THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

PROGRAM AIR – 11-10-13

LESSON TITLE: “BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT.”

WELCOME

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US THIS MORNING FOR THE LIVING WORD PROGRAM. A WORK OF OUR LORD COMMITTED TO STUDYING HIS WILL AND TO DOING THINGS IN HIS WAY. AS ALWAYS, IT IS OUR HOPE AND PRAYER THAT EVERYTHING WE DO TOGETHER WILL BE EDIFYING TO EACH OF US, BUT ULTIMATELY IT IS OUR GOAL TO GLORIFY GOD, THE ALMIGHTY! LET ME ENCOURAGE EACH OF US TO DO OUR PART THIS MORNING IN MAKING THIS TIME TOGETHER PROFITABLE IN HIS SIGHT. NOW, LET'S TALK TO THE FATHER IN PRAYER!

PRAYER: OUR GOD AND FATHER IN HEAVEN, WE THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS DAY AND THE MANY BLESSINGS OF LIFE AND THE PRIVILEGE THAT WE HAVE TO BE CALLED YOUR CHILDREN AND TO SERVE YOU. FATHER, WE THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY THIS DAY WE HAVE TO STUDY YOUR WORD AND TO GROW TOGETHER IN THOSE THINGS THAT MAKE US BETTER PEOPLE. KNOWING THAT YOUR SON GAVE HIS LIFE SO THAT WE MIGHT HAVE THIS PRIVILEGE AND OPPORTUNITY AND THAT WE MIGHT LIVE NOT ONLY TODAY BUT ETERNALLY. FATHER, HELP US TO DO ALL WE CAN TO ALWAYS PLEASE YOU AND THAT WE MIGHT ACCOMPLISH THOSE THINGS ACCORDING TO YOUR PERFECT WILL. IN JESUS NAME WE PRAY, AMEN.

OUR FIRST HYMN OF THE MORNING IS FOCUSED ON THE WONDROUS BLESSINGS OF GOD GUIDANCE IN OUR DAILY LIVES. I HOPE YOU ALL WILL JOIN WITH THE CONGREGATION AND LIFT UP YOUR VOICE IN PRAISE TO GOD AS WE SING TOGETHER, "THE GLORYLAND WAY."

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

SOMETIMES WE FORGET JUST HOW BLESSED WE ARE TO BE ABLE TO HAVE OUR OWN COPIES OF GOD'S WORD. THE WHOLE BIBLE IS SUCH A WONDERFUL GIFT FROM GOD, WHICH PROVIDES US WITH ALL THE KNOWLEDGE THAT WE NEED FROM HIM. EVEN THE OLD TESTAMENT IS SO PROFITABLE FOR OUR LEARNING. IN FACT, IT WAS PAUL WHO SAID, íFOR WHATEVER THINGS WERE WRITTEN BEFORE WERE WRITTEN FOR OUR LEARNING, THAT WE THROUGH THE PATIENCE AND COMFORT OF THE SCRIPTURES MIGHT HAVE HOPE,ë ROMANS 15:4.

ONE GREAT AND ENCOURAGING PASSAGE WHICH IS FOUND IN THE OLD TESTAMENT IS PSALMS 16:11. THERE DAVID GAVE US SEVERAL THINGS TO THINK ABOUT, CONCERNING OUR WONDROUS GOD. IN THAT VERSE WE READ, "YOU WILL SHOW ME THE PATH OF LIFE; IN YOUR PRESENCE IS FULLNESS OF JOY; AT YOUR RIGHT HAND ARE PLEASURES FOREVERMORE." NOTICE THE MANY AREAS OF INSTRUCTION COVERED HERE IN THIS ONE SHORT VERSE.

FIRST, WE ARE REMINDED THAT GOD SHOWS US THE WAY TO LIVE IN HIS HOLY BOOK. HOW WONDERFUL IT IS TO HAVE A GUIDE THAT GIVES US THE ANSWERS, AS TO HOW WE SHOULD ACT AND WHAT WE SHOULD SAY. WHAT GREATER GUIDE COULD WE HAVE TODAY THAN THAT WHICH IS FROM THE CREATOR HIMSELF!

THE SECOND THING DAVID REMINDED US OF IS THAT GOD IS WITH US. HOW EXCITING IT IS TO KNOW THAT WE ARE NEVER ALONE AND THAT GOD WILL ALWAYS BE BY OUR SIDE. FURTHERMORE, NOTICE THAT THIS PRESENCE OF GOD BRINGS US JOY. WHAT GREATER JOY CAN WE EXPERIENCE, AS FOLLOWERS OF GOD, THAN TO KNOW THAT GOD IS ALWAYS THERE FOR US - HELPING US, CARING FOR US, PROVIDING FOR US AND PROTECTING US. THE FINAL THING MENTIONED BY DAVID IS CONCERNING OUR REWARD, IF WE ARE FOUND FAITHFUL. WE HAVE BEEN PROMISED THAT WE WILL LIVE WITH GOD FOREVER, BECAUSE OF THE HOPE WE HAVE THROUGH CHRIST JESUS. WHAT GREATER PROMISE COULD WE HAVE THAN ETERNAL LIFE. ESPECIALLY, WHEN THAT ETERNAL LIFE IS PROMISED IN AN ETERNAL PARADISE!

AS YOU SEE, TRULY THE THINGS OF OLD ARE VERY PROFITABLE TO THOSE WHO DESIRE TO PLEASE GOD TODAY. WE CAN LEARN SO MUCH FROM THE LIVES OF OTHERS WHO HAVE GONE ON BEFORE. SOMETIMES THE LESSONS ARE POSITIVE IN THE FACT THAT WE FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE OF THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN PLEASING TO GOD. HOWEVER, SOMETIMES THE EXAMPLES ARE NEGATIVE, IN THAT WE CAN LEARN NOT TO MAKE THE SAME MISTAKES THAT OTHERS HAVE MADE AS FOLLOWERS OF GOD IN THE PAST. MAY WE ALL LEARN TO STUDY GOD'S WORD MORE OFTEN, SO THAT WE CAN LEARN THE THINGS WHICH HE WOULD HAVE US TO DO.

TODAY WE WILL BEGIN A NEW SERIES OF STUDY TAKEN FROM PSALM 144, WHICH IS ENTITLED "HAPPY ARE THE PEOPLE WHO'S GOD IS THE LORD." OUR SPECIFIC MESSAGE OF THE DAY IS ENTITLED, "BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT." SO PLEASE STAY WITH US THIS MORNING, AND AFTER OUR NEXT SONG TOGETHER I WILL RETURN WITH THIS STUDY FROM GOD'S WORD. FOR NOW, WON'T YOU RETURN WITH THE CONGREGATION TO OUR SONGS OF PRAISE? LET'S ALL JOIN TOGETHER IN THE NEXT SONG OF THE DAY, IT'S NAME, "STEPPING IN THE LIGHT!"

LESSON

BY RAY SULLINS

WE ARE SO GLAD YOU ARE CONTINUING WITH US THIS MORNING AS WE NOW GO TO GOD'S WORD. TODAY WE BEGAN A NEW SERIES OF STUDIES THAT HOPEFULLY WILL ENCOURAGE US NOT ONLY TO LOVE GOD MORE BUT TO KNOW HIS WILL MORE AND TO LOVE IT IN THAT WE MIGHT DO THOSE THINGS THAT PLEASE HIM ALWAYS. TODAY, AS WE BEGAN OUR NEW SERIES OF STUDY, WE WOULD LIKE TO START IN PSALM 144. IT IS HERE THAT DAVID MAKES MENTION OF SOMETHING THAT I BELIEVE WILL BE BENEFICIAL AT LEAST AS A SPRINGBOARD TO MOVE US INTO A NEW TESTAMENT PASSAGE.

