Sermon – 11-01-2020

Psalm 34:1-10, 22; Rev. 7:9-17; 1st John 3:1-3; Matthew 5:1-12

This is reportedly written on the wall in Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta:

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.

Forgive them anyway

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.

Be kind anyway

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.

Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.

Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.

Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.

Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten.

Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.

Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God.

It was never between you and them anyway.

(Mother Teresa was canonized as a saint after her death)

We begin with the Scripture in Revelations for today and the theme today is about, “The Saints.” None of us ever speak of ourselves in this manner, though in the first four or five centuries following Christ’s entry into this world, this became a term that people spoke of about each other. Now, before I go further, it does not mean we are perfect, what it truly speaks of is those of us who have done our very best to be obedient to God through His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. It is the first two element of the Trinity, with the third being the Holy Spirit.

God is the one who brings us salvation through His Son, and when we accept Him we fully accept the Father. The worshipers are from every corner of the world, every tribe, language, and people, they are not wearing typical clothes of the various lands; for they are wearing white robes that identify them as belonging to God, for He desires that men, women, and children belong to Him. and never again will be hungry or thirsty, or be in want for anything. the sun will not beat upon them nor scorching them with heat. For the Lamb will be their shepherd; leading them to springs of living water and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

In 1st John, we read just how much God loves us and that He adopted us as children. This distinguishes us from those people who do not follow or even know Christ. God’s children are characterized by how they love one another, and even how they show the same love to those who have not yet come to Christ.

When Jesus returns, His followers will be like Him. As God’s children, we come in all colors and sizes and heights, but we are all in the same family. The prospect of seeing Christ at His return gives us hope. Since He is pure, purity is required to be like Him. The plea for purity in God’s people is based upon God’s holiness, not upon anything we have earned or achieved.

In Matthew 5, Jesus’ teaching is on “The Beatitudes.” ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’ The heart and will of God was being taught as never before. Here the inspired witnesses preserved for us the teachings of the Son of God. These words were collected by His disciples, taught to the early church and have become an ongoing recorded of God’s revelation about who He is. ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.’ It also includes grief at the loss of loved ones and repentance because of sin. God gives comfort to those grieved by the wickedness of this world.

‘Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.’ To be meek means easy or mild. We should be strong enough to be in control of all of the circumstances of our lives under the guidance of God, to be on a quest to be firm and righteous, like God wants us to be, not mild and retiring.

‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Beloved, a mark of the Spirit within us is a hunger to live our the will of God. Without God’s energizing, sustaining, and closeness our fulfillment in life grows weak.

‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.’ Last August, we were headed to Possum Kingdom Lake to go fishing, along the way, my son had a blowout on his truck. In 20 minutes, we had five different people stop to try and help us, This is the difference between the city and country people. It’s not always this simple, but Paul did speak of our needing God’s mercy often by our rightness with Christ.

‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.’ It only take a moment to reach out to someone. Maybe you see someone in a hospital and you see in their eyes, the hurt or scared look. It only takes a moment to ask, “Hey you okay? Anything I can do? Can we pray about this?

‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.’ The term, “Peacemaker” is only seen in this passage. However, in Colossians, 1:20 it says: ‘and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross. God’s reconciliation through Christ is all inclusive. It is vertical, reconciliation between persons and God; and horizontal, reconciliation between persons and persons between nature and God. So all persons and nature itself are restored in the saving work of Christ Jesus.

‘Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’ Loyalty to Jesus often brings persecution from evil powers who oppose God. Disciples must show their loyalty to Jesus by enduring the world’s wrath. I spent almost 28 years ministering to men in Texas Maximum prisons for protection, and introducing them to our Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

In the words that Mother Teresa put on the walls of the children’s home in Calcutta, she treated the children as if through the Beatitudes were in her heart. She has been canonized and become a saint for her work with those children. If we were to live out lives, as she did hers, the world we live in would be significantly better for all people. Each day, if we will focus on these teachings, we can have an impact on the world we live in. Are you willing to try? Are you will to sacrifice for the betterment of the world? Are you willing to be merciful? Won’t you try to live your life in this manner? I pray you will see a different world for your efforts. Amen.


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