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Beautiful Choices // Sermon 4


The Beatitudes: Beautiful Choices  
Sermon Four  

  

Text: Matthew 5:3-6 NIV  

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven4Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”  

  

Intro:  

I never really thought of it before, but the Beatitudes seem to be progressive.   

- Each Beatitude assumes the ones that came before.   
- Here’s what we’ve learned so far:  

- A person is blessed when they are poor in spirit – or see their need for God.   

- They’re blessed when they mourn over their sins.   

- And blessed when they submit to God’s will.   

- The first 3 Beatitudes all deal with our need. They convict us. They humble us. They lead us to come to God and repent.   
- This 4th Beatitude deals with the desire that comes from a heart that’s been made right with God.   

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.” 

  

1. Righteousness – what does it mean?  

Righteousness is one of those Bible and church words we hear about but probably can’t easily define.  - It means the state of him is as he ought to be – the condition acceptable to God. Righteousness encompasses integrity and virtue and purity of life – it’s a correctness of thinking, feeling, and acting.   

The Bible talks about righteousness in two different ways. It is so important we understand them.  

First, the righteousness Jesus gives us.   

- I Corinthians 1:30 (NLT) says, God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin.  

- All that means is the righteousness – the right standing with God that we have - all depends on Him and not on us.   

Jesus gave His life for our sins. Paul said it this way in Romans 5. Paul is talking about Adam and his sin and that sin’s effect on us all. In verses 16-19, he writes (NLT):  

And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins. 17 For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.  

18 Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. 19 Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.  

  • Here’s the greatness of that: I, Darrell Waller, born a sinner and lived the life of a sinner – always searching, always striving, always wishing I could do better but always fell short – God the Father gave His Son for all my sin that I might be forgiven and have a right standing with God.   

  • No matter who you are, no matter what you’ve done – no matter how you have lived your life – one simple act – one prayer – one reaching out to Him – you can walk out of here totally and radically changed!  

  • The enemy of your soul tells you that you are either:  

1. Not good enough so you can’t have a relationship with God.   

  • He’s right in that you nor I are good enough.   

a. Isaiah 64:6 NLT says, We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind.”  

b. We strive to clean up our act.   

  • I’ll stop drinking.   

  • I’ll stop using drugs.  

  • I’ll stop running around on my spouse.   

  • I’ll stop stealing from my employer.   

  • I’ll stop cursing.   

  • I’ll stop – I’ll this and I’ll that…  

But nothing changes. Nothing works.  

  • I’ll hang out with better people.   
  • I’ll go to church.  

  • I’ll sing in the choir.  

  • I’ll get involved and help out.   

And nothing changes. And hasn’t and it never will. Not until we realize our need for God, mourn our sinfulness, submit to His Will, and accept the right standing with God that He freely makes available to us.   

And if telling you that you aren’t good enough and you’ll never have a right standing with God doesn’t discourage or restrain you:  

2. He’ll tell you that you aren’t doing enough and being enough.  

I know I’m taking a lot of time here, but here is where we lose most – and yes, I meant to say most. If we got everyone that comes through these doors to accept Christ and His righteousness, we’d never have a building big enough to hold them all.   

Here is where we lose the majority. We either think we aren’t good enough or we have to do more in order to have a healthy relationship with God.  

So, we give up stuff – and don’t get me wrong – there’s a lot of stuff we have no business doing – we work hard and strive – but never seem to jump high enough or far enough.   

My word to you today is, “Give it up!”  

You’re not good enough. I’m not good enough. You can’t do enough and we can’t do enough.   

And here’s the truth, we don’t have to! He already has!  

Example:  

  • I have a car to give you – hold keys.  

1. It’s a Ferrari Sergio. Only six were ever made. It’s worth about $3 million. And here’s the keys – it’s yours.   

2. And you say, “Wow! That’s amazing!” And you make up songs to sing about it.   

“Blessed assurance, the Red Ferrari is mine. From 0 to 120 in absolutely no time!”  

3. And we talk about it and are hanging with people who know all about it.   

Yet, I’m still holding out the keys.   

4. “Oh yeah, the keys. I’ll go buy some new clothes to wear. And I’ll go to driving school. And I’ll buy some new maps or download some map apps.”  

And I say, “Well, here take the keys.”  

5. And you say, “Well, I’ll come mow your yard. And if you’ve got painting to do, I’ll do that. And what about the guests you have over? I’ll greet them. I’ll help park their cars. I’ll watch the kids while ya’ll have fun. And someday I’d love to drive that car of yours.”  

