Monday, I listened to a sermon by Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. He preached this sermon in 1990. It was part of a series on the Sermon on the Mount.
Matthew 5:9-12 says: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Like Bonhoeffer, Keller explained the Beatitudes as a description of a true Christian’s life. He focused on the description peacemakers. Being a peacemaker is our purpose, our life direction. This does not mean taking everything on the chin and not making waves. This means not being at war with God. We stop being hostile toward Him.
Enmity with God can show up in our mind, our will, and our emotions.
We are born as sinners. Our human nature pits us against God. When life doesn’t go our way. When we are asked to do something we don’t want to do. If we continue to battle Him, then He is not fully Lord of our life. Our purpose in evangelism/discipleship is to help others see Jesus as Lord and stop fighting Him.
Where am I fighting Him? The Holy Spirit will help me flush that out.
Where are you fighting Him?
Matthew 12:30 ESV Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
Signs that we are not warring with God:
1. We are constantly amazed by Him.
2. We are persecuted at least some of the time. (In American society, we should not feel persecuted all of the time. Even Jesus was not persecuted all of the time.)
Ephesians 5:14 ESV for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
“Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
2 Timothy 3:12 ESV Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
I am starting over with my study/memorization of the Sermon on the Mount. My sweet hubby printed me some memory cards, care of Ann Voskamp (author of 1000 Gifts). My verses this week are Matthew 5:1-2.
Seeing the crowds, He went up on the mountain, and when He sat down, His disciples came to Him. And He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
I typed that from memory.