VIDEO Am I Blessed Like This?

Am I Blessed Like This?

Blessed are… —Matthew 5:3-11

When we first read the statements of Jesus, they seem wonderfully simple and unstartling, and they sink unnoticed into our subconscious minds. For instance, the Beatitudes initially seem to be merely soothing and beautiful precepts for overly spiritual and seemingly useless people, but of very little practical use in the rigid, fast-paced workdays of the world in which we live. We soon find, however, that the Beatitudes contain the “dynamite” of the Holy Spirit. And they “explode” when the circumstances of our lives cause them to do so. When the Holy Spirit brings to our remembrance one of the Beatitudes, we say, “What a startling statement that is!” Then we must decide whether or not we will accept the tremendous spiritual upheaval that will be produced in our circumstances if we obey His words. That is the way the Spirit of God works. We do not need to be born again to apply the Sermon on the Mount literally. The literal interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount is as easy as child’s play. But the interpretation by the Spirit of God as He applies our Lord’s statements to our circumstances is the strict and difficult work of a saint.

The teachings of Jesus are all out of proportion when compared to our natural way of looking at things, and they come to us initially with astonishing discomfort. We gradually have to conform our walk and conversation to the precepts of Jesus Christ as the Holy Spirit applies them to our circumstances. The Sermon on the Mount is not a set of rules and regulations— it is a picture of the life we will live when the Holy Spirit is having His unhindered way with us.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

To those who have had no agony Jesus says, “I have nothing for you; stand on your own feet, square your own shoulders. I have come for the man who knows he has a bigger handful than he can cope with, who knows there are forces he cannot touch; I will do everything for him if he will let Me. Only let a man grant he needs it, and I will do it for him.” The Shadow of an Agony, 1166 R


Sermon on the Mount – Matthew 5:3 – In Depth – Pastor Chuck Smith – Bible Studies

God Carries Us

There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place. Deuteronomy 1:31

In 2019, Hurricane Dorian overwhelmed the islands of the Bahamas with intense rain, wind, and flooding—the worst natural disaster in the country’s history. As he sheltered at home with his adult son who has cerebral palsy, Brent knew they needed to leave. Even though Brent is blind, he had to save his son. Tenderly, he placed him over his shoulders and stepped into chin-deep water to carry him to safety.

If an earthly father facing a great obstacle is eager to help his son, think of how much more our heavenly Father is concerned about His children. In the Old Testament, Moses recalled how God carried His people even as they experienced the danger of faltering faith. He reminded the Israelites of how God had delivered them, providing food and water in the desert, fighting against their enemies, and guiding the Israelites with pillars of cloud and fire. Meditating on the many ways God acted on their behalf, Moses said, “There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son” (Deuteronomy 1:31).

The Israelites’ journey through the wilderness wasn’t easy, and their faith waned at times. But it was full of evidence of God’s protection and provision. The image of a father carrying a son—tenderly, courageously, confidently—is a wonderful picture of how God cared for Israel. Even when we face challenges that test our faith, we can remember that God’s there carrying us through them.

By:  Karen Pimpo

Reflect & Pray

In what ways have you seen God’s provision and protection in your life? How can you face difficulties knowing that God carries you tenderly and confidently?

Loving God, help me remember that You carry me, even when I don’t feel it. Thank You for Your strength and compassion.

Sunday Reflection: One Thing Is Necessary

To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the Scripture referenced throughout.

You may be familiar with the story of Mary and Martha, the two sisters who eagerly welcomed Jesus into their home. Like many of us, Martha busied herself with tasks and preparations, ensuring that the Lord would be served well. Meanwhile Mary sat with Jesus and listened to Him. He eventually said to Martha, “You are worried and distracted by many things; but only one thing is necessary” (Luke 10:41-42).

None of Martha’s tasks were inherently bad, and Jesus didn’t say it was wrong to do them. He gently pointed out that Martha’s chores were distracting her from the best thing: Himself. In the same way, the Lord does not ask us to eliminate earthly tasks from our lives. In fact, many things we do day-to-day are important and admirable, just like Martha’s commitment to hospitality. But we must be able to discern what is good from what is best—and when we’ve allowed something else to take Jesus’ place on the throne. Remember, our relationship with Him is the most valuable thing we have.

Think about it
• Resetting the priorities of our heart is not a one-time thing. Ask the Holy Spirit what may be distracting you from Jesus.
• How do you feel knowing undivided attention honors God?

Come Thou Fount

“And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” (Revelation 21:6)

Promises of God’s fountain of blessings fill Scripture. They beckon our prayers for fulfillment, not only in heaven but even now. Christ assured us that “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). The precious hymn “Come Thou Fount” reminds us of our position of blessing in Christ. The first verse says:

Come, thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it, mount of thy redeeming love.


God acts toward believers in grace and mercy, not deserved justice, eliciting praise from the recipients. His “fount” assures us that He “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20).

