Luke 6-7, Psalm 115
In Mark Schultz's song, "Broken and Beautiful", the opening lyrics are, "There's a businessman, There's a widowed wife, There's a smiling face with A shattered life, There's a teenage girl with a choice to make, It's crowded here in church today." This week I have had the opportunity to share the gospel with a mother of a young child with developmental issues, a woman who feels she has an uncaring husband and children who disregard her every word and she questions whether life is worth continuing, a woman with a prodigal child, a woman with financial issues, etc. This is just a sampling of what I and we all hear on a frequent basis. So, when people are brought to the brink of despair, where should they turn.
The Beatitudes are mentioned here in Luke 6 along with Matthew 5. The first Beatitude in Matthew 5:3 is, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven." This is really the anchor that is necessary. To be "poor in spirit" is the opposite of pride and recognizes our own poverty and unworthiness in relation to God. Notice the attitude of the centurion in Luke 7:6-7, "...Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof. Therefore, I did not even think myself worthy to come to You...". Notice the woman (who from the Greek language we know to be a prostitute) in Luke 7:37-38, "And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil." The Pharisee was appalled of both the behavior of the Prostitute and that Jesus would allow Himself to be touched by her. Jesus respond in Luke 7:47, "Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little."
So if you look back to Matthew 5:3-10, in the Beatitudes, this realization of our unworthiness should bring us to our knees and cause us to mourn for our sins, to render us meek (when we consider how pathetic our strength is in light of His), to hunger and thirst for righteousness (when we realize the shallowness of all other pursuits) and lead us to be merciful ( when we consider how much we are asking Him to forgive us for). We, ourselves, will all face many difficult situations and face the same with our loved ones and friends. The question is not if but when. No one will escape difficulties. Chuck Swindoll said, "The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life...The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we embrace for that day...I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it." So, for non believers life events can either lead to despair and bitterness or bring us to our knees and cause us to look vertically toward God for healing. For believers, we can use each and every situation as an opportunity to glorify God.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: