VIDEO Doorway to the Kingdom – Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit

The Doorway to the Kingdom

Beware of thinking of our Lord as only a teacher. If Jesus Christ is only a teacher, then all He can do is frustrate me by setting a standard before me I cannot attain. What is the point of presenting me with such a lofty ideal if I cannot possibly come close to reaching it? I would be happier if I never knew it. What good is there in telling me to be what I can never be— to be “pure in heart” (Matthew 5:8), to do more than my duty, or to be completely devoted to God? I must know Jesus Christ as my Savior before His teaching has any meaning for me other than that of a lofty ideal which only leads to despair. But when I am born again by the Spirit of God, I know that Jesus Christ did not come only to teach— He came to make me what He teaches I should be. The redemption means that Jesus Christ can place within anyone the same nature that ruled His own life, and all the standards God gives us are based on that nature.

The teaching of the Sermon on the Mount produces a sense of despair in the natural man— exactly what Jesus means for it to do. As long as we have some self-righteous idea that we can carry out our Lord’s teaching, God will allow us to continue until we expose our own ignorance by stumbling over some obstacle in our way. Only then are we willing to come to Him as paupers and receive from Him. “Blessed are the poor in spirit….” This is the first principle in the kingdom of God. The underlying foundation of Jesus Christ’s kingdom is poverty, not possessions; not making decisions for Jesus, but having such a sense of absolute futility that we finally admit, “Lord, I cannot even begin to do it.” Then Jesus says, “Blessed are you…” (Matthew 5:11). This is the doorway to the kingdom, and yet it takes us so long to believe that we are actually poor! The knowledge of our own poverty is what brings us to the proper place where Jesus Christ accomplishes His work.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

The great point of Abraham’s faith in God was that he was prepared to do anything for God.  Not Knowing Whither, 903 R


Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit (The Beatitudes Expanded & Explained)

Not Easily Silenced

We ought to obey God rather than men. Acts 5:29

It’s astounding to observe the lengths to which secularism will go to silence Jesus-followers. Last year, two street preachers in England were convicted of public order offenses after prosecutors claimed parts of the King James Version of the Bible were “abusive and…criminal.” On university campuses, Christian students and professors are berated and bullied. In the world of politics and the media, Christians are accused of bigotry and ignorance. In the entertainment industry, to be a biblical Christian is to be blacklisted. Just ask the Benham brothers, David and Jason, whose television show on HGTV was cancelled because of their biblical views on the sanctity of life and marriage. David Benham said, “This is the first time in our generation and in our parents’ generation that it’s actually going to cost us something to truly live out our biblical faith.”

But, of course, we are not people easily silenced, for we are committed to the example of Simon Peter, who, when told to be quiet, said, “We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20).

Speak the Word of God with boldness!

We don’t fight for victory, we fight from victory! Jesus has already won the victory at the cross and it’s our lives for Him that are going to transform the culture. David Benham

 

How to Handle Burdens

Psalm 55:1-23

In today’s reading, David was overwhelmed with the weight of external pressures and internal anguish. Burdens come in a variety of emotional, spiritual, and physical forms, but they all feel heavy and cause weariness. Every one of us can identify with David’s desire to “fly away and be at rest” (v. 6).

Some of the loads we carry are not part of God’s plan for us. We lug around the guilt that lingers even after confession of sin and also try to function while carrying worry about the future. Then we top it off with a little bitterness and unforgiveness because life has not been fair. These burdens aren’t from the Lord, and He won’t help you carry what He has told you to release.

Other burdens, however, are entrusted to us by God. He gives us responsibilities, which can weigh us down, and He sometimes allows relational difficulties that tear at our heart. And when such problems and trials are persistent, they can drain our vitality and threaten to overwhelm us.

But remember, every circumstance in life is lovingly sifted through the Lord’s fingers before reaching us. From His perspective, those things that are too heavy for us are opportunities for dependence upon Him. God never intends for any of His children to carry a burden without His help. He says to give it to Him (v. 22) and promises to sustain us.

Casting your cares upon God means releasing them fully into His control. You will no longer be free to manage and manipulate the situation toward your desired outcome, but the freedom Christ offers will release you from the burden’s weight. He’ll sustain you with His peace as you trust Him.