And now I stand with a broken heart holding out the keys to this Ferrari that I’d die for you to have, but yet you just won’t hold out your hand and take 

  • Do you see this, church? Jesus has already died for it. Bought it. Paid for it. And holds out this invitation to know God and His righteousness and all we have to do is take it!  

  

Secondly, there’s the righteousness to which Jesus calls us.   

  • This is the righteousness Jesus talks about in this fourth Beatitude.   

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”  

  • This is the practical pursuit of holy living, purity of heart, and a life of devotion to Christ.   

  • Once we have received His offer of relationship with Him, He creates a desire within us to follow Him, to live for Him, and know Him more.   

1. Human relationships aren’t so unlike our relationship with God.   

2. First learned of Him as a child.  

3. Entered into a relationship with Him back in the 70s.  

4. Talked a lot with Him.  

5. Read His book – it’s a good book. I highly recommend it.   

6. Started hanging out with Him and His family – His kids are pretty cool!  

7. We got closer and spent a lot of time with Him.   

8. I remember so many of the good times and great experiences we’ve shared.   

9. And the hard times – oh, the hard times.   

  • Our girls’ miscarriages  

  • Losing our grandparents and then our parents  

  • The pain of losing relationships in church  

  • Loss of friends  

10. But you know, the Lord, He was just always there. Providing strength and comfort and grace and providing whatever was needed.   

  • And here’s what I learned. The more I seemed to pursue Him, the more I learned about Him, the more I wanted to know. And the more I enjoyed getting to know Him.   

  

The paradox is this, He satisfies every hunger, yet I desire more. And what I found out is  

 

Hunger is natural, but appetite can be cultivated.   

So this hunger for righteousness arises from within and is formed by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, but this appetite can be cultivated and should be cultivated.   

How?  

1. Spend some time with God.   

  • Devotions – available free  

  • 5x5x5 Reading  

  • Prayer  

  • Praise – radio, downloads, etc.  

2. Hang out more with His family.  

  • Be faithful to His House – once or twice a month just isn’t enough.   

  • Get in a Life Group. Sunday mornings – weekdays  

  • Attend Wednesday evenings (elaborate)  

These are just some of the ways you cultivate an appetite for God.   

A.W. Tozer wrote a prayer found in his book, “The Pursuit of God.”  

I’d like us all to stand and pray it together.   

“God, I have tasted thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, that I might know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”  




Worship Set


This Is Amazing Grace 

- Josh Farro, Jeremy Riddle, and Phil Wickham

Verse 1

Who breaks the power of sin and darkness
Whose love is mighty and so much stronger
The King of Glory the King above all kings

Verse 2

Who shakes the whole earth with holy thunder
Who leaves us breathless in awe and wonder
The King of Glory the King above all kings

Chorus 1

(Yeah) (Oh) This is amazing grace
This is unfailing love
That You would take my place
That You would bear my cross
You laid down Your life
That I would be set free
Oh Jesus I sing for all that You've done for me

Verse 3

Who brings our chaos back into order
Who makes the orphan a son and daughter
The King of Glory the King of Glory

Verse 4

Who rules the nations with truth and justice
Shines like the sun in all of its brilliance
The King of Glory the King above all kings

Misc 1 (Bridge)

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Worthy worthy worthy


Holy Spirit 

- Bryan Torwalt and Katie Torwalt

Verse 1

There's nothing worth more that will ever come close
No thing can compare You're our living hope
Your Presence

Verse 2

I've tasted and seen of the sweetest of loves
Where my heart becomes free and my shame is undone
In Your Presence Lord

Chorus 1

Holy Spirit You are welcome here
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere
Your glory God is what our hearts long for
To be overcome by Your Presence Lord

Misc 1 (Interlude)

Your Presence Lord

Misc 2 (Interlude)

Your Presence Lord
Your Presence
Oh God how we love Your Presence Lord

Misc 3 (Bridge)

Let us become more aware of Your Presence
Let us experience the glory of Your goodness (Lord)


I Won't Go Back

- William McDowell

Verse 1

I've been changed
Healed free delivered
I've found joy peace grace and favor
(REPEAT)

Misc 1 (Pre-Chorus)

Right now is the moment
Today is the day
I've been changed
I've been changed
I have waited for this moment to come
And I won't let it pass me by

Chorus 1

I won't go back
I can't go back to the way it used to be
Before Your presence came and changed me
(REPEAT)

Verse 2

All my shame, guilt, sins forgiven
No more chains, fear, (My) past is over