What are you looking for? What are you dreaming about? Are you looking for love in all the wrong places? Are you looking for happiness in all the wrong places? Are you looking for peace in all the places? Are you searching? Are you seeking? Are you desperate?
Do you know what is causing that void? Do you know what you are missing? Do you why there is that empty spot in your heart? Do you know what the source is for finding it?
God is good all the time! God is the source of every good and perfect gift! The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it! Give thanks to God for He is good! God is good and ready to forgive! God’s goodness lasts forever! God’s goodness is calling out to us and pulling us closer to Him! God’s goodness is what is turning us back to Him and causing us to ask for forgiveness!
Psalms 4, Matthew 4:23-25, Matthew 5:1-20, Genesis 9:18-29, Genesis 10, Genesis 11:1-9
To find what we seek, shouldn’t we go to the source? To find the truth, shouldn’t we go to the source? To get to the answers, shouldn’t we go to the source? Are you willing to go to the source?
You want joy and you want peace, so will you turn to the source of joy and peace? Are you willing to go to the: origin · birthplace · spring · fountainhead · fount · starting point ·ground zero · history · provenance · derivation · root · beginning · genesis · start · rise · author · originator · initiator · inventor.
How long will you people turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods? –Psalm 4:2
What do you think it is going to take to find what you are looking for? Do you think it is money? Do you think it is stuff – possessions? Do you think it is “success” as you define “success”? What is “success” to you? What does it look like? What does it take to achieve? What are your real priorities? Are you putting first things first? Does your definition of success align with your priorities and will it allow you to live your life putting first things first?
Do you know what it is going to take to actually find true joy and peace? A relationship with God!
Know that the LORD has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him. –Psalm 4:3
I was crying to the LORD with my voice, And He answered me from His holy mountain. –Psalm 3:4
Depart from me, all you who do iniquity, For the LORD has heard the voice of my weeping. –Psalm 6:8
The LORD has heard my supplication, The LORD receives my prayer.–Psalm 6:9
I have called upon You, for You will answer me, O God; Incline Your ear to me, hear my speech. –Psalm 17:6
O love the LORD, all you His godly ones! The LORD preserves the faithful And fully recompenses the proud doer. –Psalm 31:23
How blessed is the one whom You choose and bring near to You To dwell in Your courts. We will be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, Your holy temple. –Psalm 65:4
Preserve my soul, for I am a godly man; O You my God, save Your servant who trusts in You. –Psalm 86:2
That’s right to find it we need to start a relationship with God and live out that relationship with God. It doesn’t mean that life will be problem free as Jesus even tells us that, but He provides us with hope in and thru those times!
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” –John 16:33
In today’s reading from Psalms, we see how David confirms this but isn’t worried because he knows that God will hear him.
Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer. –from Psalm 4:1
the Lord hears when I call to him –from Psalm 4:3
So will you turn to the true source? Will you allow Him into your life? He will bring you joy and peace no matter the circumstances you find yourself in – it’s hope beyond your circumstances! So let’s come into His presence! Let’s allow our hearts to be filled with joy! Let’s allow peace to fill us in the midst of the storms as well as in the calm times!
6 Many, Lord, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?”
Let the light of your face shine on us.
7 Fill my heart with joy
when their grain and new wine abound.
8 In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, Lord,
make me dwell in safety.
–from Psalm 4
Do you hear what the world says it is going to take to make you happy? Do you hear how some say to be happy you need to be popular? Ever seen how many popular people are in rehab or having other issues in their lives? Do you hear some people say to be happy you need beauty? Ever seen how many handsome and pretty people are struggling in life? Do you hear some people say to be happy you need to have money? Ever seen how many rich people are struggling with alcohol, drugs, marriage, …? Do you hear some people say to be happy you need to lots of stuff? Ever seen how many people who seem to have everything anyone could ever want or need but still seem like they aren’t satisfied or complete? To find happiness goes beyond what you have and what you do!
