Where Are You Looking For Blessing? Red Letters Series #4

Red Letters 4

Matthew 4:17 … Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Matthew 5:1-3 And seeing the multitudes, {Jesus} went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: 2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, 3 Blessed ….

Our Jesus taught in the Sunday Schools. He preached “the Gospel of the Kingdom”, that Messiah had come, that He is the Messiah. Jesus proved this by healing the sick and casting out demons. As Jesus traveled He preached:

Matthew 4:17 … Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

The word “repent” is the Greek μετανοέω metanoeō which means “change your mind” or specifically, “change your spiritual direction”. Jesus came as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords calling whosoever would listen to His Kingdom. Jesus Christ is the Messiah. The Messiah came and commanded that all people everywhere repent and come to Him. Jesus Christ is the only Door to Heaven. He is the “door of the sheep”, the Children of God. The Psalmist said:

Psalm 95:1-7 O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. 3 For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. 4 In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. 5 The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. 6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker. 7 For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.

Jesus said in John 10:7-9 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

Jesus came preaching in a time
when idolatry ruled the earth.

The Romans were an idolatrous people, and even God’s Israel had turned away from the God Who saved them to follow idolatrous practices. The Pharisees took the Word of God and, adding to or taking away from the Word of God, turned Judaism into a mishmash of idolatry. God had told His people “Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it.” (Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32; Revelation 22:18). As Messiah Jesus came correcting all. He said those who came before Me were thieves and robbers. Jesus Christ is the one and only Messiah sent from the Father. Repent! Turn from idolatry. Turn toward Jesus Christ.

The Dangers Of Idolatry

The Bible commands that we each examine ourselves, to see whether we are in THE faith (2 Corinthians 13:5; 2 Peter 1:10-11). The Bible commands us to …

Jude 3-4 … earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. 4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Idolatry crept into Israel while Moses was on the Mount, speaking with God. People gathered their riches together and pooled them to make a golden calf to worship, saying, “these be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt” (Exodus 32:4). An idol has no power to bless. An idol has no power to heal, nor to hear prayers. This is why Jesus equated those which came before, the idols, as thieves and robbers. An idol steals glory from God, the true God, the Great Shepherd. An idol steals the joy of God’s people, giving false comfort and false hope.

Not too long ago Ligonier Ministries and Lifeway Research polled the evangelical Church and found out that, across all denominational lines, 46% of self professed evangelicals believed that “God accepts the worship of all religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam”. Yet what does the Scripture say? What did Jesus say? Jesus said:

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: NO MAN COMETH UNTO THE FATHER, BUT BY ME.

The message that Jesus preached was that:

Jesus is THE Door. (John 10:7)
Jesus is THE Bread of Life. (John 6:35)
Jesus is THE Bread of Heaven. (John 6:41, 51)
Jesus is THE Light of the world. (John 8:12; 9:5)
Jesus is THE Good Shepherd. (John 10:11, 14)
Jesus is THE Resurrection and the Life. (John 11:25)
Jesus is THE True Vine. (John 15:1)
Jesus is THE Creator God. (Revelation 1:17)
Jesus is THE Promised Messiah. (Revelation 22:16)

Throughout His ministry Jesus Christ consistently presented Himself as the one and only Messiah sent from Heaven to bring us to God.

True God On The Mountain

Matthew 5:1 And seeing the multitudes, {Jesus} went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:

Jesus went up into a mountain. This is very significant. Moses went up into a mountain to receive the Word of God, the Law, and to take it back down the mountain. No one else was allowed on the mountain. But now Jesus goes up a mountain not to receive the Word of God, but because He IS the Living Word of God.

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Jesus Christ is the Only Word of God become flesh. All others who have come before and who have come after are but imitations of the Real Thing.

Several years ago they came out with something called “I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter”. I bought it. I tasted it. Guess what? It should be named “I CAN Believe It’s Not Butter”. If you’ve ever tasted real butter, this imitation stuff just isn’t the same.

