Sermon on the Mount – Devo #4 “The Power of Meekness”

Focus verse: Matt. 5:5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

 

This passage calls us to an attitude of meekness toward God and our fellow man. Meekness can be easily misunderstood.  We often view meekness as a synonym for weakness.  The dictionary even describes someone who is meek as being “deficient in spirit and courage.”  Yet, Jesus says of Himself in Matt 11:29 “for I am gentle and lowly in heart.”  Jesus is describing meekness for us, and we know that Jesus is certainly not “deficient of spirit and courage.”  So, how do we rightly understand meekness?  Meekness is to possess great strength and courage, yet the self-control to apply that strength and courage at the appropriate time.

Before His betrayal, Jesus having the infinite resources of God at His command, prayed “Not my will but Your will be done.”  Upon the cross, being humiliated by those who were carrying out His crucifixion, Jesus cried out, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”  These are not displays of weakness from our Lord and Savior, but rather glorious examples of the power of His meekness.  Because of His meekness, the power of God overcame death upon the cross.  Because of His meekness, we can enter into a relationship with God.  We don’t have to strive in that relationship.  Instead, we allow the Holy Spirit to produce the fruit of gentleness or meekness in our lives (Galatians 5:23).

In maintaining an attitude of meekness before God, we are blessed. This is not merely a happy feeling that fades away with difficult circumstances.  Rather, Jesus refers to a blessing that endures in the midst of trials and temptations (James 1:12).  As a result, Jesus tells us that we will inherit the earth.  You might be thinking, “With the state of the world these days, why would I want to inherit this earth we live in?”  But, we must not lose sight of the fact that God has given us the end of the story; He is making all things new.  This includes a new heaven and a new earth, in which believers in Jesus will dwell with Him face to face, for all eternity (Revelation 21:1-4).

Jeremy Ellis

Discussion question:

  • What are some more examples from the Scriptures that highlight the meekness of Jesus?   Next Week’s Scripture: Matthew 5:6

Sermon on the Mount – Devo #3 “Mourning Over Sin”

Focus verse: Matt. 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

Most of us think of Matthew 5:4 as simply a promise of comfort from God when we mourn the loss of a loved one. And this verse is a great promise for many in our community to lean on because so many have grieved losses recently.  While death can cause us great sorrow, Christians understand that physical death has no power over the saved soul.  In fact the apostle Paul even tells us that “to live is Christ and die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).  So when we lose a brother or sister in Christ, we are greatly comforted knowing that they are experiencing such great joy in the presence of the Lord and that they are released of all the burdens of this world.

While this verse is a great promise, let’s look at it from another perspective. In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians he describes a sorrow that is produced before someone truly repents of sin.  In another letter, Paul had scolded the church at Corinth harshly based on reports of sexual immorality and divisions within the body. His letter was harsh enough that it has been called the “severe letter”.  This severe letter convicted the hearts of the church and Paul says in 2 Corinthians 7:9 that “Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner…”  Paul explains further in verse 10 that “…godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.”

God is grieved by your sin; are you? When you admit your sin to God is there sorrow in your heart?   Or do you only feel sorrow because you were caught in sin?  Many sins in our life are repeated, often because we don’t honestly grieve over them the first time.  Once we grieve over our sin and repent of it, we are then comforted in knowing that there is nothing blocking our relationship with God.

Discussion question:

After reading 2 Cor. 7:8-10, go on to read verse 11. Has godly sorrow over your sin led you to ‘prove yourself clear of the matter’?    Next Week’s Scripture: Matthew 5:5

Mike Klaus

Sermon on the Mount – Devo #2 “Poor Self”

Focus verse: Matt. 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”

What a contrast! To be “blessed” is to be happy.  But, how can I be happy when I am poor in spirit; or poor in anything?

These words of Jesus to the stiff-necked Jews convey a tone of desperation and utter poverty. The Jews wanted their promised Messiah to come and deliver them from the Roman Empire; to set things right and have the world crawl humbly to the kingdom of Israel.  Instead Jesus delivers a message that confuses them…and us completely.  If you want to gain the Kingdom of Heaven, you must be poor in spirit.  Not poor in God’s spirit but poor in man’s spirit, which is a spirit centered on SELF.  Jesus makes a point.  As we empty out the ME, God wants to fill us with HIM.

There was never a time in my life that was more applicable than January 2007. My wife Cheryl had been diagnosed with breast cancer.  It must be a mistake!  This can’t possibly be happening to us, can it?  We were believers and had faithfully served in our fellowship for years.  How can God allow this to happen to “good people”?  The short answer is found in Romans 3:10; “There is no one righteous. No, not one.” I remembered this from hearing the testimony of Pastor Jon Courson who tragically lost both a wife and daughter to separate car crashes.  Now, was it my turn?  My step-daughter and two grandkids had been killed in a crash just over a year before.  Was I going to lose Cheryl also?