WE HAVE DISCUSSED NOW FOR SEVERAL WEEKS THOSE THINGS THAT REALLY BRING US HAPPINESS. IF YOU'LL LOOK WITH ME THERE IN PSALM 144 AND SPECIFICALLY VERSE 15, THE BIBLE SAYS, “HAPPY ARE THE PEOPLE WHO ARE IN SUCH A STATE. HAPPY ARE THE PEOPLE WHOSE GOD IS THE LORD.” THERE IS OUR FOCUS. HAPPINESS, TRUE HAPPINESS, WHERE IS IT FOUND? WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT? TRUE HAPPINESS, MY FRIEND, IS FOUND IN THE LORD ONLY. TRUE HAPPINESS IS FOUND AS BEING A CHILD OF GOD. THUS HE SAYS, HAPPY ARE THE PEOPLE OF GOD WHOM HAVE CHOSEN GOD AS THEIR LORD. AS WE THINK ABOUT THAT CONCEPT OF HAPPINESS, WE MIGHT IMMEDIATELY THINK OF A FAMILIAR PASSAGE IN THE BOOK OF MATTHEW. THAT PASSAGE WHERE WE OFTEN SPEAK OF THE THINGS THAT JESUS SAID IN THE FIRST AND PERHAPS GREATEST GOSPEL SERMON EVER PREACHED BY OUR SAVIOR, AT LEAST THAT WHICH WAS RECORDED FOR US. WE KNOW IN MATTHEW CHAPTER FIVE, SIX, AND SEVEN IT TALKS ABOUT SO MANY DIFFERENT THINGS THAT CHALLENGE THE FOLLOWER OF GOD, ESPECIALLY THOSE IN THAT DAY WHO WERE PRIMARILY JEWISH AND NOW UNDERSTANDING THEIR NEED TO FOLLOW THIS RISEN SAVIOR. HE WOULD BRING ABOUT A KINGDOM THAT HAD BEEN PROMISED FOR A LONG TIME AND THAT HE WOULD BE KING OF THAT KINGDOM AND LORD OF LORDS. KING OF KINGS. THERE IN THAT TEXT WE FIND WHAT IS REFERRED TO AS THE CHRISTIAN BEATITUDES. CHRISTIAN BEATITUDES ARE OFTEN THINGS THAT REALLY FOCUS ON WHAT I THINK BRING HAPPINESS. I THINK THAT BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT GOD SAID. I FIND IT AMAZING THAT OF ALL THE THINGS THAT GOD COULD HAVE BEGAN WITH IN THIS GREAT SERMON AND ALL THE THINGS HE COULD HAVE CHOSEN TO REVEAL, BRING FORTH, AND SPEAK ON THE FIRST THING THAT HE DEALS WITH IS OUR ABILITY AS HIS CHILDREN AND AS FOLLOWERS OF THE CREATOR IS HOW DO WE FIND HAPPINESS? THAT'S WHAT PEOPLE WERE COMING TO HIM FOR. IN FACT, YOU MIGHT REMEMBER WITH ME IN VERSE 23 WHERE IT SAYS JESUS CAME TEACHING AND PREACHING ABOUT THE GOOD NEWS OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD. WE TALK ABOUT THE GOOD NEWS ALL THE TIME. WE ARE RECIPIENTS, AS GOD'S CHILDREN, OF THE GOOD NEWS.