Jesus walked through a world filled with idols, with pretend gods and goddesses, with “I Can’t Believe It’s Not God” packaged for the masses. When people experienced Jesus they experienced the Real Thing. If you have ever experienced Christ, if you have ever done as the Psalmist said:

Psalms 34:8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

Moses brought a Law down from Mount Sinai that foretold of the Coming Messiah. Man took that Law and made it into an idol. Now Jesus comes, not as another Moses, but as God become Man, the True Messiah, the Way of God. He is exclusively the One.

Matthew 5:1 … when {Jesus} was set, his disciples came unto him:

His DISCIPLES came unto Him”.

Who were these “disciples”? The Dr. Thomas Constable states:

We usually think of disciples of Jesus as people who have believed in Jesus and who are going on in their walk with Him. The Gospel evangelists used “disciple” to refer to people who were learning from Jesus, before they came to faith in Him, as well as after they did.”

Jesus presented Himself as the only Way unto God, Jesus came for all who would heed Him. “Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15).
Jesus is God on the Mountain, The Only Way To God.

Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

These “disciples” that our text speaks of were people from all walks of life who were seeking a real engagement with God. They had tried “I Can’t Believe It’s Not God” and it just didn’t taste right. Then the Real Deal came. So these people, these “Disciples” were willing to walk up a mountain to hear this Messiah speak.

If you believe that there are multiple ways to God outside of Christ then you are at odds with Jesus.

I have heard this question asked by sincere, well meaning idolaters. “Won’t God accept a person who is sincerely trying to do good, even if that person rejects Jesus Christ as Messiah – or never even hears of Jesus?”.

Beloved, there is only One God on the mountain. Pastor Nicholas Davis of Core Christianity wrote:

This question misunderstands a very basic understanding of the world: no one is good, no not one (Romans 3:10, 12). The hardest truth is admitting that all of us fall in this camp. It’s not that God is unjust and he refuses to accept all godly, good people when they die. It’s that God is just, and there are no godly, good people who die. Everyone is ungodly and guilty before God. No person has ever lived a life in which he or she has always done what is good for others—except Jesus. The reason Jesus is the only way to salvation is not because God is unjust, but rather because he is just. The only way that God can justify a guilty sinner is through Jesus the justifier (Romans 3:26). … God won’t punish anyone for not hearing about his Christ. That’s not the reason why God will condemn anyone. The reason he can justly punish someone is because a person is rejecting the God who has “been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). What this means is that no one is simply innocent—everyone is guilty before God by refusing to worship him as Creator.”

There is but One God, the Triune God, and but One Messiah, Jesus Christ. Multitudes went up this mountain to hear Jesus. Though many had not yet believed on Him they gave Him an audience. Jesus Christ is real. All other ways are, at best, but faint copies.

The Way To Blessing Is At Christ’s Feet

Matthew 5:2-3 And {Jesus} opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, 3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

When we read the Bible we often overlook very important things. For instance:

Jesus OPENED His MOUTH, and

Reading the text this sounds redundant and foolish. If you’re going to teach someone you’re going to open your mouth. You can’t hum a lesson. I believe the reason the text reads as it does because it is emphasizing Jesus is the Sole Source of these truths. Jesus is not quoting some other religious leader or Rabbi. As Jesus states:

Matthew 5:3 … Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus uses the word “blessed” nine times in the beginning of this Sermon. The word “blessed” means “to be fulfilled, joyous, happy. In fact the word is translated as “happy” in John 13:17; Acts 26:2; Romans 14:22; 1 Peter 3:14; 4:14.

Jesus tells these seeking disciples:

If you are spiritually poor – in need of a touch from God – this is a good place to be.” Why? Because it is the spiritually seeking who are at Jesus’ feet. If a person is satisfied with the idols around them that person will never see God. But if you are hungry to meet the Creator then you are in the right place, seated at the feet of Jesus!

Jesus said: Mark 2:17 … They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (also Luke 5:32)

The person who is satisfied with idols, even religious idols, will not hear Jesus’ voice. No Pharisees are sitting at Jesus’ feet. No Scribes. No Sadducees. Just those who are sinners, who KNOW that they are sinners.

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn:
for they shall be comforted

Jesus is not telling anybody how to get better. He is not giving any prescriptions as a doctor would do.