We look forward to singing and praising our Lord with the angelic “flaming tongues” above for all eternity. “The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever…saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:10-11), and “I heard the voice of many angels…saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing” (Revelation 5:11-12).

Even so, come Thou Fount. JDM

If They Hear Not Moses”

Luke 16:19-31

IN reading the account of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) a person should note that our Lord evidently had just related the parable of the unjust steward (Luke 16:1-13); and so here He pressed on—to show not only the need of rightly using wealth in this present world but the folly of gaining the world and losing one’s own soul.

Doubtless He also had in mind the Jewish nation which had refused Him—in particular, the haughty Pharisees who rejected the Messiah. Moses and the prophets had testified of Him, and if they were not enough, these men would not be persuaded if one rose from the dead—which one actually did in the case of Lazarus of Bethany!

Nor can anyone deny, even if it be granted that the main object of this passage is not to teach about hell, that our Lord Himself gave us the most fearful pictures of eternal punishment to be found in the Bible. Here He plainly shows that those in torment have sight, they suffer, they speak, they have memory, they have concern for others. And there is a great gulf fixed! Critics have done their utmost to tone down this picture, but our Lord here, as well as elsewhere, held the very opposite of present-day sentimental ideas about hell.

Another truth, usually overlooked in this passage, comes out in the last verse: “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead.” It applies first to the Jews, of course. Their rejection of the resurrection of Lazarus and our Lord proved that. But it also applies to us. Dives is a type of those today, both sinners and saints, who demand some extra sign in addition to the Word of God. The Bible is not enough for them, and they think they would believe if they were furnished some remarkable extra display or manifestation.

Some think that if Christ were walking among us in the flesh, more would believe. But in His own day, while multitudes followed Him, most of them were superficial disciples, out for the loaves and fishes. Human nature has not changed. Faith that will not depend on His Word would not be convinced by works. If men refuse the Word of God, nothing else will be enough.

Even Christians fall into the error of demanding extra signs, feelings, visions, experiences, to confirm the Word of God. The Word often is not enough for assurance. Like Thomas, they demand to see before believing, forgetting that our Lord promised the greater blessing to those who see not, yet believe. True, God often favors believers with extra evidences and confirmations of His Word, but not because they would not take the bare Word. To ask for further evidence is to doubt God. If Moses and the prophets… and now the whole New Testament… be not enough, no other demonstration would be enough. We think it would, but it would not. Praise God for the sufficiency of His Word!

Creativity Is Contagious

This man had four virgin daughters who prophesied.—Acts 21:9

Philip’s creative spirit heightened everything he touched. We find no evidence of spiritual staleness in his life. He was spiritually alert, spiritually alive, and spiritually creative.

Our text today tells us that he had four unmarried daughters who prophesied. We must not, of course, ignore the evident work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of these four women, but we must also recognize their father Philip’s creative influence in their lives. We often say, “Like father, like son.” Here it was a case of “Like father, like daughters.” Creativity is contagious.

When you consider that the society in which these daughters were born and brought up was a male-dominated one, the statement that Philip had “four daughters who prophesied” comes as a surprise. What caused these unmarried women to break the mold in which they found themselves and exercise their prophetic gifts? Popular opinion at the time said that women should remain in the background and take no part in public ministry. It was the Holy Spirit, of course, who inspired them to prophesy, but I think I see some of the marks of Philip’s creativity rubbing off on them also.

These young women did not stay at home and lament the fact that they were not married. If they could not be creative on a physical level, they could be creative on a spiritual level. Some of the greatest work in the kingdom of God has been done by the spiritual descendants of the daughters of Philip—single women who have had their creativity blocked on one level but have released it on another level.

Prayer

Father, I want to thank You today for the ministry of those in Your kingdom who, while remaining single, have produced great and creative achievements. We appreciate them, but as You have taught us, we give all the honor to You. Amen.

Further Study

1Co 7; Mt 19:12

What does Jesus teach about singleness?

How did Paul reinforce this?

Moved With Compassion

Luke 19:41

The Savior of men came to seek and to save

The souls who were lost to the good;

His Spirit was moved for the world which He loved,

With the boundless compassion of God.

And still there are fields where the laborers are few,

And still there are souls without bread;

And still eyes that weep where the darkness is deep;

And still straying sheep to be led.

Except I am moved with compassion

How dwelleth Thy Spirit in me?

In word and in deed

Burning love is my need,

I know I can find this in Thee.

Oh, is not the Christ ‘midst the crowd of today

Whose questioning cries do not cease?

And will He not show to the hearts that would know

The things that belong to their peace?

But how shall they hear if the preacher forbear

Or lack in compassionate zeal?

Or how shall hearts move with the Master’s own love,

Without His anointing and seal?

It is not with might to establish the right,

Nor yet with the wise to give rest;

The mind cannot show what the heart longs to know

Nor comfort a people distressed.

O Savior of men, touch my spirit again,

And grant that Thy servant may be

Intense every day, as I labor and pray,

Both instant and constant for Thee.

Albert Orsborn, The Beauty of Jesus