THAT NEWS NOT ONLY REVEALS GOD TO US BUT IT ALSO REVEALS HIS PLAN OF SALVATION THAT WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO FOLLOW AND HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE SAVED ETERNALLY. WHEN HE SPEAKS OF THAT GOOD NEWS, WHERE DOES HE START? WHEN THE MULTITUDES ARE ASSEMBLED AND SEATED AND WAITING VERY EXCITEDLY FOR EVERY WORD THAT WILL COME OUT OF HIS MOUTH. THEN IN VERSE 2 IT SAYS HE OPENS HIS MOUTH AND TEACHES THEM. WHAT IS IT THAT JESUS TEACHES? WHAT DOES HE START WITH? THE VERY FIRST WORD THAT HE SPEAKS IS MAKARIO. THAT WORD IN THE GREEK IS BLESSED. IT'S A WORD IN GREEK THAT IS AN ADJECTIVE AND IT IS USED VERY SPECIFICALLY TO CREATE IN THE MIND THE IDEA OF A JOY OR AN ELATED HAPPINESS. WHY? BECAUSE OF ONE'S AWARENESS OF THE BENEFITS OF GOD. IT SAYS EVEN HE WAS SEATED BEFORE HE STOOD UP AND BEGAN TO OPEN HIS MOUTH TO TEACH THEM. HE SAYS YOU ARE HAPPY. YOU HAVE RECEIVED SUCH BENEFITS AND BLESSINGS FROM GOD. HAPPY ARE YOU. THEN HE SPECIFICALLY BEGINS TO TEACH WHAT IT IS THAT MAKES ONE HAPPY. WHAT ARE SOME CHARACTERISTICS OR ATTRIBUTES THAT REALLY BRING JOY AND A SMILE TO OUR FACE? AS WE READ ABOUT THESE DIFFERENT THINGS, I FIND IT SIGNIFICANT AS WELL AS HE CONTINUING TO SAY BLESSED, BLESSED, BLESSED, BLESSED ALL THE WAY THROUGH VERSE 11, HE LOOKS AT THINGS THAT ALMOST DON'T MAKE SENSE. FOR INSTANCE, IN VERSE 3 HE SAYS BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN THE SPIRIT. WHAT? BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT? WE WOULD THINK IMMEDIATELY THAT HAPPY ARE THE RICH IN SPIRIT. HAPPY ARE THOSE WHO HAVE A LOT OF SPIRIT OR ARE FOCUSED A LOT ON GOD. OF ALL THE PLACES HE COULD HAVE STARTED HE DIDN'T SAY LOOK AT ALL THE FAITHFUL JEWS OR LOOK AT ALL THE FAITHFUL LEADERS OF THE JEWS OR LOOK AT ALL THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE DONE THIS. NO, HE SAYS BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT. WHEN YOU BEGIN TO BREAK DOWN THE SENTENCE IT IS A BEAUTIFUL CONCEPT BECAUSE THE WORD POOR IN THE GREEK TRANSLATION IT IS ANOTHER ADJECTIVE AND WHEN YOU LOOK IT UP IN A LEXICON OR A CONCORDANCE IT IS DEFINED AS A POORNESS AS BEING DESTITUTE. IT IS DESCRIBED AS A SPIRITUAL DESTITUTION. THE WORD ITSELF EVEN IMPLIES THE CONCEPT OF WHAT A BEGGAR WOULD BE. THEY ARE DESTITUTE OF WORLDLY GOODS. THEREFORE EVEN THE CONCEPT IS APPLIED THAT THEY ARE BENT OVER AND LACKING OF FOOD AND NUTRITION TO HAVE THE ENERGY TO GO ABOUT THEIR DAILY LIFE. BEGGARS ARE DESTITUTE AND HAVE A NEED FOR SOMETHING. THEY ARE PLEADING FOR SOMETHING. DO YOU BEGIN TO SEE HOW NEAT THAT IS IN THE TEXT....BLESSED ARE THE DESTITUTE. THE DESTITUTE IN WHAT? MANY GO ON TO READ HERE AND THEY SAY WELL, IN SPIRIT SO IF YOU TAKE IT FROM THAT PERSPECTIVE YOU WOULD SAY ONE WHO IS DESTITUTE IN SPIRIT. BUT WE WANT TO BE BOLD AND COURAGEOUS...NO, THE ONE WHO IS DESTITUTE IS BENT OVER IN SPIRIT AND YOU BEGIN TO SEE THE IDEA OF MAYBE A HUMILITY AND THE CONCEPT OF AN ABILITY TO BOW DOWN. THE ABILITY TO BEND OVER AND TO PROSTRATE, THE POOR IN SPIRIT. I'D LIKE TO SUBMIT SOMETHING ELSE TO YOU HERE TO THINK ABOUT. IN THE ORIGINAL LANGUAGE WHAT IT ACTUALLY SAYS HERE IS BLESSED ARE THE POOR AND THEN IT SAYS IN THE SPIRIT. THERE IS ACTUALLY AN ARTICLE BEFORE THE WORD SPIRIT, ALTHOUGH IN OUR TRANSLATION THE WORD HAS A SMALL S FOR THE CONCEPT OF THE SPIRIT, THIS WORD SPIRIT HERE IS THAT SAME CONCEPT AS THE HOLY SPIRIT....THAT BREATHE OR THAT WIND BEING THE VERY ESSENCE OF THE SPIRITUAL SIDE OF MAN OR THE SPIRITUAL SIDE OF WHAT WE EVEN KNOW TO BE GOD. BLESSED IS THE ONE WHO IS POOR IN THE SPIRIT. EITHER WAY YOU WANT TO LOOK AT IT, I THINK WHAT IS IMPLIED AND THE APPLICATION IS THE SAME. IT IS REALLY ALL ABOUT HUMILITY. IT'S REALLY UNDERSTANDING THAT HAPPINESS IS NOT ABOUT ME BEING A GREAT, BOLD, CONFIDENT, AND COURAGEOUS PERSON WHO THINKS THEY KNOW EVERYTHING AND THINKS THEY DON'T NEED ANYBODY INCLUDING GOD. THEY HAVE EVERYTHING IN WORDLY GOODS........BUT BLESSED ARE THE POOR AND THE DESTITUTE IN THE SPIRIT. BLESSED ARE THOSE THAT HAVE HUMBLENESS BEFORE GOD...THE FATHER, THE SON, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT HIMSELF.

