There was a group of monks who were living in a community. All day long they worked alongside each other. They tried to follow God as best they could. They lived hard lives, they got up together to pray early in the morning, they worked hard together all day long. Little by little they started to irritate one another. They started to become envious and conceited. Arguments broke out, and the happy community of monks was not happy any more.
No one wanted to do any work anymore, and many of the monks didn’t feel like praying anymore. Something had to be done.
They asked for help from a local church pastor who came to the community and spent several days with them. He was known for his wisdom and for being a man full of Gods Holy Spirit. The monks trusted him.
After a few days, he told them that he had discovered a secret in their community and that he was ready to reveal what he had found the next morning.
At the meeting the next morning everyone was very excited, they wondered what secret this pastor had discovered. He rose solemnly at the meeting and he spoke to them and said just four words. After that everything seemed to be better, the monks were even doing the horrible chores for each other serving one another with real love and affection.
Don’t you wonder what the secret was? Would you like to know what those four words were? What would make them change so much and serve one another? He told them "HE is among you."
Turn with me in your Bibles to Matthew Chapter 5.
Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.
And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
"Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:1
I heard a sermon a Pretoria once which really touched me, it pointed out that the people listening to Jesus had three things on their mind;
- The people were self-centred, they wanted a king who would meet their needs.
- The people wanted a ruler who would rid them of these invaders, the Romans.
- They were religious people, they lived their lives by a very strong set of rules, they were looking for what rules Jesus would lay down for them to live by. What new rule could they add to make themselves more holy in Gods sight.
On that point, "how many of you have prayed or fasted to try to get closer to God? How far away is He? It is impossible to get closer to God. He lives here, in me, and in you. That is how close he is. Look out at night to the furthest star you can see, the God who created that lives in you, if you are a Christian.
What they were thinking was "what’s in it for me."
Soulish Christian VS Spirit Christian
I think, maybe only I had this problem, but I was a soulish Christian for many years. In fact I am sorry to say I have been a soulish Christian longer than I have been a spirit Christian.
What do I mean by a soulish Christian?
- The aim of my life is the pursuit of my liberty and my own happiness
- I decide when its convenient to serve God
- I help God out, he cant do stuff without me
- Its all about me, and what I can do for God
- I rely on my own strength and abilities
- I am on the throne of my life, God is there to please me
You see I have a few yucky fruit hanging off my tree. I’m sure none of you have any yucky fruit hanging off your tree. Every now and then I find myself drawn back to making yucky fruit. I’m sure that never happens with you.
But sometimes, when that bird leaves a little message on my car after I’ve just washed it, or the cat sits right where I am working, I can tell that I Jesus is not finished with me yet.
I have even said things while in the church which have shown how wicked, depraved and self-centred I can be. Yet God still loves me, in fact he never stopped loving me. And little by little, moment by moment, as I stay connected to Him and he stays connected to me, I start to look like him. And one day I have this certain hope, that I will look like him, sound like him, think like him, love like him. (1 Corinthians 13 – when the perfect comes…)
What do I mean by a Spirit Christian?
- I do things only in response to his working (Jesus said I only do what I see the father doing), not the other way round.
- I allow the supernatural power of Jesus to bubble up and through me.
- I am a vessel which is filled with the treasure of God, he knows I am fragile, weak, so He graciously helps me.
- I rest from my labours for God in the finished work of Jesus (Didn’t he say my yoke is easy and my burden is light)
Two reasons why we should listen to what Jesus has to say;
- This was a message directly from Jesus himself
Mat 5:1 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, hisWe see here how Jesus went up the mountain. This should remind us of Moses. How he went up the mountain, to hear from God, to get Gods perspective, and he came down with the Ten Commandments.
disciples came to him.
Mat 5:2 And he opened his mouth and taught them,
Now it is Jesus himself that goes up the mountain, but instead of disappearing into a cloud to meet with God, he turns and speaks what is on his heart. We are hearing Gods plan for action straight from Him.
Secondly, This was his strategy, his priority for his Kingdom
You see, when I am weak then He is strong. Our greatest battle is in the mind, when we are set about with sin, and we try and fight it in our own strength, we are doomed to failure, but when we look to Jesus, and rely on his goodness, and rest in him, the way becomes easier.
Mat 5:3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom
Mat 5:4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be
Mat 5:5 "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Mat 5:6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they
shall be satisfied.
Mat 5:7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall
Mat 5:8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see
Mat 5:9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of
Mat 5:10 "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:11 "Blessed are you when others
revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on
Mat 5:12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Jesus models a totally different way of life for his followers, you see his aim is not our happiness, but our Godliness. Our Christ likeness. He wants people who look think and act like him.
Mat 20:25 But Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of
the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over
Mat 20:26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great
among you must be your servant,
Mat 20:27 and whoever would be first among
you must be your slave,
Mat 20:28 even as the Son of Man came not to be
served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
Well, if you love chocolate what are you going to be full of? Chocolate, naturally
And , if you love coconut what are you going to be full of ? coconut
If you love Jesus you are going to be full of Jesus, just let him bubble up from within