Friday, November 9, 2012

The Opposite Way: Study on the Beatitudes

The Opposite Way: Week 5

Open: This Kanye West quote is the essence of hypocrisy and arrogance, not to mention the Rolling Stone cover below. He said in a Time Magazine interview...
“My goal all along was to be praised and talked about until I reached a level of total contentment with who I am and where I belong in the world, and on Friday night of last week, I reached that level,” said West, standing outside the screen door of his home in a pair of khaki slacks and a plain gray work shirt. “I finally feel satisfied and whole as a human being, which means I can stop being a famous pop star now.”
“So I just want to say thank you to everyone who bolstered my self-esteem by showering me with so much acclaim,” added West, sweeping some dust from his front porch. “Because it worked. I’m good to go.”

"Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. "So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. "This, then, is how you should pray:
"'Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name, your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.' (Matthew 6:1-13 NIV)

1. The Opposite Way is sincerity in giving
To be sincere givers we have to practice it. Give stuff away to your best friends. Swap your favorite thing with one of your close friends. What are you doing so that the grip of materialism is being broken in your life? You won't break the power of materialism by getting and keeping more stuff for yourself.

2. The Opposite Way is sincerity in prayer
Prayer is to be done authentically. Not with lots and lots of words or repetition. Just telling God what you feel and what you need, and how holy He is and how thankful we are

I got a phone call from someone recently with a wrong number. This guy who called me was looking for Marco. It was pretty funny how he thought that Marco had to be at this number.  He called back several times asking for Marco. I guess he thought he might all of a sudden get through to Marco by talking a lot.after telling this guy four times that he had the wrong number to check it and not call back again he started to text me asking for Marco. Here is how the text conversation went...

Caller: did u took marcos sell phone? Oh I sorry dis wrong number
Me: No I didn't "took" Marcos "sell" phone. This has been my cell phone number for two years you might want to go talk to Marcos and ask him what his cell phone number is. Please don't call back or text this number anymore
Caller: Half shortie call. Me
Me: STOP texting me "half shortie" or whatever
Caller: I 2 da sell phones..dis wrong number. Dis not marcos sell? Sorry
Me: NO STOP TEXTING ME or I call the cops
Caller: I don't nead no po pos comin round hear. I Ben pressing wrong number SORRY mista

In prayer we don't just keep talking and eventually get through to God like this guy who called me.  He kept trying to talk and thought that through his talking more he would get through to Marco. With God it is much different. We must pray in sincerity to ever draw near to Him. 

Here are some things to pray for...
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. (Ephesians 6:18-20 NIV)

Take a moment now to pray and thank God for how great he is. Tell Him truthfully, and authentically how grateful and thankful you are for what he has done for you in Jesus, and thank Him for how He blesses you everyday.
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