top of page
Search

Red Letters: Blessed | Pastor Josiah Elias




God is doing amazing things, and we need to honor all that He is doing among our FC family. Pastor Josiah called Adam up to share what the LORD has been doing in Adam’s life. Adam  decided to return to church. He has Valley fever, which includes symptoms like infection, cough and tiredness.(mayoclinic.org) On the day before he was supposed to begin volunteering in IT, he had a severe coughing attack that lasted three minutes. He was coughing up blood. However, he decided to go to church anyway. After the service, he asked Pastor Erick Aguilar to pray for him. Four men prayed and laid hands on Adam. On the following Monday, he went to the ER and had chest x rays which miraculously showed no infection. God touched Adam’s body and life and continued to do so with lifting him out of depression and suicidal thoughts. The LORD is not finished with Adam or with any of us. God is the God of breakthroughs. We get to celebrate what He does.

 

Our mission is to culture like Christ, and our vision is Jesus. This season we are studying the Red Letters-the words that Jesus spoke. Last week Pastor Josiah shared about Jesus as the gate and Jesus as the healer of the man paralyzed for thirty eight years. Jesus asked the man,

Do you want to be healed?” John 5:6 (NIV) Jesus then challenged the man,”Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” John 5:8 (NIV) The man did!

 

This week in Luke 6, Jesus went to a synagogue and encountered a man with a withered hand.

Jesus knew what the Pharisees were thinking as they watched him closely. “He said to the man with the deformed hand,’Come and stand in front of everyone.’ So the man came forward.” Luke 6:8 (NLT)  Most of us if we have a challenge do not want to be the focus of attention. But Jesus called him forward, and the man obeyed. If you’re believing for a breakthrough, more than likely  it shows up in a way that demands faith and obedience. The LORD frequently is waiting for us to stand up in faith even a mustard seed of faith, for He is looking for opportunities to extract faith from us.

 

Continuing in Luke 6 with the Pharisees looking to trap Jesus,  Jesus said to the man,”’Hold out your hand.’ So the man held out his hand, and it was restored!” Luke 6:10 (NLT) The man held out his hand in faith and obedience. That man is an example for each of us. Even when the LORD asks us to do what seems to be impossible, we can do like the old hymn says,

”Trust and Obey.” God will equip you by grace to actually do anything He asks you to do. He is Jehovah Jireh, the LORD who provides.

 

The fact is is that Jesus taught through word and deed. The Pharisees were so attached to the Sabbath that they prohibited people from doing very much on that day. But Jesus came along and said that He was the Sabbath, and He healed on the Sabbath. When Jesus was washing His disciples’ feet, He was demonstrating how they should treat each other. He said, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” John 13:14 (NIV) These are examples of proclaiming the kingdom and demonstrating the kingdom, which is what we need to say and do.

 

Turning to Matthew 5, we learn of the Beatitudes. These are the “Blessed” verses, and blessed means happy. In verse 5:3  Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God.” (NASB) The Living Translation put it like this:”God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.”  The power of recognizing our need for Him in our lives is evident in this verse. When we acknowledge that need and incorporate Him and His teachings in our lives, we acknowledge we are not alone in life. Jesus asks us,

​​”Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, 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.” Matthew 11:28-29 (NIV)

 

I love that invitation.

 

In Matthew 5:4,our Lord stated, ”Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (NASB) The comfort the LORD gives those who are mourning is found in Isaiah 61:1

 

​​The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD

​​has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me

​​to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be

​​released and prisoners will be freed.” (NLT)

 

It cannot be said better than that. He sends the mourning ones comfort and proclaims freedom for the captives. Thank you, LORD!

 

In Matthew 5:5, Jesus said, “Blessed are the gentle (meek, humble), for they will inherit the earth.”(NASB) Meekness is not weakness but “controlled strength.” That gives the word meekness a different connotation when defined as controlled strength.

 

Jesus continued, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.” Matthew 5:6 (NASB)  When we seek after His righteousness, we are different from the world and our culture. We’ve got to have an appetite for all the right things. Incredibly Jesus has given us His righteousness. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV) We need to receive from Him what we could not obtain on our own. We cannot work for, buy, or scheme for His righteousness. Jesus paid the penalty for all of us, and all we have to do is accept it. Because of Jesus’ deeds, when the LORD sees you He sees Jesus’ righteousness, a matchless gift!

 

Next Jesus commented, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.” Matthew 5:7 (NASB) How can we be merciful? In the LORD’s prayer, Jesus taught “and forgive us our sins, as we forgive this who sin against us.” Mark 11:2 (NLT) It is not easy to forgive a trusted friend who has betrayed or hurt you, but God…. Maybe this situation is an opportunity where the LORD can give you that extra help to forgive, and that is where He extracts faith from you. Also if you forgive someone for whom you hold a grudge, our “Father in heaven can forgive” your sins. Mark 11:25 (NLT)

 

Another blessed is “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8 (NASB) What you say and do reflect the heart. The heart is connected to what your perspective is. We need to stop trying to control our eyes when it is our hearts that need changing. We need to stop trying to change our behavioral patterns without changing our hearts. Just as when you are weeding if you want to get rid of the weeds, you need to take them out at the root level not the surface level. Paul expressed it this way.”I pray that the eyes of the heart may be enlightened in order that you make know the hope to which he has called you.” Ephesians 1:8 (NIV)

 

An important “Blessed” is “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:8 (NASB) Peacekeepers are different than peacemakers. Peacekeepers try to keep peace (superficial peace) at any cost. Peacemakers may need to ”stir up the water”  in order to reach true peace. That may include bringing up an uncomfortable subject. However,  Children of God deal with problems like the Son of God. What does that sentence mean? We need to pray and seek His will in the situation before acting.

 

Finally,

 

​​Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of

​​righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

​​Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you,

​​and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.”

​​Matthew 5:10 (NASB)

 

John 15:18 reminds us that “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.

(NLT)

 

The Paramount Point is ”He wants us blessed according to His metric of blessing, not ours.”​ When we let Him bless us, then we can bless others so that we can be salt and light in this troubled world.

 

Calendar:

6/21-6:00 in the Activity Center LB potluck, worship, and a night of laughter and joy from Jeff Allen with hosts Mary and Richard Dinnen.

7/19-LB potluck, worship and hearing from a young couple in our FC family Chelsea and Michael Petschlag who have an amazing testimony

8/16-LB potluck and Meet to Swap

 

Submitted by

Larry and Annette Linthicum

5 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page