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Showing posts from January, 2015

Blessed are the pure in heart - Matthew 5:8

The people that the world calls great are generally inaccessible.You don’t just walk up to the President.You don’t just invite yourself to have lunch with a famous athlete or actor.In the Bible, we read of the Persian King Ahasuerus – to have an audience with him you had to be personally called, and if you walked in without an invitation, you really might lose your head, even if you were close family!
On the other hand, there are a lot of people that make themselves inaccessible and we really don’t care.The grumpy man next door would make life a lot simpler if he would just keep to himself!The reason why we notice the inaccessibility of the famous is because we enjoy being in the presence of greatness.That’s just part of human nature.It’s why most of us have heroes.It’s why we have autographed baseball cards and books.It’s why we stand in line to meet a famous scientist or soldier.
And yet, when you look at famous people closely, you realize that though some really are gifted in ways th…

Matthew 5:7 – Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

[Note: I did not write up a manuscript for my message on Matthew 5:6.  If you interested in listening to this sermon, you may hear it at: http://www.shilohstephenville.com/resources/sermons/?sermon_id=21]
We are living is an incredibly self-centered, self-oriented culture.Perhaps we are not that different from past cultures, but there does seem to be a discernible drift in our culture toward narcissism, an obsession with one’s self, even at the expense of others.For example, child psychiatrist Dr George Drinka has written that “kids now live in a broader culture buttressed by a media culture in which the opposite of compassion and empathy . . . are shoved off stage.The norm has inched toward youths seeing the vulnerable child not as the one to be protected, nurtured and encouraged, but rather as a weak link to be made fun of, treated as a laughing-stock, in need of public humiliation, even on Facebook.”[1]
What that means is that mercy as a virtue is facing extinction in our culture.M…

Blessed are the Meek - Mt. 5:5

The Beatitudes are not a recruitment poster, and that’s a good thing because no one would naturally want to be what Jesus is telling us his disciples look like.It takes the grace of God opening our eyes to see what we truly are and who he truly is before we will want to emulate these virtues.By nature, no one wants poverty of spirit.No one wants to mourn over their sins.And it is especially true that no one wants to be known as meek.In fact, of all the Beatitudes, this one is probably poked fun at more than any of the others.The meek shall inherit the earth?Yeah, right!The opinion of many is mirrored in the magazine that displayed a Harley-Davidson advertisement with a picture of a leather-clad biker on a black bike with the caption, “The Meek Inherit Nothing.”That’s the world’s view of our Lord’s words here, and it pretty much captures the perspective of the popular culture.
The world does not admire meekness.It admires men and women who are anything but meek.We are constantly told to…