- Sermon Notes
The Attitude Adjuster
ILLUS – TED Talk about “Leadership”
1. 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 our standing in heaven, but it’s about living victoriously now in this broken and evil world.
2. 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, a hope that is sure and steadfast.
3. This victory is also seen in our character. We’re more than conquerors because God is our Abba, Father. His heart for us as our 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.
4. In Matthew 5, Jesus taught us about the transformation, the change, the maturing in the heart that comes through Him who loved us. If God is your Abba, Father, then these are the changes He presses into our lives.
1. After Jesus successfully defeated Satan’s temptations, as recorded in Matthew 4, we’re told that Jesus embarked on His public ministry. He left His childhood home of Nazareth and moved to the region of Galilee, making Capernaum His new hometown.
2. Matthew declared this move was a fulfillment of prophecy as Jesus, the Light of the world, shined upon those who were “sitting in darkness” (Isaiah 9:1-2).
3. This was also a strategic location because people from the north, south, east, and west would easily have access to Him as word spread about His ministry.
4. There Jesus also called His first disciples, fishermen by trade: Peter, Andrew, James, and John.
5. In Matthew 5:1-2, 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 because of the Word He spoke.
ILLUS - There is a vast difference between when I was a student at UW versus how I studied at Southern Evangelical Seminary, when
I completed my Master’s Degree.
6. 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.
7. But through Jesus, God was speaking to His people about what He wanted to see in their lives and that many blessings come through the transformation of their hearts.
I. Pursue True Happiness
- These are “Beatitudes” - Attitudes of the Heart. These are blessings that come from the heart that is transformed.
- 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
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 (3)
1. 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.”
ILLUS – My Way by Frank Sinatra
APPL – The problem with doing things “my way” is that it always leads to a dead end. And someday, when you stand before the Lord, you will wish you had lived life “His way!”
2. By using the word “poor”, Jesus was 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; we must wholly entrust ourselves to His mercy and grace.
ILLUS – The Christian hymn, The Solid Rock
3. Blessed are we when we have such a humble attitude before God.
4. 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.
APPL – 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
B. Blessed are those who Mourn (4)
1. 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 for each of us.
Isaiah 61:1-3, The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners;
to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
2. 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;
3. 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 (5)
1. 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. If not, it is just another useless, wild beast!
2. 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.
3. In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul gave a great definition of the person who loves the way God would have us love.
1 Corinthians 13:4-5, Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly, it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered…
4. 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 – Pastor Chuck Smith once told the story of when he was asked to confront a member of his church who had fallen into adultery.
Proverbs 25:15, Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone. (NIV)
5. 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 think that righteousness is something they produce through their own efforts; they think
of it like a New Year’s resolution, but we all know how long those lasts. 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 (6)
1. Hunger and thirst are very strong drives.
2. We live in a society of abundance, so many people do not understand the strength of these desires.
ILLUS – Recent study on “comfort food”
3. However, if you are truly hungry or truly thirsty, it becomes the drive of your heart.
4. 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.
5. 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; even a depression 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
6. The Lord desires to satisfy this desire of our hearts, but the enemy seeks to rob us of this joy…
John 10:10, The thief comes only to steal and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.
B. Blessed are the Merciful (7)
1. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
a. In other words, mercy comes back to you.
b. God will see to it that it does for this is His principle.
c. He blesses those who are merciful because they know that God has been merciful to them.
Luke 6:38, Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.
2. Some people are afraid to give mercy because they don’t want to be taken advantage of.
a. Do it by faith!
b. Otherwise, you will become a very bitter person and ultimately miss out on the blessing that God has for you!
C. Blessed are the Pure in Heart (8)
1. This is my favorite Beatitude because it gives us a future hope of seeing God!
2. Because of sin, no one can stand in God’s presence. Look at Isaiah’s response when received a vision of God’s glorious presence.
Isaiah 6:5, Then I said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for
my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.”
3. But now through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, born-again believers have a future hope to stand before God without condemnation and dwell with Him for all eternity!
4. That said, I believe it is also true that those who have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus see evidence of God’s grace each day! His favor, His love, His provision, His protection, and His presence are a constant source of comfort to those who believe.
Psalm 23:1, The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
5. When you see evidence of God’s grace, your heart is filled with His peace and you want other to experience His peace. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (9)
6. Even when persecution comes, and it will, we are blessed according to verses 10-12. We can have peace knowing that our reward will be great in heaven.
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…
Romans 12:18, If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.
ILLUS – The words on the tombstone of Ruth Bell Graham
Psalm 19:14, Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.
Matthew 5:1-12 NASB
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.