WHAT DOES THAT REALLY MEAN? WHAT IT MEANS IS, DO YOU REALIZE WHO YOU ARE IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD? I MIGHT ACTUALLY ASK THE QUESTION, DO YOU REALIZE WHAT YOU ARE NOT IN THE PRESENCE OF A MIGHTY GOD? DO YOU REALIZE HOW INSIGNIFICANT WE REALLY ARE IN THE COMPARISON OF A CREATOR THAT WAS ABLE TO MAKE THE WORLD AND ALL OF MANKIND AND EVERYTHING IN THIS WORLD. WE ARE BUT ONE OF BILLION, WE ARE JUST A SPECK IN THE GREAT GRAND SCHEME OF THINGS BUT WHAT IS BEAUTIFUL ABOUT THAT? WHAT IS WONDERFUL ABOUT THAT? OH, WE SEEM BUT A SPECK BUT GOD LOVES US AND KNOWS US AND WE'RE MORE THAN JUST A SPECK, AS WE FEEL LIKE SOMETIMES. WE ARE MORE THAN JUST A NUMBER AT A BANK OR A NUMBER THAT SOMEONE GETS WHO APPLIES TO A COLLEGE OR GETS AT WORK, NUMBER SO-AND-SO OR CHECK NUMBER SO-AND-SO......... WE ARE LOVED BY GOD OUR CREATOR WHO HAS GIVEN US NOT ONLY THAT BREATH BUT THE ABILITY OF LIFE. HE LOVES US SO MUCH THAT HE KNOWS EVERY INTRICATE DETAIL DOWN TO THE HAIRS ON YOUR HEAD. WHAT A LOVING GOD BUT WHY DOES HE LOVE ME? WHO AM I THAT GOD WOULD LOVE ME? SOMETIMES THAT IS A HARD QUESTION TO ANSWER, BUT I CAN TELL YOU HE LOVES US BECAUSE HE IS OUR FATHER AND HE IS OUR CREATOR. THEREFORE HAPPY ARE THE POOR, THE BENT OVER OR PROSTRATE, THE DESTITUTE IN SPIRIT BECAUSE THEY REALIZE THAT BEFORE GOD THEY REALLY ARE WORTHLESS AND NOTHING. THEY SIN AND ARE SINFUL. THEY HAVE NO HOPE AND THEY ARE LOST. THEY WILL NEVER MAKE IT. THEY CANNOT OVERCOME AND THEY WILL NOT BE VICTORIOUS, BUT WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT.

