What Does Being Blessed Mean?

Introduction to the Sermon on the Mount

“Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.

The Beatitudes

He said:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

On Sunday my Pastor preached about the scripture above. During his sermon he told a story about a former neighbor of his who made a lot of money and did not mind telling people about it. It wasn’t that this man is a bad person or someone that people disliked, he is a very nice and sociable person in fact when my Pastor asked him how he was doing he said, “Man I am so blessed!” 

My Pastor said after getting in his car he thought is that really what Jesus meant when He said someone is blessed? 

Obviously when you read the Beatitudes you realize it’s the on going flipping of the worldly narrative. 

We see the poor in spirit, the mourners, the meek, the ones who hunger for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers and the persecuted who are called blessed. 

Compare that to the world. The world’s version of being blessed is money, prosperity and happiness. Who Jesus called blessed would be considered cursed by the standards of the world. 

The world’s standards are so much different than God’s. 

I actually found a wonderful article that I think articulates the meaning of being “Blessed”. I would like to share that with you to close this weeks blog entry: 
https://openthebible.org/article/what-does-it-really-mean-to-be-blessed/

Have a (truly) Blessed Week, 
Chris 

Source: 
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5%3A1-12&version=NIV

Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2021

The past couple of years I have made posts on Dr. Martin Luther King on MLK Day, well this year I have decided to share my blog entry from 2021 as I really like the content in the entry and the online service my church did for that week.

In addition here is a link to last year’s entry as well: https://thegoodword2016.wordpress.com/2022/01/17/martin-luther-king-jr-day-2022/

I hope everyone has a blessed week,
Chris

The Good Word

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was an amazing man. Every time I have heard him speak in videos he gives me goosebumps. I have to admit I do not know enough about this man. But he was a true a hero and treasure to America and to the Kingdom of God.

Here are a few quotes from the great Dr. King I saw on an article (I will post the link to the full list of quotes below)…

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

“Always be sure that you struggle with Christian methods and Christian weapons. Never succumb to the temptation of becoming bitter. As you press on for justice, be sure to move with dignity and discipline, using only the weapon of love.”

“It may well be that we will have to repent in…

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Newness

Revelation 21:5 (The New King James Version) 
5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

We are now in a new year. And while everyone is talking about the “new year” it’s the same old, same old. People are making new resolutions and promises. 

Which will lead to new failures and broken promises. 

Often then people will just wait till next year to try all over again. 

But what if there was something different? 

What if I told you about a way to truly change and see the world the way it was intended? 

Through the eyes of Jesus Christ. 

This world is cursed by sin and the wages of sin is death. We are all flawed and fall short of the Glory of God. 

But does God look down on us? Does God hate us? 

No, God loves us. He made us in His image and sent His son Jesus to die in our place so we can be reconciled to Him and have eternal life. 

When you accept Christ, the Holy Spirit will indwell in you and you can truly change when you live by the Spirit of God. 

Not only will you be saved from Hell but you can also be transformed through sanctification. Go see and hear testimonies from people whose entire lives have been changed through Jesus Christ. 

Not only can your life be transformed by Jesus now but also there will be a day where He will make all things new. No more pain, no more suffering, no more sin. 

But you know what? That is not even the Good News of the Gospel. You see I am sure many people may read this and say, “I’m good. I am fine the way that I am, if I need change I can do it my way. I don’t need Jesus.”

But let me ask you this, does your way get you out of hell? 

Because Jesus said He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. That no man comes to the Father except through Him. When you stand before God who is a righteous judge will you attempt to show yourself and your good works as means to save yourself? 

A righteous judge can not let you go without justice. But if you accept Jesus’ sacrifice as payment for your sins you will not face hell. 

So I ask you to please… 

Remember God’s resolution. 

Remember God’s promise. 

Remember His Word. 

And Have a Blessed Week, 
Chris 

Source: 
https://biblia.com/bible/nkjv/revelation/21/5

More on This Verse: 
https://www.gotquestions.org/I-make-all-things-new.html

There Will Be a Day (Jeremy Camp): 

Christmas 2022

It’s Christmas week (already?!). As with tradition I will be posting the story of Jesus but this year with some extra stuff as well.

Luke 2:1-20 New International Version

The Birth of Jesus

“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.”

Linus Tells the Story of Christmas:

Read the Full Story of Christmas:

https://www.christianity.com/wiki/holidays/the-christmas-bible-story-nativity-of-jesus-in-scripture.html

Josh Groban “O Holy Night”

Have a Merry Christmas! See you in 2023!

In Defense of Christmas II: Video Series

Five years ago I wrote a blog entry called, “In Defense of Christmas”. Today I am going to share with you some apologetic videos about Christmas that put to bed the silly “Christmas is Pagan” arguments.

First Inspiring Philosophy

Next three videos from Mike Winger.

Debunking Christmas Myths:

Is Christmas PAGAN? In defense of Christmas:

Stop Twisting Jeremiah 10 Because It’s Not About Christmas Trees:

Last a Christmas Song. Phil Wickman “Angels We Have Heard On High”

He Lost

I once read about a famous rock star who died young. His music and performances were loaded with satanic imagery, it was really unfortunate. 

A person left a comment directed at the writer along the lines of, “Yeah well he’s famous and people still all these years later love his music and no one knows who you are”. 