Descriptive Attributes of God

“And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran.” (Acts 7:2)

There are seven beautiful descriptive attributes of God mentioned in the New Testament. The first was used by Stephen, who called Him “the God of glory” as he gave his defense to the Jewish council just before he was martyred and indeed “saw the glory of God” (Acts 7:2, 55) himself as he finished his testimony.

The apostle Paul later called Him “the God of patience and consolation,” while urging his fellow Christians to be “likeminded one toward another” (Romans 15:5). In the same chapter, he also called Him “the God of hope” in a benedictory prayer: “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing” (Romans 15:13).

To the Christians at Corinth, Paul wrote about “the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Then later he wrote that “the God of love” would be with them (2 Corinthians 13:11).

To both the Philippians and the Thessalonians, he wrote about “the God of peace” (Philippians 4:9). “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

The seventh of these beautiful descriptions was written by the apostle Peter. “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you” (1 Peter 5:10).

Recapitulating, in this logical Bible order, these seven beautiful attributes of God (we could almost call them “titles” of God) are as follows: He is the God of glory, the God of patience and consolation, the God of hope, the God of all comfort, the God of love, the God of peace, and the God of all grace! No wonder we can honor and adore Him! HMM

“The Lord be with you all.”

Ruth 1:19-22

Ruth 1:19

She had been absent ten years, but her character in her better days had stood high with the people; and therefore they were glad to see her return, though they wondered at her poverty. Her many griefs may have so altered her that even her former acquaintances asked, “Is this Naomi?” Such changes may come to us: may faith and patience prepare us for them.

Ruth 1:20

Naomi sweetness or pleasantness

Ruth 1:20

Mara or bitter

Ruth 1:20

God can soon change our sweets into bitters, therefore let us be humble; but he can with equal ease transform our bitters into sweets, therefore let us be hopeful. It is very usual for Naomi and Mara, sweet and bitter, to meet in the same person. He who was called Benjamin, or “the son of his father’s right hand,” was first called Benoni, or “the son of sorrow.” The comforts of God’s grace are all the sweeter when they follow the troubles of life.

Ruth 1:21

When she had her husband, and sons, and property, she was full, and went her way to a foreign land, perhaps wrongly; but now she was bereft of all, she felt that God was with her in her emptiness, and had himself brought her back

Ruth 1:21

It is most wise to observe and own the appointment of God in all that befalls us. Naomi here kissed the rod, and the hand which smote her. This is a most fitting spirit for a chastened believer, and our Lord is the great example of it, for he cried, “The cup which my Father hath given me shall I not drink it?”

Ruth 2:1-7

Ruth 2:1

If it was good for Naomi to have a wealthy relation, how blessed it is for poor sinners to have a rich kinsman in the person of the Lord Jesus.

Ruth 2:2

These good women were not ashamed of honest and humble labour. They did not take to begging, or idling; but desired to eat the bread of industry. Ruth had been a wealthy lady, but she was not above working to support her mother and herself.

Ruth 2:3

It seemed to her a chance, but the hand of the Lord was in it, and directed her to the very best place to promote her future prosperity.

Ruth 2:4

What a blessing when master and servants commune together on such holy terms. Is not this holy fellowship a very scarce thing?

Ruth 2:5-7

Boaz was a good master to his servants, and he was also kind to the poor; those who excel in one direction are generally excellent in others. Happy was Ruth to come in the way of such a man. She had given up all for God, and the Lord took care of her. She was busy in the path of duty, and Gods love was watching over her.

 

God is love, his mercy brightens

All the path in which we rove;

Bliss he wakes, and woe he lightens;

God is wisdom, God is love.

 

Chance and change are busy ever,

Man decays and ages move;

But his mercy waneth never;

God is wisdom, God is love.

 

Goodness and Faith

Galatians 5:22

Once when I was flying from New York City to another city in the United States, I noticed the man sitting next to me had his head lowered against the seat. I could tell he was experiencing some kind of terrible throbbing pain in his head, so I asked him, “Is there any way I can pray for you?” The man peered up at me with a look of joyful surprise. I knew from his response that he was a believer! He was delighted that I had offered to pray for him, so with his permission, I reached over and laid my hands on him. Then I began to speak healing over the pain he was feeling in his head.