THE NEXT THING THAT I WANT US TO THINK ABOUT A LITTLE BIT AS WE CONSIDER THIS VERSE IS HOW THE ASPECT OF HUMILITY REALLY ESSENTIALLY PLAYS A PART IN OUR EVERY ASPECT OF FOLLOWING THE WILL OF GOD. WHAT WE GENERALLY DO IS SAY WELL, WHAT DOES THE WORLD SAY BRINGS HAPPINESS? IMMEDIATELY WHAT WE THINK OF IS WEALTH OR POSITION OR POSSESSIONS. THOSE THINGS MIGHT BRING SOME TEMPORARY HAPPINESS. WE MIGHT BE EXCITED ABOUT GETTING A NEW CAR UNTIL WE HAVE TO MAKE THE FIRST PAYMENT. WE MIGHT GET A NEW HOUSE AND THAT IS EXCITING, BUT THEN WE START GETTING INTO ALL THE REALITIES OF TAXES AND EVERYTHING THAT GOES WITH THE HOME. THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS THAT ARE EXCITING AND BRING HAPPINESS LIKE DURING THE HOLIDAYS WHEN WE GIVE PRESENTS. WE ARE EXCITED BUT THEN WE GET THAT CREDIT CARD STATEMENT A MONTH LATER AND WE SAY, WHY DID WE SPEND THAT MUCH AGAIN? WELL, THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS THAT MIGHT BRING TEMPORARY JOY BUT WHERE DO WE REALLY FIND TRUE HAPPINESS? PERMANENT AND WORTHY HAPPINESS? THAT'S WHAT THIS SERMON IS REALLY ALL ABOUT AND THAT IS UNDERSTANDING THAT TRUE HAPPINESS IS FOUND IN GOD AND NOT LIKE WHAT THE RICH FOOL UNDERSTOOD IN LUKE CHAPTER 12:15-21. THERE HE SAYS I'M GONNA TEAR DOWN MY BARNS AND BUILD THEM BIGGER BECAUSE I WANT TO KEEP ALL OF THE WEALTH AND ALL OF THE GRAIN THAT I HAVE INSTEAD OF JUST SAYING I'VE GOT ALL THESE GIANT BARNS AND ALL OF THIS WEALTH SO MAYBE I'M JUST GONNA GIVE THIS EXCESS TO THOSE WHO HAVE SPECIAL NEEDS AND GREAT NEEDS IN THIS LIFE LIKE THE POOR, THE DESTITUTE, AND THE BENT OVER. BLESSED ARE THE BENT OVER, THE POOR IN SPIRIT, BECAUSE THEY ARE THE ONES WHO UNDERSTAND THEIR NEED FOR GOD. WHY DO YOU THINK IT'S SO HARD FOR A RICH MAN TO GET INTO HEAVEN? BECAUSE THOSE WHO HAVE NEEDS ARE THOSE WHO ARE SEARCHING FOR HELP. GUESS WHO HAS THE GREATEST OF HELP? OUR GOD ALMIGHTY. NO WONDER IN 1SAMUEL 16:7 WE LEARN THAT GOD DOESN'T SEE AS MAN SEES. HE DOESN'T LOOK AT THE OUTWARD APPEARANCE. HE SEES THE HEART OF MAN, THE SPIRIT OF MAN, THE WILLINGNESS TO BE HUMBLE AND TO BE SUBMISSIVE AS CERTAINLY THE CREATOR WOULD REQUIRE.

THERE IS ANOTHER THOUGHT I WANT YOU TO THINK ABOUT BECAUSE WE THINK ABOUT VERSES SUCH AS PHILIPPIANS 4:13 THAT SAYS WE CAN DO ANYTHING. IT DOESN'T SAY I CAN DO ANYTHING BECAUSE OF MYSELF OR IN AND OF MYSELF BUT IT SAYS I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME. NO WONDER PAUL IN ROMANS CHAPTER 12 WAS TRYING TO HELP THE CHURCH UNDERSTAND THAT CERTAINLY THEY NEEDED TO BE HUMBLE AND HUMILITY IS REALLY WHERE THAT SPARK BEGINS TO BE ABLE TO REALIZE OUR INSUFFICIENCY IN THIS LIFE AND OUR GREATER AND MORE SPECIFIC NEED FOR GOD. FOR INSTANCE IN VERSE 12 AFTER HE MENTIONS THAT WE ARE TO BE LIVING SACRIFICES, NOTICE WHAT HE SAYS IN VERSE THREE. “FOR I SAY TO THE GRACE GIVEN TO ME TO EVERYONE WHO WAS AMONG YOU NOT TO THINK OF THEMSELVES MORE HIGHLY THAN HE OUGHT TO THINK, BUT TO THINK SOBERLY AS GOD HAS DEALT TO EACH ONE A MEASURE OF FAITH. BE SOBER IN THE IMPRESSION OF OURSELVES.” GOD CERTAINLY WANTS US TO BE CONFIDENT AND WANTS US TO BE ABLE TO HAVE THAT STRENGTH AND BOLDNESS, BUT NOT AS HIS EXPENSE. IT'S ONLY BECAUSE OF HIM, HE IS ONE THAT HAS THAT ABILITY AND THE ONE THAT PROVIDES SUCH AN OPPORTUNITY THAT I CAN ACCOMPLISH THAT WHICH HE HAS ASKED OF ME.

