VIDEO Blessed Are the Merciful

Jul 8, 2016

This is the seventh video in the Beatitudes video series: Blessed Are the Merciful. This video series is an expansion and fleshing out of the Beatitudes (from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount). The Beatitudes are the famous words of Jesus from His Sermon on the Mount given in Matthew 5:1-12.

Someone sent me an amazing expansion of the Beatitudes (from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount). There have been innumerable (and many famous) interpretations, expansions, and dramatizations of the Gospels, such as The Robe, Ben Hur, The Spear, The Great Fisherman, The Silver Chalice, many TV series, many movies, and even Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ (one of the highest grossing R-rated films in history) drew from multiple sources.

However, this interpretation/expansion/fleshing out of the Beatitudes is the best I have heard yet and it is remarkable. I hope you enjoy it! Please share this with anyone you think might enjoy this or might find some degree of benefit or inspiration from it.

Advertisements

What’s Inside?

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Corinthians 4:7

“Do you want to see what’s inside?” my friend asked. I had just complimented her on the old-fashioned rag doll her daughter held in her small arms. Instantly curious, I replied that yes, I very much wanted to see what was inside. She turned the doll face down and pulled open a discreet zipper sewn into its back. From within the cloth body, Emily gently removed a treasure: the rag doll she’d held and loved throughout the years of her own childhood more than two decades prior. The “outer” doll was merely a shell without this inner core to give it strength and form.

Paul describes the truth of Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection as a treasure, carried about in the frail humanity of God’s people. That treasure enables those who trust in Him to bear up under unthinkable adversity and continue in their service. When they do, His light—His life—shines brightly through the “cracks” of their humanness. Paul encourages us all not to “lose heart” (2 Corinthians 4:16) because God strengthens us to do His work.

When God’s strength shines through us, it invites others to ask, “What’s inside?”

Like the “inner” doll, the gospel-treasure within us lends both purpose and fortitude to our lives. When God’s strength shines through us, it invites others to ask, “What’s inside?” We can then unzip our hearts and reveal the life-giving promise of salvation in Christ.

Thank You, Lord, for saving me. Please shine Your light brightly through my broken life so others will be invited to know You too.

The gospel of truth shines through the brokenness of God’s people.

By Kirsten Holmberg 

INSIGHT

Second Corinthians 4 describes how God’s love mends broken people. We see evidence of this life-change in the story of Zacchaeus, a man who made large profits by overtaxing his people. When Jesus called him out of his sin, Zacchaeus instantly vowed: “If I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount” (Luke 19:1–10). His actions demonstrated his changed life.

How do your actions demonstrate God’s work in your life?

Alyson Kieda

Attaining God’s Best

Psalm 145:18-19

Yesterday we saw that idolatry involves giving something or someone priority over the Lord—and it leads to missing His best. Scripture also warns about other obstacles that hinder our receiving God’s blessings.

As followers of Jesus, we are to pray to our heavenly Father when we desire or need something (Phil. 4:6). Sadly, many of God’s children fail to do so. Some are “too busy” to bring their requests to the Lord. Others talk to the Lord in a general or mechanical way, without the genuine, heartfelt communication He desires.

Christians should come humbly before His throne, bringing requests with a submissive spirit (1 Peter 5:5-6). This means that we are to yearn for God’s will above all else—even above what we think is best. It is important to acknowledge that He may have something better in mind. Then, as we faithfully pray, God may remove or alter certain longings so that our desires begin to align with His.

Furthermore, the Bible tells us to approach God with confidence and faith (Heb. 4:16; James 1:6). In other words, when we pray and seek the Father’s will, we should anticipate that He will answer. As Isaiah 64:4 reminds us, God “acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.”

Our Father desires to pour blessing into the lives of His children. Don’t allow prayerlessness to prevent His best. Express your needs and wants to God confidently and specifically. Then submit your will to His, and wait expectantly. He is faithful—you will see!

The Battle Is the Lord’s

“And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hands.” (1 Samuel 17:47)

These were the ringing words of faith uttered by young David as he faced the Philistine giant, Goliath. Without armor, or spear, or shield, and with only a sling and five smooth stones, David confronted the nine-foot champion of the pagan army in the name of the true God, and soon the giant lay dead with his face to the ground.

