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Matthew 5:1-12

Have an Attitude

  • Matthew Dodd
  • Weekend Messages
  • January 24, 2015

In Matthew 5, Jesus teaches us about the transformation, the change, the maturing in the heart that comes through Him who loved us. If God is your Abba, Father, these are the changes He presses into our lives. Jesus was speaking to His people about what He wanted to see in their lives. He told them of the many blessings that would come from the transformation of their heart.

  • Sermon Notes
  • Scripture

Have an Attitude

Matthew 5:1-12 

ILLUS – My little angel is now sporting a “Tude”!!!

In our study in Romans 8, Paul tells us that we are “more than conquerors through Him who loved us”. The victory we have isn’t referring only to the standing we have in heaven, but it’s about living victoriously now in this broken and evil world.

We become more than conquerors through Him who loved us. That’s the point, it’s our relationship to Christ that changes our perspective and we move from those who are defeated, broken and beaten down to those who have a strong faith as an anchor to our souls and a hope that is sure and steadfast.

This victory is also seen in our character. In other words, we’re more than conquerors because God is our Abba, Father. But His heart for us as a father is that we would “grow up”. Any good father would want to see his children transformed, maturing in character, and growing in their hearts.

In Matthew 5, Jesus teaches us about the transformation, the change, the maturing in the heart that comes through Him who loved us. If God is your Abba, Father, these are the changes He presses into our lives.

Jesus sat and talked with His disciples. What does it mean to be a disciple? To be a disciple of Jesus means that we are learning, growing, and changing by the Word He spoke.

Illus - There was a great difference between when I was a student at UW and when I was a student at DTS, studying the Bible. The difference was in the desire to learn. If you are teachable, Jesus will change your life!

What Jesus taught was life-changing. It was revolutionary. It was nothing like anything they had ever heard before. It confronted the religious attitude of the day. They were used to being taught religion by those who emphasized outward conformity to God's Law.

But through Jesus, God was speaking to His people about what He wanted to see in their lives and that many blessings come because of the transformation of their heart.

READ MATTHEW 5:1-12

I.   Pursue True Happiness

  • These are “Beatitudes” - attitudes of the heart. These are blessings that come from the transformation of the heart.
  • Some suggest blessed means to be, “happy”, but it means so much more than that. It means God’s favor is on you when you have these attitudes, and there is fullness joy in your heart because of it.
  • Many people are in the constant pursuit of happiness in their lives. In our Declaration of Independence it says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
  • The problem is that people are pursuing happiness in what they have, or what they do, or by what they experience; the pursuit of the American Dream.

Illus – The problem with the American Dream; as soon as you have it, it’s out of date. Well, except for clothes, they have a way of coming back after 30 years. A Word of Caution, though, 30 years from now, those skinny jeans might not fit so well!

  • But true happiness is not found in what you have; true happiness is found in who you become!!!
  • Here again, Jesus is our example. By becoming like Him, we’re truly blessed and there is the fullness of joy because of that transformation.

A.  Blessed are the poor in spirit

  • Do you know anyone who has had the heart attitude of raising their fist at God and saying, “I’ll do things my way; I don't need your help.” Can't you just hear God's response, “Good luck with that, let me know how that works out for you;” for luck is what they'll need, certainly the blessing of God is not on it.

Illus – My Way by Frank Sinatra, “I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway; and more, much more than this, I did it my way… And now the end is near, and so I face the final curtain, my friend I’ll say it clear… I did it my way.”

  • By using the word “poor”, Jesus is not referring to a lack of money, He was referring to the power of an attitude of the heart -- humility; understanding that we have no spiritual power without God; that we must wholly entrust ourselves to His mercy and grace.

Illus – The words of the hymn The Solid Rock, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name… On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.”

  • Blessed are we when we have such a humble attitude before God.
  • Humility is liberating; with humility you are free from having to “plan each charted course, each careful step along the byway.”

Proverbs 3:5-6, 8, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.… It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.

  • In contrast, an attitude of pride makes life difficult; you will always be under pressure to prove yourself.

