North Anderson Baptist Church
What Blessings We Have
Locations & Times
  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
This first Sunday of the New Year we will consider the series - A Life That is Pleasing to God. Our first service is entitled: “What Blessings We Have!” Matthew 5:1-12
What kind of life is pleasing to and blessed of God? In reading scripture we see in many places what God requires of a life dedicated to God. Here are a few:
Our God has a plan for our lives while we live here on this earth and live for Him. We are not to live for ourselves but to love and obey the Savior who has redeemed us from our sins. We are to worship Him with all our heart but that can’t happen if our heart is not pure and seeking His righteousness. When we come before the Lord to worship Him and we have sin in our hearts, we need to bow down in humble contrition and seek the forgiveness that comes with confession and repentance. Then He will accept our worship as true. God has called us to live this life just like Jesus lived while He was on this earth. Before all else, we are to give all that we have to God and then live in a way that will please Him through obedience to His Word. We are to live our life in line with the Holy Spirit’s guidance for us. But when we live in the flesh, we live for self and the deeds of the flesh are at war with the Spirit.

In the teachings of Jesus, He has laid down a way to live for Him and to walk in righteousness. We find it here in the Scriptures before us. The Sermon on the Mount shares with us a life that is pleasing to Him. Life lived this way, with the characteristics of Christ and His attitudes of life, will bring God’s favor to your life. The first 12 verses are called the Beatitudes. These thoughts should be our attitudes of life.
Jesus often taught His disciples while others were around to hear. Jesus sees the crowds and recognizes an opportunity to have His disciples learn how to live their lives for the Lord. Among friends one doesn’t lord over them by standing but as was the custom of the rabbi, Jesus sat down and taught His disciples, while others listened in, He said:
Part of what the Lord Jesus is doing in the Sermon on the Mount is “describing the Christian character that flows from within.” (Warren Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, page 21)
Let’s take these verses one at a time. When the crowd heard Jesus say “Blessed” they were hearing something that described “divine joy and perfect happiness.” (W. Wiersbe)
“Blessed implies that kind of joy that is described as inner satisfaction and sufficiency that did not depend on outward circumstances for happiness. This is what the Lord offers those who trust Him!” (Warren Wiersbe) These attitudes that Jesus describes here, are those we need in our lives.
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
An attitude of being “poor in spirit” really means to be humble or to have the correct attitude of oneself. What is that attitude? In part, Romans 12:3 says, “...Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought…” This phrase “poor in spirit” doesn’t mean what the world thinks it means, but it is being honest with ourselves, recognize that we are who we are and that we are not someone else or what others think we are. We are hearing Jesus say, we are not self-sufficient but we should have the characteristic of deep humility of seeing ourselves as someone who is utterly bankrupt apart from God. It reminds us of our great sinfulness, lostness and hopelessness without Christ and His righteousness He freely gives. Our first attitude should be to see ourselves as empty of purpose and worth without Christ in our lives.
Once having come to that understanding then God says that we will be given the “Kingdom of Heaven.” What does that mean? Jesus is teaching right up front that the Kingdom of Heaven is, which He has preached before, (Matthew 3:2, “and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”). Jesus says for those who are willing to admit their sin and repent, God’s love and forgiveness brings you into that “kingdom” that God reigns and rules over, the lives whose hearts have humble themselves before God.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
When one mourns we grieved over a loss or a situation that has disturbed you. It could be death but it could be just a loss of something important to us. We are generally comforted by family and friends around us. Spiritually we need to see this from the “Master Teacher’s” mind and heart. If one mourns he will be comforted. Yes, that is true God will comfort those who mourn. He is there for His children, those who believe. When doing a funeral I remind the people who are there God never leaves you, He is alway there to touch your heart with His love. But, to those who do not know God through a personal relationship with Jesus as their Savior and Lord, then they are on their own. Here, Jesus refers to those who mourn over their sin! They truly are sorrowful for the sin which they have committed. There is truly “Godly sorrow.” Our attitude about sin should be that of God’s toward sin. He hates it and despises it. Therefore we should too. There is no covering of sin before God. We can’t make our sin less than what it is.
Jesus says they will be comforted. Real comfort comes from God. It might come in the form of Godly people but it ultimately comes from God. The touch of the Master’s hand can give us comfort like no one else can. Sometimes we do not see the comfort right away. Why is that? We need to inspect our life to see if we are willing to receive God’s comfort in our life. Sometimes we hold on to our sorrow and let no one comfort us, not even God. I talked with someone recently who was longing to be comforted but their heart would not receive it while others never really want it but they desire to stay miserable and seek something else. On the other hand, God will give complete comfort one day in heaven,
God’s plan for everyone is to find the ultimate comfort in
His presence in the New Heaven and New Earth.
Dear friends, this is as far as we will go today. We will take up next week where we left off this morning. I have an assignment for each of us here: Read the Sermon on the Mount three times this week, each time read all three chapters. It is only three chapters and you can do it. Do you have an Alexa? Have her read it to you.
Now listen to this last verse: Psalm 32:1,
My dear friends there are many who come to churches just like this one who come and who are lost from God. He has done all He can do to reach out and find you so He can save your lost soul. Today, He offers once again, come and be blessed as you respond to His invitation to have your sins forgiven and covered by the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son. No change in your attitude or character will make a difference to God if you are not saved. No matter what you do it won’t make any difference. We can’t get good enough for God to accept us or love us anymore than He does right now. The only thing that will make a difference is if you will humbly recognize that you are a sinner and like the first Beatitude says, recognize that you are poor in spirit without God’s forgiveness of your sin. Make that decision now!
For those who are Christians bow your heart and head to pray for those who are not believers. But, important for you today is that you are right with God and your sin is confessed and you desire to have the character and attitude of the Lord Jesus Christ in your life. Go to God with that prayer on your lips.