Are you sad? In a depressed state? Jesus does not tell the disciple to DO anything, but to BE.
BE at Christ’s feet.

BE open to His Word. BE closed to the demons, and the idols. Hear Him! God the Father said:

THIS is My Beloved Son: HEAR HIM! (Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35)

Hear Him, for Christ is the Only Way to Eternal Life. The disciples came up the mountain to hear Jesus. The Pharisees stayed in the valley, satisfied with their gods. Jesus told them “You will not come to Me, that you might have life” (John 5:40; 10:10). God wrote His Scripture so that:

John 20:21 … ye might believe that Jesus is THE Christ, THE Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through HIS name.

Not through my works, but at Christ’s feet. Not by my opinion, but at Christ’s feet.

Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for
they shall inherit the earth.

Do you feel “less than”? Are you always picked last, the least of the crowd. The world says “just get better”. Jesus says, “Come unto Me”:

Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 19:14 {Allow} little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

You were last in every thing, ignored and cast aside by the beautiful people. But Jesus came for you. Jesus Christ does not offer a self help program. He says, “Come unto Me. Rest at My feet. Hear My Word. Beliedve on Me, and I will give you the world!”

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

How can a person be right with God? There is but one way. Cease following the gods of the valley, and come and listen to Jesus Christ. The multitudes want a quick fix. The masses want this life made whole. Yet this is not what Jesus offered. Jesus doesn’t offer cosmetic fixes. When He comes into the

life, He changes us from the inside out. Listen Beloved, you can stay in the valley with the multitudes and be just like every body else. Sit at Jesus’ feet. Hear Him. He has the Words of Life.

Matthew 5:7-9 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Jesus says to those with open hearts that He will bless them. Jesus is merciful. Jesus is pure in heart, Jesus came to give us peace with God. He calls you to His side this very day.

Jesus Will Save “Whosoever Will Believe On Him”

If you belong to Jesus, if you sit at His feet, the darkness in the valley will persecute you. Jesus wanted those who followed Him to “count the cost” (Luke 14:28). You may have to leave loved ones if you follow Jesus. You may have to leave friends. As a matter of fact, you may have to leave your Church to follow Jesus.

Matthew 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

The world believes that “all good people go to Heaven”. Jesus never taught this. He told us to:

Matthew 7:13-14 (ESV) Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

The sinful world does not want to sit at Jesus’ feet. It does not want to obey the Lord. The self righteous do not want to humble themselves to follow Jesus. If you belong to Jesus, if you are His Disciple, you will be persecuted. Jesus said “If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you” (John 15:20). If you are Light following Christ in the Light you will be persecuted. It will come.

Matthew 5:11-12 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

You, Beloved Disciple of Christ, will be persecuted. You will be called a hater, a liar, a redneck, a deciever. The self righteous called Jesus demon possessed. You will receive the same. But Beloved, it is worth it all. It is worth it all. The best place to be is at Jesus’ feet – even if you are the only one there.

As I was in my devotional this morning I was reading from Elmer Towns book Praying The Lord’s Prayer For Spiritual Breakthrough. Elmer wrote of a time he and his wife were on the boardwalk at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

I felt a tug on my right pocket. I looked down to see a little guy tugging on my yellow windbreaker pocket. He was not looking at me … His eyes were fastened on the … cotton candy in the vendor’s stall. Pointing to the cotton candy, he asked, “Can I have some …?”. … He was someone else’s child, though. “Please…” the words trailed off. “O.K.” I finally answered. Hearing me speak, the boy suddenly pulled his hand away. He did not recognize my voice.”

The child had come to Elmer, wearing a yellow windbreaker, mistaking him for his father who wore the same type of windbreaker. What can we learn from this? Elmer went on to write:

First, everyone who tugs on the pocket of the Heavenly Father is not His child. Second, God wants to do things for everyone, but can’t, because all are not His children. Third, when you become a child of God, you can receive cotton candy (or blessings) from Him.”

Beloved, you need Jesus. You need to sit at His feet. You need to hear His Word. You need to reject all other messiahs and gods and goddesses, and come to Him Who alone can save. Give yourselves to Jesus. May God open your hearts to His Word!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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