TEXT: MATTHEW 5:11
1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall see God.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my name sake
Verse 3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. They are poor in spirit, because they became aware. 4, They mourn, because they are aware, but they are comforted! 5 They are meek and will inherit the earth, because they are aware. 6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. They hunger and thirst because they are aware of the need. And because they become aware, they move..to act upon what God has revealed to them. In that way, that God has a solution for them, and they are filled. 10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that are aware of their need. And they move based on that awareness! And they come to a point of decision, and make it. Their blessings God has are in store for us, when we follow the pattern that He has chosen for us. The blessings are because of; 1. investing, 2. abandoning, and 3. dedication. Let’s find ourselves in this system. The Lord wants us to find ourselves moving all the way through. He wants us to get all the way to dedication and service. To get there, we have to go through these steps. Investing: I don’t have everything I need, so I want to invest in this, and make it mine. I’ll refer you (not read it) to some passages that tell you the story to illustrate. Ruth 1: 8-17 We know the story; Ruth is Naomi’s daughter in law, and she has a sister in law (Orpha), and their husbands have died, as has Naomi’s husband also. Though we know the story, I’m going to connect it to my thoughts. Because of Naomi’s country, Bethlehem had been in a famine, she was residing in Moab with her daughter in laws. But now since their spouses had died, Naomi, now as a widow, and as was the custom, was returning to her home country. The daughter in laws were from Moab, so were instructed by Naomi, since Moab was their own country to go back to their families. Orpha, though she loved her mother in law, agreed to go back to her own people. Ruth also had a family there, but tells her mother in law, “No, where you go, I will go, your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.” Ruth had become aware, along the way, of a change in her. She had been moved emotionally to her mother in law’s people. She’s now making a decision to follow her mother in law to a place where she had never been.
People are still making decisions today, to a place where they have never been. When a sinner realizes that life is absurd, hopeless in a certain sense, that they just can’t answer the puzzle questions without the faithfulness of God to confront them with a choice. God asks them to move into a relationship with Him. God had made a way by becoming “human,” by dying, sacrificing, ..this is all part of the biblical “system.” Christ made a way now, for us to make a decision, to have it satisfy our soul. So the sinner becomes aware that God has a plan, that involves movement into a decision. And all of us, presently, have been confronted with this decision, sinner, or saint, for we find ourselves in this system, or not yet, ..at a point where we need to be. So Ruth makes a decision, a election, to go with her mother in law, which here to us, symbolizes salvation. She said, “Where you go, I will go, and your God will be my God. So now she has some further decisions to make, to actually invest. It’s not enough to just say or believe, I accept God, therefore I’m a Christian. That’s not enough! There’s more to this system! God has provided so much more. God tells us He needs us to invest, to do more. You give your “savings” to something that can profit, to grow it, to make more profit. You expect a return when you invest. Hiding it, (like money under a mattress) is not called an investment. Maybe that is saving it….but it’s not investing! Instead of saving, and hiding it, investing is giving up control. Waiting for it to give a greater return than what I invested. The Lord is asking the same thing from us! When we make a decision to serve God (“well I don’t want to be a sinner anymore”), I want to be a child of God, and a member of His kingdom. That will involve more if we are going to stay in His kingdom.
The Lord also gave us a parable of 3 different servants He entrusted with some of His assets. Another words, the Lord invested certain of His talents in these 3 individuals. He told them He was going to be gone for a while, but said He wanted them to make His investments grow. To one, He gave ten, to another He gave five, and to another He gave one. He told them when He came back, He wanted to see “a return” on it. On the one that He gave 10, and the one He gave 5, they had invested to make it yield a growth. But the third was afraid and buried it He didn’t use it to the Glory of God. That person lost out. The lesson is “God wants a return on His investments!” But it’s not just want God wants…if we don’t invest in it, eventually we lose it. The enemy knows, whether or not we are all in this! He knows whether or not we are actually willing to “spend” of ourselves. To give up of ourselves to the benefit of a greater return. It’s not enough, to come to church on Sunday morning, to read your bible, sing a song meaningfully, to pray, to faithfully give up somethings that would take you back to the road that you came from, of that destructive way. It’s not enough! That’s what you’re supposed to do. That would only be saving without interest. That is of no return. If that becomes the way we look at this, it will not be enough to say “I’m a member of something.” Ultimately “this system” is designed to get us further up, and further in. And that involves dedication. We haven’t gotten there yet. In order to have dedication, you give up something, or assets to someone else, that it might grow. You don’t expect the same thing back in investments. If you gave for instance, a hundred dollars to a bank to invest, and after a year, got no return on it, you would wish you had given it perhaps to another bank. Otherwise what’s the point? This is what happened to the person with one talent and hid it, although considering himself “faithful,” because he hadn’t actually lost it. God said I’m not interested in whether you lost it, I want to know, “what have you done with it?” Have you invested it? Have you taken your life and invested it for God?
Jigsaw Puzzle, Part 2, Investments