Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Opposite Way: Study on the Beatitudes

The Opposite Way: Week 3
The Beatitudes
Jesus shows us the countercultural way of life in Christ in the Beatitudes


My wife recently found a shed to purchase from Craigslist so I went to pick it up.  It was quite an adventure. We went to Point Richmond it is basically the furthest point out in the San Francisco Bay befor you get to water.  It was pretty crazy to get to, but we eventually found the guy he lives on a house boat in the bay and was selling us his storage shed. we must have strapped it down the wrong way becasue once we go on the freeway home it started to act more like a sail than a shed. It was floating from side to side in the truck bed most of the time. I realized that doing stuff the wrong way doesn't work but Jesus explains to us how to go the opposite way of our culture and it actually is the right thing to do and the way of most blessing. Here is what he says...

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
"Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
"Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. "Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:9-12 NASB)

1. The opposite way is purity

- Proverbs 23:7 says "as a man thinks in his heart so is he" Here are a few questions to ask ourselves to keep our thought life pure

- Where do our minds wander when we have no duties to perform?

- What are we reading? Are there books or magazines or files in our libraries that we want no one else to see?

- What are we renting at the local video stores, iTunes, Netflix, and YouTube? What are we spending our time viewing and doing online How many hours do we spend watching TV, etc?

- Is anyone holding you accountable? Use accountability!

2. The opposite way is Peacemaking

I met a young High School student who told me last year that he had been in like over 30 fights.I was pretty surprised and told him my story of how aggressive and angry I was also as a young man and tried to explain the way of peace to him, but he just could not get it. I found out later that he had dropped out of school and is in real trouble with the law and just not doing very good in his life heading in the wrong direction becasue he rejects the way of peace. do you reject the way of peace. If you do not pursue peacemaking then maybe you are actually rejecting the way of peace that Jesus calls us to. Here are a few practical ways to be peacemakers in our culture...
1. Be generous with your smiles.
2. Be kind.
3. Be honest
4. Think about consequences
5. Be fair.
6. Be more loving.
7. Be a voice for the voiceless.
8. Be forgiving.
9. Play with a child.
10. Sing.
11. Learn about another culture.
12. Help someone.
13. Breathe deeply.
14. Be constructive.
15. Let someone else go first.
16. Share.
17. Be a good neighbor.
18. Send a note of appreciation.
19. Tell your friends how much they matter.
20. Say "I love you" more.
21. Respect the dignity of each person.
22. Be a good friend.
23. Send flowers to someone
24. Lose an argument to a loved one.
25. Value diversity.

3. The opposite way is Persecution

You might be called to suffer for Jesus name. Will you be ready? I attended Columbia International University in college.  I was a resident of Memorial dorm. The dorm was a memorial to students who had attended CIU and had given their lives for the cause of Christ . Chet Bitterman was one of those men. 
Chet Bitterman Missionary to Colombia, South America
He said in relation to dying for Christ, "I am willing." Every day I walked out of memorial dorm and prayed that I would be ready and willing to suffer for his name like Chet Bitterman. So not if but WHEN you suffer you can and should rejoice that it has been allowed for your good and Gods glory!

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