Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Opposite Way: Study on the Beatitudes

The Opposite Way: Week 4

"You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.' "But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. "For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? "If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48 NASB)

Jesus shows us the opposite way in the Beatitudes...

1. The opposite way is to love your enemies

It's easy to love your family when they are so awesome
Lydia when she said sensory is in the house.
"daddy your handsome"
I was taking my daughter Lydia to the potty at target the other day.  That is the best place to have deep discussions in the mens room at Target.  She looked up at me and said..."Daddy your my sister"... I thought for a minute and said, "No, your my daughter, and I have a sister and two brothers". Lydia looked at me and pushed her poopie out and said, "Oh, good job daddy". It's real easy to love family, but it is a lot harder to love those people who you could call your enemies. A few years ago I got a call from someone who was going on a missions trip with a group from our church.  He was not able to go with us in the end, so I called him to tell him details about his ticket and he then began to attack my and my wife's leadership.  I have to say it was real hard to love him, and in all honesty when he started to attack my wife I think I lost love for him.Do we really love our enemies as Jesus asks us to here?  It is a hard standard, but that is the goal as Jesus has given us. 
What are some ideas to love your enemies. Jesus gives us practical ideas. He says we should pray for them, and greet them. It is hard to greet someone warmly and hate them.  It is also very hard to pray for someone and hate them you actually grow to love them after all. Some other things you could do is surprise them with something good. Be kind to them. Help them in some practical way.

2. The opposite way is to be perfect (morally)
Have you ever tried to stack three balls on top of each other? it is pretty much impossible. or have you ever tried to bounce quarters off a table into a water jug from an office building water cooler? Don't worry I will save you the time...it is impossible you could do it a million times and not get a quarter in there. That is why they have it as the million dollar challenge on the game show Minute to Win it, because no one can do it!
The same goes for being morally perfect. It is impossible we cannot be perfect!
This is impossible because the Bible says that no one is perfect
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23 NASB)
All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. (Isaiah 53:6 NASB)
1. So how can we be perfect?
2. Jesus was the only man to be perfect
3. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:15, 16 NASB)
4. We cannot be perfect that is why we need a perfect replacement. And Jesus is that. He lived the life we should have lived and died the death we deserve so that He could rise from the dead on the third day to conquer our sins and all we have to do is as Romans 10:9 says, "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, "WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED." (Romans 10:9-11 NASB)

If you chose this counter-cultural way that Jesus describes in these few verses from the beatitudes you will be going the opposite way! He will and will continue to make all things new in you! Please feel free to worship now the God who makes all things new. Below Elevation worship band sings "Making All Things New"

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