Sermon on the Mount (Part 1): A Blessed Life

Sermon on the Mount (Part 1): A Blessed Life

Jesus began the Sermon on the Mount with statements that are commonly called the Beatitudes. In these verses, He described those who were blessed. This word does not merely mean that one is happy. Rather, to be blessed means to be approved of God. This results in true joy that surpasses the temporary moments of “happiness” in this life. This is particularly important because, as we will see, there will be times when those who are “blessed” are those who are suffering. Let us consider the Beatitudes and see how the life of a disciple is a blessed life.
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Faith in God to Provide (Season 3, Episode 7)

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Faith in God to Provide (Season 3, Episode 7)

The book of Leviticus contains many laws and regulations for the people to follow. However, their compliance with these laws was not just an act of submission to one in authority. In some cases, the obedience could only be done with complete faith and trust in God. In other words, it was not just about obeying God because He’s God, they were having to act in a way that was contrary to conventional wisdom and put their complete trust in God and rely upon Him.

In this episode, we’re going to look at two examples commands that could only be obeyed if they had complete faith in God to provide – the Sabbath year and the Year of Jubilee. After we consider these examples, we’re going to make some applications for us as we must also put our complete faith in God as well.

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The Entitlement Mentality

Minimum Wage

Our society has developed what is often called an “entitlement mentality” – particularly among the young, but it is still widespread through all ages. Those with this attitude believe that because they exist, they are entitled to certain things (standard of living, happiness, interpretation of truth, etc.).

The Israelites adopted this mindset while they were in Egypt. Despite their sufferings, they became accustomed to what they enjoyed there. While they were enslaved, they “cried out” to God “for help because of their bondage” (Exodus 2:23). After a series of plagues, God delivered them from bondage (Exodus 13:3). However, even with their newly acquired freedom, they complained about what they lacked:
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The Psalm of the Word (Part 1): Blessing

The Psalm of the Word

How blessed are those whose way is blameless,
Who walk in the law of the Lord.

How blessed are those who observe His testimonies,
Who seek Him with all their heart.

They also do no unrighteousness;
They walk in His ways.

You have ordained Your precepts,
That we should keep them diligently.

Oh that my ways may be established
To keep Your statutes!

Then I shall not be ashamed
When I look upon all Your commandments.

I shall give thanks to You with uprightness of heart,
When I learn Your righteous judgments.

I shall keep Your statutes;
Do not forsake me utterly!

(Psalm 119:1-8)

David began this psalm by introducing the idea that God’s word is a blessing to us. Why should we recognize the word of God as a blessing, and what should we do as a result?
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The Song of Moses

Passage of the Jews through the Red Sea - Aivazovsky

After crossing the Red Sea and witnessing the destruction of the Egyptian army by the power of God, Moses and the Israelites sang praises to the Lord. The song recorded mentioned several reasons why the Lord is worthy of praise. As we consider these reasons, we should also recognize that God is worthy of praise for the same reasons today.

Let us briefly consider the reasons why Moses and the Israelites praised the Lord on this occasion.
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Bible Lessons for Times of Civil Unrest

Ferguson Riots

Then all the city was provoked, and the people rushed together, and taking hold of Paul they dragged him out of the temple, and immediately the doors were shut. While they were seeking to kill him, a report came up to the commander of the Roman cohort that all Jerusalem was in confusion. At once he took along some soldiers and centurions and ran down to them; and when they saw the commander and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul. Then the commander came up and took hold of him, and ordered him to be bound with two chains; and he began asking who he was and what he had done. But among the crowd some were shouting one thing and some another, and when he could not find out the facts because of the uproar, he ordered him to be brought into the barracks. When he got to the stairs, he was carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the mob; for the multitude of the people kept following them, shouting, ‘Away with him!’” (Acts 21:30-36).

In the passage above, Luke recorded an episode of civil unrest in the city of Jerusalem. When we see news stories about protesting, rioting, and looting in major cities, we need to remember that this is nothing new (cf. Ecclesiastes 1:9). The unrest in Jerusalem was marked by violence, confusion, an increased military presence, and protests. In a similar situation in Philippi, there was also injustice on display as the authorities had Paul and Silas wrongly beaten and imprisoned (Acts 16:22-24, 37). We see the same things today during times of civil unrest.

These news stories of protesting, rioting, and looting in response to an act of injustice (real or perceived) by law enforcement happen much too frequently in our society. During such times of civil unrest, while specific details may vary in each situation, there are certain Biblical principles that we need to remember. Let us be reminded of some of these principles now.
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Psalm 23 and the Christian

The Lord is My Shepherd

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.

He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:1-6).

The twenty-third psalm is one of the most well-known and well-loved passages in the Bible. Though it was written during the time of the Old Law, there are certainly lessons contained in it that apply to us as Christians. Let us briefly consider these lessons.
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