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

The Frivolous Pursuit of Happiness

I hear a lot things like, “I just want to be happy” or “when will it be my turn to be happy?”

Businesses and people market things by telling people to find something or someone to make you happy. 

This mentality leads to people making their entire lives revolve around being happy.

And you know what? That is selfish.

Sounds harsh, I know. But if your entire life is about making yourself happy than the above statement is true.

Not only is it selfish but it is an empty pursuit.

Happiness is incredibly fleeting. 

Think about when you got something that made you incredibly happy. Could be a toy as a kid, a gift as an adult, something you bought. 

How long did that happiness last? How long before the item just became another thing in your life?

How long before you needed something else to make you happy? 

Maybe it’s a fun event you went to or a vacation, at the time it made you happy but then it was over and you needed to do something else to make you happy.

Heck there’s been times where I have gone back to a town I visited that was a lot of fun and made me happy when I was there only to feel depressed because the town no longer gave me the same feeling. I was pursuing a fleeting emotion. 

This leads to people having relationships that are purely built on making themselves happy. Even marriages that are built on the foundation of happiness. What happens in that relationship or marriage when happiness leaves? 

It will collapse.

Which will make you unhappy.

Truly if your goal in life is happiness you will spend most of your life unhappy. 

So what should you pursue?

You should pursue the supplier of all things good.

God.

Pursue God and your life will be filled. Filled with purpose.

It will be a life that is about self sacrifice and serving God and His creation. A life that has true meaning. 

Yes there will be happiness along the way but in addition to that, true joy, peace and love.

A life where you truly enjoy the happy moments and our grateful. Not waiting for the next new person, place or thing. 

A life where you have all you need because you have God. Because in the end what good is it to gain the world and forfeit your soul?

Have a Blessed Week,

Chris 

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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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 

Remembering the Saint’s

This Sunday at Church we will be remembering the saints (believers) who passed away in the past year. I found this prayer I would like to share with you…

A Prayer for the Saints Who Are No Longer with Us

God, when I hear the word “saint” I often associate it with those who no longer walk this earth, who are dwelling in eternal rest. I can think of many people in my own life who had an impact with me, who I cannot wait to see them again. Lord, I dearly miss my friends and family who are not here on earth anymore. But I also rejoice that they will no longer experience pain or shed any tears of sadness. God, although I’m sad I am temporarily away from them, I want to thank you so much for bringing them into my life. They have shaped me to be more like you, and I will forever remember their example. Amen.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Source: https://www.christianity.com/wiki/holidays/beautiful-all-saints-day-prayers-to-honor-past-christians.html

True Meaning of the word saint: https://www.christianity.com/jesus/following-jesus/repentance-faith-and-salvation/what-does-saint-mean.html

Grace

The grace of God is truly amazing and honestly inconceivable. 

We try to understand it and we try to explain it but God’s grace is incredible.

God’s grace is of utmost importance. Because we are saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus.

God saves us with His grace.

Nothing can separate us from the love of God.

Doesn’t matter how far you have fallen, God’s grace is for you. Have faith and you will be saved. 

Repent and believe.

Repent and return.

Nothing can top the grace of God.

Have a Blessed Week,

Chris 

Further reading…

https://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/grace-bible-verses/

A Song…

Low Standards, Lower Grace

Last Week I wrote about God having “High Standards but Higher Grace”. How does this compare to a worldly view?

The world right now is promoting love, acceptance and tolerance.

But is this true?

Have you tried lately presenting your Christian beliefs to a worldly person?

How much love, acceptance and tolerance have you received?

I know they’re many Christians who are hard hearted and lack compassion and love as well but I am strictly speaking of what God’s standards are against the world’s.

The truth is the world’s standards are not as loving and accepting as they claim.

Speaking of standards, the world’s standards are so low. So much is considered okay. Lying, adultery, divorce, lust, violence, I could go on and on. As long as their is an excuse behind it like, “It was only a white lie” or “They deserved it”.

The world is telling you to enjoy all of life’s pleasures, just be yourself with sayings like “You do you!” and “Live your best life!”

Sounds great on the surface but in reality that way of life is empty and has no moral compass whatsoever. Another persons pleasure could cause another’s pain. You may say, “It’s fine as long as it’s not hurting anyone else”.

Is it? What if it’s hurting oneself? Do you really think it’s healthy to live a life for pleasure? You will always be unsatisfied looking for the next fix. A new house, car, phone. The dream vacation isn’t good enough when you find out your neighbor did the same vacation but got the luxury suite.

You will be left empty, jealous and wanting more.

Now let’s talk about grace, that is the main focus here.

The world has an extremely low version of grace.

Make one mistake and the world will attempt to destroy you, there is no forgiveness offer, no redemption allowed.

Don’t believe me?

Go and pull up a job application. The vast majority of them require you to inform the business if you have committed a crime in the past. Doesn’t matter if it was 30 years ago it will always be with you. If a similar crime happens in your area, the police will show up and question you first because you will always be that criminal for the rest of your life.

That is the world’s standards and that is just one example.

They will claim God is harsh, cruel and judgmental. But in reality what is God’s grace?

The Bible says God will cast our sins into the bottom of the sea, He will remove our transgressions as far as the east is from the west.

All you need is faith and repentance.

If you have faith you will stand before God not as a criminal, not as a liar, not as an adultery, not as a sinner but has a redeemed child of God.

That is true Grace, that is true love. That is something the world will never offer you.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Further Reading:
https://explorethebible.lifeway.com/blog/adults/10-things-god-does-with-our-sin-session-11-psalm-321-11/#:~:text=When%20God%20forgives%20our%20sins,depths%20of%20the%20sea%20(Mic.

High Standards, Higher Grace

At Men’s Prayer Breakfast on Saturday we planned on discussing Matthew 5-7 but in the end we didn’t even get through Chapter 5 because there is so much to unpack.

One point that was brought up was the difficulty of doing a lot of what Jesus is saying.

During the discussion it came to me, “high standards, higher grace”.

We do have high standards to follow as Christians but the Grace of God far exceeds are failures.

This does not give us a license to sin or ignore God’s commands.

No it should give you hope and more reason to follow God’s commands. Because while God’s standards are high it’s not just His grace that is higher but His love and His mercy.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Matthew Chapter 5:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%205&version=NIV

New Age and Word of Faith

Today is going to be a bit different. Instead of me writing on a subject I am going to be posting a video and resources to go with it. 

The topic I am posting about is vastly important, it is the rapidly growing “New Age” movement and its effects on Christianity. I am no expert on this subject and many of you reading this may not even have a clue about what I am talking about. So instead of me writing on this I am going to post a video featuring Pastor Mike Winger talking about some Bible Verses “New Age” people and “Word of Faith” Christians misuse to justify their beliefs.

If you’re from the “New Age” or “Word of Faith” I ask you to please watch this video. Also if you’re unfamiliar with this topic I suggest you watch as well as this is not something to take lightly. The New Age is everywhere and being promoted all over different forms of media. 

Without further ado here is the video. 

Now in addition to this, I am leaving several Ex New Agers YouTube channels for further information. 

Steven Bancarz: 

https://www.youtube.com/c/StevenBancarz

Doreen Virtue: 
https://www.youtube.com/c/DoreenVirtueForJesus

Melissa Dougherty: 
https://www.youtube.com/c/MelissaDougherty

Have a Blessed Week, 
Chris