After prayer, I asked the man, “What do you do for a living?” He told me, “I am a wealthy businessman. I have joined together with several other very wealthy businessmen, and as a team, we travel the world over to find worthy organizations and evangelical works that need money to advance the Kingdom of God. Once we find them, we make it our business to fund them so they can operate without having to worry about raising money.”

When I thought about this man and the goodness of his heart, I was reminded of the word “goodness” in Galatians 5:22, where the apostle Paul writes, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness….” This man’s desire to give is exactly what the word “goodness” is all about. His urge to help others demonstrated the fruit of goodness, which is supernaturally produced in the hearts of believers by the Holy Spirit.

Goodness:

The word “goodness” is the Greek word agathusune, which comes from the word agathos, meaning good. But when agathos becomes the word agathusune, it means goodness in the sense of being good to someone. This word was used to portray a person who is generous, big-hearted, liberal, and charitable with his finances. We would call this person a giver.

By reading Acts 10:38, we find that this fruit of the Spirit operated mightily in Jesus. It says, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” Most people who preach from this verse focus primarily on the healing portion of this verse, but today I want to draw your attention to the phrase “doing good,” because it is so crucial to this discussion.

The words “doing good” are from the word euergeteo, which is an old word that denoted a benefactor, a philanthropist, or one who financially supported charitable works. This word would only be used to describe a person who possessed great financial substance and who used it to assist those who were less fortunate.

The implication of the word eugereteo is that Jesus possessed a great amount of financial resources in His ministry. In addition to the offerings that were received for His ministry, Luke 8:3 tells us that a group of very wealthy women also financially supported His ministry. Also, we can infer from Judas’ words in John 12:5 that Jesus’ ministry had a significant philanthropic outreach to the poor and needy over which Judas had been placed in charge.

I find this very significant, for it tells me that Jesus didn’t only perform supernatural works; He also used His resources to do good works in the natural realm. Jesus cared for the poor; He helped feed the needy; and He utilized the vast resources of money made available to His ministry to meet the basic needs of human beings. Thus, He set an example for us to be concerned for and involved in the meeting of basic human needs as we are able to do so.

This tells me that acting in “goodness” is a character feature of the nature of God. Luke mentioned this aspect of Jesus’ nature in Acts 10:38 right along with His supernatural healing power, sounding the signal that God is just as interested in helping the poor and needy with financial assistance as He is in supernaturally healing their bodies. The truth is, helping to meet the physical needs of other people is an act of “goodness” that Jesus did and still longs to do through His people.

So when the Bible tells us that one of the fruits of the Spirit is “goodness,” God is letting us know that He wants us to be selfless, using our resources to help change people’s living conditions for the better. This is absolutely contrary to the flesh, which would consume every spare dollar on itself. But when the Spirit is working mightily in us, He shifts our focus from ourselves to the needs of those who are around us.

Thus, the fruit of the Spirit called “goodness” is that supernatural urge in a person to reach beyond himself to meet the natural needs of those around him. When a believer is walking in the Spirit, his eyes are supernaturally opened to see the needs of humanity, and his heart is moved to meet those needs. This is why there is no greater benefactor or philanthropist than a person who is filled with the Spirit and who is producing the fruit of the Spirit in his or her life!

Faith:

The word “faith” is the Greek word pistis, which is the common New Testament word for faith. However, in this verse it conveys the idea of a person who is faithful, reliable, loyal, and steadfast. It pictures a person who is devoted, trustworthy, dependable, dedicated, constant, and unwavering. This, of course, is contrary to the flesh, which seeks to be lazy, uncommitted, undependable, and completely unreliable.

When Paul wrote to Timothy and told him how to choose leaders, he urged Timothy to choose “faithful” men. This is also the word pistis, which tells us that it is mandatory for this fruit of the Spirit to be found in leaders. In fact, it is also used by Paul in First Corinthians 4:2, where Paul writes, “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” That last phrase could be translated, “… It is required… that a man be found devoted, trustworthy, dependable, dedicated, constant, and unwavering.”