It’s because they are trying to fill that hole in their hearts which can only be filled by God! Inviting Jesus into your life and allowing Him to move in! In today’s reading Jesus confronts these myths with the be attitudes.
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 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.
–from Matthew 5
We see how Jesus calls out:
- Be spiritually desperate for God
- The word for ‘poor’ means ‘begging… dependent on others for support’. Here, it means being brought low or weakened to the point of realising the need to depend on Jesus
- The poor in spirit are blessed because, through what Jesus has made possible, ‘theirs is the kingdom of heaven’
- Weep over your condition
- Mourn your own sin and the mess in the world around you. Weep with those who weep. It is not wrong to weep and to mourn the loss of those you love.
- God’s comfort goes way beyond any kind of ordinary comfort. As Joyce Meyer writes, ‘It’s almost worth having a problem in order to be able to experience [God’s comfort].
- Be content with who you are
- The Greek word for ‘meek’ means ‘gentle’, ‘considerate’, ‘unassuming’. It is showing kindness and love for others. It is the opposite of arrogance and self-seeking. It means ‘broken’, not in the sense of a broken glass that is shattered, but in the way that a horse is broken – tamed, strength under control. Through Jesus the meek are blessed – ‘they will inherit the earth’ (v.5b).
- Be hungry for God
- Pursue a relationship with God as your number one priority in life. Pursuing anything else for its own sake ultimately leaves you empty. But the blessing of a hunger for God and his righteousness is that you ‘will be filled’ (v.6b).
- Receive forgiveness and be merciful
- Don’t give people what they ‘deserve’; give them what they don’t deserve. As C.S. Lewis put it, ‘To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.’ The merciful are blessed because ‘they will be shown mercy’ (v.7b).
- Be completely sincere
- This is not just outward purity but integrity, openness, sincerity and authenticity. It is a purity that truly allows you to ‘see God’
- A pure heart starts with your thoughts because your thoughts become your words, your actions and your character.
- A key step to being pure in heart is allowing others to see us as we are – in all our brokenness and vulnerability. ‘You’re blessed when you get your inside world – your mind and heart – put right’ (v.8a, MSG).
- Strive to bring peace
- Don’t stir up conflict, but make peace. Jesus, the Son of God, came to make peace for you on the cross (Colossians 1:20). Blessed are the peacemakers ‘for they will be called children of God’ (Matthew 5:9b).
- Expect nothing in return except persecution
- Don’t expect anything from the world in return except criticism. But God is with the persecuted church: ‘theirs is the kingdom of heaven’ (v.10b).
Jesus came that we could be saved! Jesus came that we could have life and life to the full! Jesus didn’t come to abolish the law and the prophets, but to complete them!
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
–from Matthew 5
So let’s live lives that will please God! Let’s keep raising the bar that society seems to keep trying to lower so that even though we are pleasing God, we aren’t satisfied to just stay there! Let’s be salt and light so that this world around us realizes that there is another way and that we point them to the hope that is within us from Jesus!
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
–from Matthew 5
Do you remember back to a few days back when we started over in Genesis 1? Do you remember how God created things that were good and pleasing to Him? He is the source of everything! He is the creator! So let’s not get distracted by the created and miss out on the creator! God is the source of love and unity!
Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. –from 1 Peter 4:8
God is love! As such God is the source we need to turn to!
We are not perfect and so we need to cling onto Jesus as our source! We need to build our lives on His solid foundation! We need to align our lives to Him as our cornerstone! When we slip or stray, we need to turn back to God and ask for forgiveness and allow Him to help us get back on track! We need to walk in God’s love! We need to walk in unity with God! So let’s not walk away and run into the problem that the people in the time of the tower of Babel ran into but rather let’s come together in unity like the people who were together in the upper room at the time of Pentecost!
The Tower of Babel
11 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.
3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
8 So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.
–from Genesis 11
The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost
2 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”
–from Acts 2
So let’s join with the Holy Spirit and in unity across nations, languages, and churches glorify God and point people to His saving grace thru Jesus Christ our Lord!