as Jesus did. Here is a Righteousness test: "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. (Philippians 4:8 NASB)
If you can say you do these things in every situation then you are righteous. We cannot do these things all the time but we can seek them.

2. Opposite way is being merciful
Mercy is receiving what we do not deserve. The feeling that motivates compassion. Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity continued to grow during her life-time, and at the time of her death, they had 610 missions in 123 countries, including hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy, and tuberculosis. They offered soup kitchens, children's and family counseling programs, orphanages, and schools. We can say that Mother Teresa practiced mercy to the most needy.

Mercy, detached from Justice, grows unmerciful.-- CS Lewis

This also is a good test to see if you are practicing mercy...
"Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow. (Isaiah 1:16, 17 NASB)

3. Opposite way is seeking purity
Seeking to be unstained by sin

My brother was made fun of for seeking purity and not looking at pornography and partying in middle school. He told the guys who made fun if him, "the Holy Spirit lives in my body and i don't want to make him feel uncomfortable."WOW! do we seek purity to this extent that we think of the Holy Spirit and his presence with us always. When we do we will finally be going the opposite way.
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