NOW I WANT YOU TO GO OVER TO MATTHEW CHAPTER 18 WHERE JESUS IS SPEAKING TO HIS DISCIPLES AND I THINK THIS REALLY TIES THE LESSON TOGETHER WELL BECAUSE IT GOES ON TO SAY THE POOR IN SPIRIT WILL HAVE WHAT? THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. NOTICE WHAT HE SAYS HERE, JESUS CALLED A LITTLE CHILD TO HIM. THEY WERE ARGUING AND SAYING JESUS, WHO IS THE GREATEST? JESUS CALLED A LITTLE CHILD UNTO HIM AND HE SAYS THIS IN VERSE 30, “ASSUREDLY, I SAY YOU UNLESS YOU ARE CONVERTED AND BECOME AS A LITTLE CHILD THEN YOU WILL BY NO MEANS ENTER HEAVEN.” WHAT ARE THEY ARGUING ABOUT? I AM THE GREATEST, I AM THE GREATEST! HE CALLS A CHILD AND SAYS THIS KID DOESN'T CARE ABOUT BEING THE GREATEST OR BEING FIRST. YOU BE LIKE A CHILD. YOU BE HUMBLE AND HUMBLE YOURSELF, THEREFORE IN VERSE 4 HE SAYS WHOEVER HUMBLES HIMSELF LIKE A LITTLE CHILD IS THE GREATEST IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. YOU BEGIN TO APPLY THAT CONCEPT AND YOU SAY WELL, BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT FOR THEIRS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. YOU MEAN TO TELL ME THAT THE MORE BENT OVER, THE MORE PROSTRATE, THE MORE SUBMISSIVE I AM TO GOD, THE MORE I REALIZE HOW MUCH I NEED HIM, THE MORE I DRAW NEARER TO HIM, AND THE MORE I GO TO HIM TO ASK FOR HIS HELP THEN THE MORE HE WILL HELP ME? YES, THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT IT MEANS BECAUSE WHEN WE ACKNOWLEDGE WHO WE ARE WITHOUT GOD AND HOW HOPELESS WE ARE AND WE TURN TO HIM, CERTAINLY OUR GOD LOVES US AND HE WILL BLESS US WITH HIS KINGDOM. HE WILL BLESS US WITH NOT ONLY THE KINGDOM TODAY, THAT IS THE CHURCH AND THE GREAT PRIVILEGE WE HAVE TO BE PART OF IT, BUT ALSO THAT ETERNAL KINGDOM OF HEAVEN THAT AWAITS THERE WHERE JESUS HAS PREPARED A MANSION FOR US. DOESN'T THAT SOUND GREAT? HE HAS PREPARED A MANSION FOR THE BLESSED. HAPPY ARE THOSE THAT ARE POOR IN SPIRIT, FOR THEIRS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.

CLOSING COMMENTS

AGAIN, LET ME THANK YOU FOR PUTTING GOD FIRST AND CHOOSING TO GIVE THIS TIME TO HIM. IT IS ALWAYS A PLEASURE TO HAVE YOU WITH US. WE INVITE YOU TO JOIN US EVERY SUNDAY MORNING AT 7:30, AS WE COMMIT OURSELVES TO WORSHIPING GOD IN HIS WAY!

NOW, LET ME ASK YOU IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ABOUT TODAY'S LESSON? MAYBE, YOU WOULD LIKE A FREE TRANSCRIPT OR CASSETTE TAPE OF THIS PROGRAM? POSSIBLY, WE COULD ASSIST YOU WITH FREE BIBLE MATERIALS OR CORRESPONDENCE COURSES? NO MATTER WHAT YOUR NEED IS, PLEASE CONTACT US AT THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS:

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MAY WE ALL STRIVE TO HAVE THE HUMILITY NECESSARY TO HAVE A PROPER SPIRIT IN THE SIGHT OF GOD, THUS REALIZING OUR NEED FOR HIM IN EVERY FACET OF LIFE. WHAT A WONDROUS AND LOVED GOD WE ALL SERVE!