Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Sermon of Attitudes (pt. 5)

The characteristics of the beatitudes helps one approach God by having a humble, sorrowful, meek, and hungering heart for righteousness. The blessings of such character is seen in salvation. The first four beatitudes help one in coming to Christ.
The Christian heart will then want to give and do for others. Mercy will flow from God: “The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth” (Exodus 34:6). Paul refers to God as “the Father of mercies…” (2 Cor. 1:3).  The next four beatitudes show the change that has come about in the individual’s life who has obeyed the Gospel: we become merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, and will withstand any persecution for Christ’s sake.
May we learn that our needs will be met as we show compassion, care, and love for others. Mercy shows forth a desire to provide relief for others in their time of need. Jesus says that the reward for showing mercy is mercy. May the God of Heaven be pleased with attitude of mercy.

~Wayne Rodgers

Sunday, April 17, 2016

A Sermon of Attitudes (pt. 4)

The man of whom God approves is the one who embodies the characteristics seen the Sermon on the Mount and especially the Beatitudes or the attitudes that we should be. This is also the one truly blessed by God.
Matthew 5:5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” As Jesus continues his preparation of the hearts of those who will follow him, he speaks of meekness. While meekness is not weakness, but rather defined as tamed strength. Meekness is seen alongside traits such as lowliness (Eph. 4:2), as a quiet spirit (1 Pet. 3:4), and gentleness (Titus 3:2). Jesus portrayed perfectly in His life this attitude of meekness and used it as the inviting quality to “come unto [Him, added W.R.] all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest…” (Mt. 11:28).
The blessing of this quiet strength is inheriting the earth. Not in the fanciful sense of the Watchtower Society’s teaching of a literal abiding on this earth (Mt. 24:35), but rather as one who can enjoy the true blessings of the earth. In the Gospel Advocate commentary, H. Leo Boles commented: “The real enjoyment of earthly blessings belongs not to those who grasp for them and assert and maintain them with a grip so tight, but rather the one who holds to them lightly and do not fear losing them as earthly possessions go.”
~Wayne Rodgers

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Sermon of Attitudes (pt. 3)

As we look at each attitude or beatitude, we see an underlying theme focusing on the man in whom God approves. This is the man that is blessed. This is true happiness and joy in the life of the servant of God.
Only those who are humble before God will realize their inability to approach a holy God. It is because of our sin that we cannot approach.
Those who will “mourn” over their sins “will be comforted.” This attitude is one that encapsulates grief and sorrow over our sins. Isaiah was reminded of this as he saw the Lord in His holiness and majesty and it affected him in a most profound way. The Bible records: “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts” (Isaiah 6:5).
The corresponding blessing given is comfort. The one who can truly comfort us is Jesus Christ. He is the one that when we hear His Gospel, we should mourn over our sins. It is that type sorrow which works repentance to salvation (2 Cor. 7:10).  True comfort is seen in the salvation of God.
~Wayne Rodgers

Sunday, April 3, 2016

A Sermon of Attitudes (pt. 2)

Those who are open to truly hearing God’s Word would be considered “poor in spirit.” This seems to be the attitude where one’s walk with God begins. Without this attitude of humility and reverence, one will not likely seek the kingdom nor the righteousness of God (Mt. 6:33). Those who have a sense of their own unworthiness before a holy God are most likely to be “poor in spirit.”
Humility has blessings to be enjoyed by the disciple of Christ. James reminds us of the same thought: “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he will lift you up” (Jms. 4:10). Jesus taught that the blessing of this attitude is “the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 5:3). When we learn to see ourselves as God sees us, we can adjust our attitude so that we might not only enter into the kingdom of heaven through humble obedience, but also be meet for the Master’s use.

-Wayne Rodgers