2 February 2014
According to this world
According to the Word made flesh
As members of the Way. Those who make up the body of Christ, known as the Church. You find your collective marks in both Word and Sacrament. As a Jesus follower, each individual Christian has certain marks that set them apart from the world.
The challenge, of course, is too often we permit the marks of the world itself to woo us into forgetting or even denying the blessings Jesus has already given to us.
We are living outside of Eden. The challenge will constantly be with us. By grace and through faith, you can overcome and gain the victory, which has been won for you by your Savior Jesus who suffered, died and came to life again on the third day.
Today, we begin a month long review of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. How are you blessed? There are two worldviews. One is according to the world. The other, according to the Word made flesh.
The world will always suggest, being happy, you must avoid all discomfort, pain and tragedy. The Lord gives us a better way. He reminds us, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” V.4
Do not overlook the reality of sin, death, and hell. Realize them for who they are. They are terrible enemies. We cannot eliminate pain, sorrow, mourning, or death. They are a part of this broken and failing world. Your mourning, however, cannot not disturb your peace. Christ already has conquered the last enemy death. We are now and forever Easter people.
The Savior continues. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” V.5 The world speaks a different language. The world suggests; to be happy you must assert yourself and claim what is rightfully yours. Be the lion. Not the prey. The voice of your shepherd says to you, do not assert yourself. But trust Me and the security I provide. Your meekness will not dismiss or diminish your peace. I freely give you all that is Mine.
The world says, to be happy and blessed you must pursue ambitiously the goals you have set for yourself. Jesus gives a different perspective. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” V.6 Seek first to pray always, ‘Thy will be done.’ Your readiness to follow Christ will not rob you of your peace. He will provide all that it takes for you to achieve His goals.
The world says, to be happy, you must demand what you deserve. Even if it happens to harm others. Jesus tells you, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” V.7 Be good to others. Also when they do not deserve it. Your mercy will not destroy your peace. For His mercy toward you is always salvation.
The world says, to be happy, you sometimes must forgo honesty and integrity. You must play the role. Jesus reminds us, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” V.8 Be trustful, straightforward and honest. Your purity of heart will not nullify your bliss. For His trust brings you to know and see Christ, your saving God.
The world suggests being happy means you must be able to make the rules and fight for your rights. Jesus teaches, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons[a] of God.” V.9 Live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge. Love your enemies. Your peacemaking will not compromise your bliss. For you already are at peace with God for Christ’s sake.
The world says, to be happy, you must do whatever it takes to avoid persecution. Crush your enemies. Jesus reminds us, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” V.10 Be steadfast. Immovable in doing your Father’s will, even if persecution results. Your constancy in listening to the voice of your Good Shepherd will not undermine your bliss. For you are in Christ. The Father’s victory over evil is complete. It is your victory also.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21
Flesch Reading easy – 79%Flesch –Kincaid Grade level -4.6