“When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: “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 receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you”” (Matthew 5: 1-12, NRSV).
Feeling Low – United Pursuit
Touch of Heaven – Hillsong Worship
“Now you have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and suffering the things that happened to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. What persecutions I endured! Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. Indeed, all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But wicked people and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving others and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:10-17, NRSV).
Not Yet – Chris Renzema
Awake my Soul – Mumford & Sons
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory, which is the Spirit of God, is resting on you” (1 Peter 4:12-14, NRSV).
Church, As we close our series on these blessings from Christ, I pray that we would be strengthened in our faith, have grown deeper in our understanding of God’s heart for us, and increased our desire to know the founder and the perfector of our faith. We know that the troubles, the hurdles, and the pains that we experience often feel like more than we can handle, and sometimes they simply are more than we can handle. But, God has promised us assistance in the present circumstances and rest as a reward when the Kingdom of heaven has come and we are restored in full relationship to our God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of the Lord, for they will enjoy they fullness of a perfect eternity in the presence of our infinite God.
Thank you for joining us today! If you haven’t listened to this week’s sermon yet, it is posted on our YouTube channel, our website, and now as a podcast on Spotify, iTunes, and a few other platforms too! If you prefer to listen to worship music in a playlist format, don’t forget that all of these songs are also available on our Spotify playlist so that you can worship as you go about your week. Our playlist is updated every week so that the songs for the most recent message will be right at the top of the queue. We also have a newsletter that talks about more ways to connect and worship with us as a community in Christ, so if you would like to connect with us in that way there is more information about how you can do that on our website. Thanks, and God bless!