Then Cheryl snapped me back to reality when she said, “either we walk what we say we believe or what good is it?” Cheryl’s cancer was beyond my control.  I was at the end of myself; but God was just getting started.  During Cheryl’s recovery, I learned that the Kingdom of Heaven, indeed, touches us in this life when we submit to God. James 4:7-8 says “Submit to God … Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” Submit your poor, weak and inadequate spirit to Him and He will bless you with His riches.

Discussion question:

  • What things do you hold onto in times of trouble rather than God?

Next Week’s Scripture: Matthew 5:4

Bob Boone

Sermon On The Mount – Devo #1 “Imitating the Messiah”

Focus verse: Matt. 5:1 “… and when He was seated His disciples came to Him.”

When I close my eyes I see Him… Jesus Christ, the Man, the Messiah, the Mystery.  Rarely, I see the Babe in a manger; Infrequently, a young Boy in the Temple; Occasionally, the suffering Savior; More often, the victorious King of kings. Most often though, I see a Man; a man walking the Earth I walk and facing the things that I face. A Man challenged by the things I am challenged with, even tempted by the things that tempt me. When I close my eyes, I see a Man…

Yet no matter the lens my mind’s eye uses to view Him with, I always find His Deity firmly imprinted upon His portrait. The longer I look, the clearer it becomes. Invariable, as I behold Him, the exhortation of the Apostle Paul echoes’ thru the chambers of my mind. “Therefore, be imitators of God, as dear children” (Eph 5:1). In the vanity of my youth, I thought it a simple task, yet as youth slowly gives way to the clarity of someone older, I find it to be beyond challenging!

Imitate Christ, reflect His glory, walk as Jesus walked, imitate me as I imitate Christ … the exhortations crash like misplaced freight cars on the rails of my soul. The truth of their necessity hammers into the reality of my humanity. It’s a humanity that is rife with flaws, failures and inabilities. Suddenly I am confronted with the truth. To imitate Him, I must know Him. To know Him, I must sit at His feet, spend time with Him and allow the Deity that so clearly marks Him to change the very fiber of who I am.

The beautiful thing is that I find Him willing, yes even longing, for me to sit there. My nature does not surprise Him. He is not shocked by who I am. He chooses to see me for who I could be, will be, was created to be! As I join the disciples surrounding Him, He smiles.  “Then He opened His mouth and taught them …” (Matt 5:2).

Yes, when I close my eyes, I see Him… Jesus Christ, the Man, the Messiah, the Mystery, and I want nothing more than to be like Him.

Bryce Cordle

Discussion question:

  • Are you imitating Jesus?

Next Week’s Scripture:  Matthew 5:3

Strong God

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We have been singing this song called “Strong God” recently at MSC. It is inspired primarily by Psalm 68:5, and I wanted you to hear the story behind the song shared in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGT1lrsIgmo

Psalm 68:5

“A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows,

Is God in His holy habitation.”

Here is a link back to the original post on songs we are doing for this series of sermons.

Lyrics for “Strong God”

Verse 1

Father to the fatherless Defender of the weak
Freedom for the prisoner we sing

Pre-Chorus

This is God in His holy place
This is God clothed in love and strength

Chorus 

Sing out lift your voice and cry out
Awesome is our strong God mighty is our God
Sing out raise your hands and shout out
Awesome is our strong God mighty is our God

Verse 2

You're with us in the wilderness faithful to provide
Every breath and every step we see
Bridge 
There is no higher no
There is no greater no
There is none stronger than our God

© 2011 Word Music, LLC and Integrity Worship Music CCLI Song # 6223670

Jeremy Ellis

Mountain Springs Church

Singing and Making Melody to the Lord

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MSC Soundtrack

Each week as we gather corporately for services as a church family we devote quite a significant amount of time to singing together. This should be no surprise as we read Scriptures like Ephesians 5:18, “… be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart.” One could make the argument that a sign of a church family that is filled with the Holy Spirit is that they will be singing together, addressing one another in song and making melody to the Lord, to use the language that Paul uses in addressing the church at Ephesus. Continue reading

A Lamp Unto My Feet

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Three years. That is how long we have been in Mexico. It is hard to believe due to the speed at which these years have occurred. As I write this we have a roofing project going on. We have 2 friends from Idaho, one from Virginia and 2 from California and two of our friends from here helping us. It is an amazing thing to experience people coming to help us like this. Very humbling to say the least.

But this is only one little part of what has gone on for us. Continue reading

Fear or Faith

Missionaries in Ensenada, Mexico

Missionaries in Ensenada, Mexico

Fear or Faith?

Choices, choices.  This life is full of choices.  They are definitely more fun when the choices involve places like Baskin and Robbins or See’s Candies, but the majority of them are not that way.

A couple of weeks ago I had a test that involved choices.  Continue reading