Dec 29, 2008

9 Things God Cares About and Rewards (From Jesus' Sermon on the Mount)

  1. Acknowledging your true fallen condition before God is rewarded with ownership in the kingdom of God:
    "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven". (Matthew 5:3 NASB)

  2. Being truly sorry for your condition is rewarded with true comfort:

    "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." (Matt. 5:4 NASB)

  3. Acknowledging where your true strength lies (in God), resulting in gentleness (or also translated meekness) is rewarded with the promise of a future inheritance:

    "Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth." (Matt. 5:5 NASB)

  4. Desperation for the righteousness of God (because of 1 and 2 above) is rewarded with righteousness being imputed to us through Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

    "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." (Matt. 5:6 NASB)

  5. Showing mercy to others is rewarded with mercy from God.

    "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy". (Matt. 5:6 NASB)

  6. Being pure in heart is rewarded by admittance into his presence.

    "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." (Matt. 5:7 NASB)

  7. Being a true peace maker (peace with God first, others second) is rewarded with being called sons of God.

    "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." (Matt. 5:8 NASB)

  8. Being mistreated or oppressed for standing up for righteousness is rewarded with the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven, as with the poor in spirit.

    "Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 5:10 NASB)

  9. Being insulted and mistreated and oppressed and being falsely accused because of your association with Jesus Christ is answered with a great reward in heaven.

    "Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.

    Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Matt. 5: 11-12 NASB)

Dec 28, 2008

First of all....

While I'm on staff at a local church, I'm not a Pastor, a theologian or even a teacher. I'm just a christian on the same pilgrimage as others who love their Lord and want to please Him. That is not to say that learning from those that have these gifts is unimportant. Having a pastor and/or teacher that accurately handles the Word of God is essential to Christian growth. But having great teachers is not a substitute for digging into the Living Word of God for one's self.

I often enjoy taking my bible with me to lunch. Its a time when work and responsibility fade for a brief time, and I can, even in a crowed restaurant enjoy reading the scriptures.

One of those days recently, I prayed asking God to open the scriptures to me in a way that would go beyond my just gathering more knowledge. I wanted to know God Himself better through His word. I wanted to know the things that He cares about-- the things I should also care about. He began to do just that at that very hour.

What follows is simply a journal of things that I am learning day by day.