At first I was angry at the reply but then after I thought about it I realized in both the Christian view and atheist view, the famous rock star tragically lost.

If the atheist is right, well the rock star died so young he isn’t around to enjoy his legacy, his wealth or his fame. He’s just gone.

If the Christian is right, the rock star is in hell for eternity suffering for his sins. 

It’s a modern example of Pascal’s Wager*.

Truly there is nothing in this world that is forever, it all withers away and dies.

What good is to gain the world but lose your soul?

Have a Blessed Week,

Chris

*Learn about Pascal’s Wager: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/question-answer/P40/pascals-wager

Advent and Praise

It’s Advent season which is my favorite time of the year. As I sit here prepared to write my blog of the week I have come to realize I have nothing to say. No topics come to mind at the moment, no stories or lessons to write about.

I just feel peace right now. Which is strange because November has been a really tough month. 

So instead of trying to come up with something I want to offer praise to God.

I want to praise God for the highs, praise Him for the lows.

Praise Him for good health and bad health.

Praise God for the tough things that don’t seem fair, right or just. Things that hurt, make us sad, angry.

Because often those things draw us closer to Him.

How great is our God.

Praise You for everything Lord.

Have a Blessed Week,

Chris 

Thanksgiving 2022

Hello Everyone.

Here in America Thanksgiving is this Thursday. I’d like to share a few things with you. First a story, then a prayer and a Hymn’s playlist I found.

This story is really about an analogy from a sermon my Pastor preached. Last year we were at a multi church Thanksgiving Eve service, during his time to preach he spoke on a division using an analogy about Thanksgiving dinner. I’d like to share that analogy to the best of my recollection as I think it is useful not just in the body of Christ but in the world as well.

The analogy basically goes like this…

“At Thanksgiving when we all gather at the table with many different side dishes, we all pass around the food. Now when the cranberry sauce comes to me I just pass them along to the next person without taking any. What I don’t do is announce, “cranberry sauce is gross. It totally ruins the flavors of the other food. It makes no sense for the plate. Anyone who puts that on their plate is foolish.”

The most important reason not to do this is that they would send me away from the table. I want to stay at the table with my family.”

What a valuable lesson. Let’s not divide on the secondary stuff, stay true to the chore values and love each in our disagreements over the little things.

Now for the rest of what I am a sharing.

A Prayer:
Thanks for Blessings Past and Present

Lord God, we gather around this table to humbly thank You for all that You have given us this past year – not just what is on this table, but who is sitting around this table. Thank you for life and laughter, for health and happiness, for relationships and memories. Thank you, too, for the lessons learned and the tears we’ve cried because of Your ability to grow us through them. Thank You for Your comfort and Your presence, in light of good days and bad. Thank You for what we have now, for what we had yesterday, and for what You will continue to give tomorrow. Let us never take that for granted, but to always be grateful for every good and perfect gift that comes from You. May we have hearts full of thanksgiving not only today but every day of our lives. We pray these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Your Son, Amen. – Cindy McMenamin

Source: https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/prayer/7-thanksgiving-prayers-encouraging-and-inspiring.html

Hymns for Thanksgiving: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLqk7PmhxKRBd_YoC5DWgrd9jkLkE9OhPk

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

-Chris

Christian YouTube Channels 2022

I have to admit this post will be a little lazy (especially since I did a post like this in 2020 and that one included write ups). But today I will be giving you a list of ten YouTube Channels (in no particular order) I frequently have used for Christian content in the last couple of years.

Here we go…

  1. Mike Winger: https://www.youtube.com/c/MikeWinger
  2. Logos Bible Software: https://www.youtube.com/c/logosbiblesoftware
  3. Ten Minute Bible Hour: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheTenMinuteBibleHour
  4. Dr. Jordan B Cooper (Lutheran Perspective): https://www.youtube.com/user/SemperReformanda1517
  5. AOC Network: https://www.youtube.com/c/AmbassadorsofChrist
  6. THE BEAT by Allen Parr: https://www.youtube.com/user/thebeatagp
  7. Dr. Michael Heiser: https://www.youtube.com/c/DrMichaelSHeiser
  8. The Remnant Radio: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheRemnantRadio
  9. Inspiring Philosophy: https://www.youtube.com/c/InspiringPhilosophy
  10. Bible Project: https://www.youtube.com/c/bibleproject

Bonus! Fun YouTube Channels Christians Would Like…
Chronicles of Narnia Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/IntotheWardrobe

Lord of the Rings Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/NerdoftheRings

Hope you all check them out,
Chris

Luke 18:9-14 Bible Study Guide

Hello Everyone,

This Wednesday Night at my church I will be leading a Bible Study on Luke 18:9-14. I wrote a study guide this morning so I would like to share that with you for this week’s entry. Hopefully the questions can help you think about the text in a more in-depth way.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Luke 18:9-14
New International Version
The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Questions

-When you read this parable what comes to your mind? What are your first thoughts?

-Let’s compare the two people in this parable. 

-For me there seems to be a common trend of Jesus speaking up against arrogant religious leaders. How can this be a cautionary tale to us as Christians especially in leadership?

-Do you think the pharisee was a bad person or perhaps just misguided?

-Is it possible to become so focused on God’s commandments that we forget God’s grace?

-This may be a tough one. What’s some tips and guides we can all use to stay humble while not sacrificing our integrity?

-Tell me some of your closing thoughts.

-Prayer