This “faith” or “faithfulness” is so esteemed by God that it is listed in First Corinthians 13:13, where Paul writes, “And now abideth faith, hope, charity…” This fruit of the Spirit is a part of the eternal nature of God. The Bible stresses that God is faithful (First Corinthians 1:9) and utterly dependable. Numbers 23:19 (niv) says, “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.” Jesus Himself is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

If this unchanging, constant, stable, unwavering behavior is the nature of God Himself, it shouldn’t surprise us that when His Spirit is allowed to freely work in our lives, He makes us faithful and steadfast, just like God. God is faithful; therefore, we should expect faithfulness to grow in our lives as one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Does the Holy Spirit have enough freedom to produce “goodness” and “faithfulness” in your life today? Are you selfish and self-seeking, consuming every spare dollar on yourself and never showing concern for the needs of those around you? Do others know you as someone who is unstable, undependable, and unreliable? If the answer is yes to either of these latter questions, doesn’t this indicate that you aren’t allowing the Holy Spirit to do His work in you? If He truly had the freedom to operate in your life, the fruits of “goodness” and “faithfulness” would be evident in you. Don’t you agree?

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I want You to work so mightily in me that “goodness” and “faithfulness” become an integral part of my life. Please forgive me for the times I’ve been flesh-bound and insensitive to the human needs that are all around me. I have walked right past people with serious needs; yet I haven’t even noticed. I am convicted by this, Lord, and I’m asking You to help me shift my focus from myself to those who are around me. I also ask You to help me become so faithful that people will know they can depend on me!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that I am sensitive to the human needs of those who are around me. In addition to believing for my own needs to be met, I also believe for the financial resources to help meet the needs of others. Just as Jesus was a blessing in His generation, I am a blessing in my generation. I am stable, unwavering, and consistent in every area of my life, reflecting the life and character of Jesus Christ in all that I do!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. How long has it been since you gave sacrificially to help people who are poor and needy? Are you even aware of the needs of the poor and needy in your neighborhood, city, or world?
  2. What can you do right now to start “doing good” to people near you who have serious basic needs? Can you give them an offering, take them to the grocery store, or fill up their car with gas? What would Jesus do?
  3. Do you have a reputation with other people of being dependable, reliable, and trustworthy?

When a believer is walking in the Spirit, his eyes are opened to see the needs of humanity, and his heart is moved to meet those needs. This is why there is no greater benefactor or philanthropist than a person who is filled with the Spirit and who is producing the fruit of the Spirit in his or her life!

 

The Oscar Award

The Oscar Award for acting should not be given out in Hollywood, but throughout the land to those outside of Christ, who, as Solomon observed “put up a bold front.” (Proverbs 21:29)

 

On a recent talk show, a well-known icon of show biz and big business projected the air of self-sufficiency, and a cool togetherness that would intimidate “Rocky” of “Tinsel Town.” I couldn’t help but wonder, “Is he really that good? That together?” I doubt it. I am betting he should get an Oscar for acting! And the fact is, he is lost!

 

The Prophet Isaiah described the condition of the lost as:

 

Poor

Brokenhearted

Captive

In darkness

Imprisoned

Mourning

In ashes

Despairing

In shame

 

The Prophet then spoke of Christ’s saving grace that offered them:

 

His favor

His comfort

His beauty

A heart of gladness and praise. (Isaiah 61:1, 2, 7)

 

The demoniac and townspeople of Luke 8:26-39 graphically typify the lost who are living in chained bondage among the dead. They are isolated, self-destructive, and wrongfully fearful of what commitment to Christ might entail.

 

It is hard to imagine that our lost associates are in that condition as many of them brilliantly cover their “lives of quiet desperation” (Henry Thoreau) with Oscar-level acting. Indeed, many are “putting up a bold front.

 

My sister and her husband were two such people. As well known public figures with six lovely children, and an attractive home, they lived what appeared to be a privileged lifestyle that was the envy of many. Beneath the surface, however, existed two individuals who were living lives of quiet desperation. At age 33 she was dead, and four years later he followed suit.

 

So, we must not be intimidated or fooled by our lost acquaintances’ impressive pattern of life or “bold front.” Rather, we need to comprehend the fact that behind the brouhaha may well exist people of “quiet desperation. People who need to be liberated from their bondage to sin, into the joyful freedom found only in Christ.

 

Today, will you courageously choose to be His messenger of love and liberation to them?

 

 

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