One of the Answers is Right Here
One of the things I spoke about in my message this past Sunday was how the church of Corinth was not much different than the people of the Nation of Israel during the exodus. They were all just people. They were people who, at their best, connected to God. God was indeed the center of their life.
The Church of Corinth had Christ as their example in this church that Paul established, and it was Jesus and his teachings that they centered themselves around. Like people in the Old and New Testaments, we too, today, are just people. We have days of thriving in our relationship with God. We focus our lives and our decisions on what Christ has given us in scripture.
Typically, it doesn’t take much to get us off track. By that I mean me. We do our best as Christians to serve God and Christ, well. Our hope is that he can be well pleased with us. Have you ever felt like you needed your parents to be proud of you? How much more should we desire to have God pleased with us? Sometimes we do things that we know are not pleasing at all. We also recognize grace when he gives it to us for our shortcomings. His patience is enduring while he waits for us to get back on track when we stumble.
All of these things were mentioned along with the price of failure in my message this past Sunday. If you have not watched or listened to it, consider doing so. I go into more detail on the cost of failure and the reward of living right.
I was having a conversation with Pastor David about some of the content of my message this past Saturday. I shared with him some of the things I had learned while studying. some insight that I didn’t have before and shared with him one simple observation. My observation has actually been something that we’ve talked about several times, but it surfaced again in my study. Here it is. Abide in Him and he will abide in you. Obey his commands and he will fulfill those promises that come with that condition of fulfillment. Stay righteous, or stay right with God, and he will bless your life. Maybe not always the way you think he should, but He will.
He will bless your life in ways that exceed beyond the way we think. All of these things may not be some new revelation to many of you. You might even say, “Duh”. Yet look at Israel in the desert. These were God’s chosen people who, like those on a roller coaster, went up and down and up, only to come down again. They obeyed God. God blessed them. They disobeyed God. God punished them. They asked for forgiveness. God forgave them. They obeyed God… and repeat. Again, and again, up and down, for centuries. This should be a lesson to us all.
Why is it we know the stove is hot, yet we touch it anyway and are surprised when we get burned? If you ever find yourself in this pattern, turn back to God and keep your relationship straight. That has been my practice in the past. How blessed are those who live for righteousness.
Do you remember everything that Jesus said at the Sermon on the Mount? Me neither. So, I put it down here. There are a few things in common that the people Jesus speaks about have. One is, they are people who are seen as humble. Being humble can be within our nature. Sometimes we have to choose to be humble. The outcome is the same. They are also people who are seen as merciful. To be known as merciful, you may be compassionate, generous, kindhearted, sympathetic and even forgiving. Have you ever experienced a merciful person in your life? Were you taken back by their kindness? How would our lives be if we were the giver of mercy more often to those who needed it most?
The people Jesus spoke about are people who are seen and known for seeking righteousness with God. People whose focus is on God and not themselves. The result is the blessings of God. The opposite of being blessed by God is being punished by God. Listen to my message and hear how that worked out for the Jews in the Exodus. The choice for a peaceful life would come easier if we lived our lives blessed. As you read the passage below, ask yourself, is this me? If it isn’t, then ask yourself, what do I have to change in my relationship with Christ, to be blessed like this? We choose what our relationship with Jesus looks like. Jesus has already chosen to have one with us. Don’t miss out on it another moment. Then keep it intact.
Have a great week and I do pray that we can all come together very soon.
When he saw the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 Then[a] he began to teach them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the humble,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
11 “You are blessed when they insult you and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of me. 12 Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.