Illus – To quote from the famous American philosopher Mac Davis, “Oh Lord it's hard to be humble when you're perfect in every way. I can't wait to look in the mirror because I get better looking each day.” (He was in his mid-30s when he sang that song… I wonder if he feels differently now that he is 75!) 

B.  Blessed are those who mourn

  • The attitude of mourning is similar to being poor in spirit. When we mourn over our broken condition, it causes us to turn to God and that's when we receive the healing and the blessing that God desires in each of us.

Isaiah 61:1-3, To grant to those who mourn in Zion… 

  • Paul said something similar to the church in Corinth.

2 Corinthians 7:10, For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.

2 Corinthians 1:3, Blessed be the God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort;

  • If you believe that God brings beauty out of ashes, then you’ll eagerly wait for that beauty and be watching. If you don’t believe, you’re left with ashes and are waiting for nothing.

C.  Blessed are the meek

  • Meekness is not weakness! It is strength and power under control. It shows gentleness and patience under provocation.

Illus – Meekness is like a powerful horse that is under full control. That is the horse that is effective and useful. 

  • This is the attitude that Jesus had and this is the attitude God wants us to have for the favor of God is upon those with this heart and there is a fullness of joy because of it.

Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to Me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

  • In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul gave a great definition of the person who loves the way God would have us love.

1 Corinthians 13:5, Love does not seek its own, is not easily provoked, and does not take into account a wrong suffered…

  • We live in an angry and aggressive world but this is not a blessed way to live.

Illus - Try driving when you're wound up and impatient and you will immediately recognize that God was right when he said, “Blessed are the meek…”

Illus - Chuck Smith once told the story of when he was asked to confront a member of his church who had fallen into adultery.

  • The world sees meekness and gentleness as a disadvantage; but the promise of God declares, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

II.  Pursue True Righteousness

  • When some people hear that phrase, it doesn’t sit very well. They have the thought that righteousness is something they produce themselves through their own efforts; they think of it like a New Year’s resolution, but we all know how long that lasts. Why? Because man’s efforts always fall short.

Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” 

A.  Hunger and thirst for righteousness

  • Hunger and thirst are very strong drives.
  • We live in a society of abundance so many people do not understand the strength of these desires.

Illus - There was a recent study on comfort food; does comfort food bring comfort? The answer is “No!” The study revealed that instead of feeling comfort they felt guilty because they were starting to have a muffin top.

  • However, if you are truly hungry or truly thirsty, it becomes the drive of your heart.
  • But when the soul becomes empty, that's when it becomes thirsty and many people do not recognize the power of such loneliness or despair or emptiness.
  • If we hunger and thirst for righteousness, Jesus said, we will be truly satisfied. In other words, the stuff of the world will leave you empty and unsatisfied and there is even a depression that can come from the world's stuff.

Psalm 42:1-2, As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God…

  • You see the Lord desires to satisfy this desire of our hearts but the enemy seeks to rob of us of this joy…

John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

B.  Blessed are the merciful

  • “Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy.” In other words, mercy comes back to you. God will see to it that it does, for this is His principle and His blessing that He gives to those who are merciful.

Luke 6:38, “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure - shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”

  • Some people are afraid to give mercy because they don't want to be taken advantage of; but do it by faith that God's Word is right. Otherwise, you will become a very bitter person.

App – If you allow your heart to become bitter, you will have lost out on the blessing that God desires for you.

C.  Blessed are the peacemakers

  • Jesus also said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” In other words, God doesn't want you to have a heart of contention, but rather a heart of peace.

Illus - Christianity Today ran a story about an elderly woman in a Cadillac who was having trouble finding a parking space at the mall. After circling for 10 minutes, she saw a minivan that was pulling out near the mall entrance. She put on her turn signal and waited patiently and you can guess what happened next...

Romans 12:18, If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.

Conclusion

Illus – Pastor Chuck Smith was asked what’s the sign of a healthy church… the people are falling more in love with Jesus…

GIVE ME JESUS 

Matthew 5:1-12    NASB

1 When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. 2 He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying,

3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 "Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 "Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 
11 "Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
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