The battle must always be the Lord’s. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against . . . the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). Spiritual battles are not won by bullets, nor by ballots, nor by any human means. “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God” (Psalm 20:7). “There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. . . . Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy” (Psalm 33:16, 18).

We even have a mandate to attack the enemy in His stronghold. Christ taught, “Upon this rock [of faith in Christ as divine Savior] I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18)

It is easy, in trying to do a work for God, to rely on human abilities and devices, but these will fail, for the battle is the Lord’s. When the battle is going well, we must not boast, for the battle is the Lord’s. When the battle is going hard, we must not despair, for the battle is the Lord’s.

He is our strength. “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds)” (2 Corinthians 10:3-4). HMM

Purge out the old leaven

2 Chronicles 30:13-15, 17-23, 26, 27

2 Chronicles 30:14

It was meet to cast out the old leaven before they kept the feast. A purified temple led to a purified city; good things grow. Here is mention of the Kidron again, and so we are once more reminded of the atonement of our Lord Jesus, which removes all impurities.

2 Chronicles 30:17

The irregularities were unavoidable and not wilful, and therefore the Lord looked at the heart and forgave them. It would be a sad wrong done to the divine mercy if we were to argue from this that we may alter the ordinances of God at our pleasure. If we do so without the reasons which were present in this case, we shall meet with rebuke, and not remission.

2 Chronicles 30:18, 19

A short but sweet prayer: sin is confessed, mercy sought, and the goodness of the Lord pleaded.

2 Chronicles 30:20-22

So there was much singing: the more praise the better.

2 Chronicles 30:20-22

There was much preaching; the people needed it, and were right glad to attend upon it.

2 Chronicles 30:20-22

Best of all, there was much praying and confessing of sin, and so we may be sure there was plenteous forgiveness, and this led the people to desire yet more fellowship with their God.

2 Chronicles 30:23, 26

Holy duties should be sweetened with holy gladness.

2 Chronicles 30:27

They ended well; every man went home with a blessing in his ears, and prayer also reached the ear of the God of heaven, which was the greatest mercy of all.

2 Chronicles 31:1, 2

2 Chronicles 31:1

Those have profited indeed who go home to break their idols. Is this the result of our hearing? Do we make an end of our sins?

2 Chronicles 31:2

The best way to keep out error and sin is to promote truth and holiness by gospel ordinances and earnest ministers. Sound gospel preaching alone can defeat the inroads of Popery. The Lord send it in our day.

 

Are You United with Christ?

We are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 5:20)

The Spirit of God has impelled me to preach and write much about the believer’s conscious union with Christ—a union that must be felt and experienced. I will never be through talking about the union of the soul with the Savior, the conscious union of the believer’s heart with Jesus.

Remember, I am not talking about a “theological union” only. I am speaking also of a conscious union, a union that is felt and experienced.

I have never been ashamed to tell my congregations that I believe in feelings. I surely believe in what Jonathan Edwards termed “religious affections.” That is man’s perspective.

I am aware also that from God’s perspective there are qualities in the Divine Being that can only be known by the heart; never by the intellect!

Long ago John wrote: “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us” (1 John 3:16). So it is best for us to confess that as humans we have difficulty in understanding what God has said when He says that He loves us!

 

Faith Sees the Bow

“And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud.” Gen. 9:14

Just now clouds are plentiful enough, but we are not afraid that the world will be destroyed by a deluge. We see the rainbow often enough to prevent our having any such fears. The covenant which the Lord made with Noah stands fast, and we have no doubts about it. Why, then, should we think that the clouds of trouble, which now darken our sky, will end in our destruction? Let us dismiss such groundless and dishonoring fears.

Faith always sees the bow of covenant promise whenever sense sees the cloud of affliction. God has a bow with which He might shoot out His arrows of destruction; but see! it is turned upward. It is a bow without an arrow or a string; it is a bow hung out for show, no longer used for war. It is a bow of many colors, expressing joy and delight, and not a bow blood-red with slaughter, or black with anger. Let us be of good courage. Never does God so darken our sky as to leave His covenant without a witness; and even if He did, we would trust Him, since He cannot change, or lie, or in any other way fail to keep His covenant of peace. Until the waters go over the earth again, we shall have no reason for doubting our God.

 

%d bloggers like this: