Be- Attitudes – Poor in Spirit

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

poor-in-spirit

This is the first truth Jesus spoke to the crowd of people seeking hope.  Christ’s words seem confusing and conflicting in today’s world. Blessed are the poor?? Does that sound right?  Let us look at the definitions of the words used then we will put them together to understand the truth Jesus shared.

Blessed is another word for “happiness”or “fortunate”.

We see someone who seems to be above all the pressures of life and is at peace we would say that person is “blessed”. Arn’t we all looking to be that person in this life.  To find the answer to worry, fear and insecurity?  To be blessed is seemingly a quality of existence and outlook on life that finds joy and satisfaction in any situation.

Poor – the Greek word  ptōchos (po-huas) – beggary, asking of alms, palper, poor.

 The image is of a beggar who has nothing and his only means of survival is at the mercy of others. Image these two words together in one sentence. Talk about an oxymoron!  It belongs with other combinations like  “jumbo shrimp”, “good grief”, or “the silence was deafening”. These two words do not seem to make since on the surface but there is a truth involved here that is profound and a sign of God at work.

Since Adam’s sin darkness has ruled the hearts of men. It has ruled the spirit of a man.  the spirit part of you is the reasoning, thinking, and feeling part of you.  It is the part that justifies your actions and determines your self worth.  Sin always builds it’s self up.  We become self righteous and proud of our achievements and abilities. However in this pool of self righteousness sin sets up addictions, anger, jealousy and other dark thoughts and emotions which lead to sinful actions.

When Jesus spoke – His Spirit (the Holy Spirit) spread through that whole crowd and the hearts of men were awakened.

 

A sudden awareness of the presence of Holiness laid bare the lack of holiness in man’s heart.  Just like in Luke 5:1-10 Jesus spoke to a crowd using Simon’s boat.  After the message Jesus asked him to go back out into the lake and fish.  Simon said “we have fished all night and caught nothing” (which is an illustration of an empty life without Christ), “but at your command we will go”. They went out and suddenly an abundance of fish were caught. Notice the effect this realization of Holiness had on Simon in Luke 5:8 “When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”  Jesus said your life is about to change course for the better.

When Jesus began to speak the very first sign of awakening to the new life in Christ is an awareness of our own need.

poor-in-spirit

An awareness of our own emptiness of righteous.  It is that poor in spirit that brings us to the cross in need of Christ’s forgiveness and cleansing.

It is good to be poor spirit.  It is blessed to be poor in spirit.  It is wonderful to know Christ is a river of Holiness that will poor into our empty hearts the life and light of God and truth. Come to a place in His presence where you say “I am a sinful man and do not desire your mercy” and watch Christ reach out to you and put His light-n-side.

 

 

God’s Presence – Moses

If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here

 

Exodus 33:12-18

 

12 Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ 13 If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”

14 The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”

17 And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”

18 Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”

 

What is God’s Presence?

The presence of the Lord is different from salvation.  It is different from truth.  The Presence of the Lord  we are talking about is a relational connection with God that is developed through prayer, time seeking, faith and hunger to know Him more.  The Presence of the Lord is the Lord God Almighty actively present in your spirit.  God’s presence makes you different from the rest of the world.

How Does God’s Presence help us?

God’s presence in your life is a real connection with God  as you move though life, work, family, and any other situation you find yourself in.  Salvation is necessary.  Education through God’s word is also needed.  But without the presence of God, salvation and Biblical truth become something of the past and more mental reminders of God’s teaching. However when you have an active God residing with you, He takes His truth and gives new revelation and meaning.  Salvation comes daily as God leads you in your day.

 

Moses new even though God saved Israel out of bondage and was instructing them on how they should live,  he needed the Holy, Almighty, Glorious, Presence of God to make salvation and truth alive in a daily walk.

Do you want to be better off then the world?  You need God’s Presence

If your presence does not go with us…I will stay.  It’s God’s presence that separates us from the troubles of the world. God’s presence is a guiding lightnside.

Take extra time today, tomorrow and from now on to seek God.  To talk with God,  to know Him.   Be still and KNOW…

Psalms 104 God is wrapped in light…

Read this Psalm slowly

The amazing, wonderful creator.

  1. Praise the Lord, my soul.

Lord my God, you are very great;
    you are clothed with splendor and majesty.

The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment;
    he stretches out the heavens like a tent
    and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
He makes the clouds his chariot
    and rides on the wings of the wind.
He makes winds his messengers,
    flames of fire his servants.

He set the earth on its foundations;
    it can never be moved.
You covered it with the watery depths as with a garment;
    the waters stood above the mountains.
But at your rebuke the waters fled,
    at the sound of your thunder they took to flight;
they flowed over the mountains,
    they went down into the valleys,
    to the place you assigned for them.
You set a boundary they cannot cross;
    never again will they cover the earth.

10 He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
    it flows between the mountains.
11 They give water to all the beasts of the field;
    the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 The birds of the sky nest by the waters;
    they sing among the branches.
13 He waters the mountains from his upper chambers;
    the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work.
14 He makes grass grow for the cattle,
    and plants for people to cultivate—
    bringing forth food from the earth:
15 wine that gladdens human hearts,
    oil to make their faces shine,
    and bread that sustains their hearts.
16 The trees of the Lord are well watered,
    the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17 There the birds make their nests;
    the stork has its home in the junipers.
18 The high mountains belong to the wild goats;
    the crags are a refuge for the hyrax.

19 He made the moon to mark the seasons,
    and the sun knows when to go down.
20 You bring darkness, it becomes night,
    and all the beasts of the forest prowl.
21 The lions roar for their prey
    and seek their food from God.
22 The sun rises, and they steal away;
    they return and lie down in their dens.
23 Then people go out to their work,
    to their labor until evening.

24 How many are your works, Lord!
    In wisdom you made them all;
    the earth is full of your creatures.
25 There is the sea, vast and spacious,
    teeming with creatures beyond number—
    living things both large and small.
26 There the ships go to and fro,
    and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.

27 All creatures look to you
    to give them their food at the proper time.
28 When you give it to them,
    they gather it up;
when you open your hand,
    they are satisfied with good things.
29 When you hide your face,
    they are terrified;
when you take away their breath,
    they die and return to the dust.
30 When you send your Spirit,
    they are created,
    and you renew the face of the ground.

31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
    may the Lord rejoice in his works—
32 he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
    who touches the mountains, and they smoke.

33 I will sing to the Lord all my life;
    I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
    as I rejoice in the Lord.
35 But may sinners vanish from the earth
    and the wicked be no more.

Praise the Lord, my soul.

Praise the Lord.

wow.  This chapter puts a lightnside me!

 

 

 

Jonah – Storms & Whales

The word of the Lord came to Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach a revival, but Jonah ran from God and got on a boat…

These two facts set the stage of today’s truths.

Jonah 1:4 NIV  Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up.

Jonah 1:12 NIV “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.”

Jonah 1:15-17 NIV  [15] Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. [16] At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him. [17] Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

God sent a great storm.

Is not God’s greatest attribute His love?  If you ask most people to finish the sentence “God is ____”, most will say love or good.  But in scripture,  God’s greatest attribute is not love or goodness, but rather it’s God’s HOLINESS.  God is first and completely holy.  He cannot tolerate sin or rebellion.  God reacts to these actions.

 

Romans 1:18 says “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness.”

 

God’s reaction to sin today is to allow the storms caused by rebellion to come into our lives.  God can do all things but He stands back and allows judgment and destruction to rain down on rebellion and sin.   This is a part of God that is rarely preached.  The Bible says one day we will all stand before a HOLY GOD and give an account for our lives and spend eternity in heaven or hell.

 

Does this mess up your image of God?

Good.  It is a good thing to have a fear of God and His Holiness.  Our world would be more peaceful with a fear of God.

Psalm 2:11 NIV  Serve the Lord with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling.

Psalm 33:8 NIV  Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere him.

Luke 12:4-5 NIV  “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. [5] But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.

God sent a rescue Whale

 

God is also love.  He is both Wrathful and Loving. God is great enough to fully contain both emotions.  Wrath against sin but love for the people He created.  God sent a whale to pick up Jonah from the bottom of the sea.  The whale was a type of Christ on the cross.  The whale offered to Jonah an opportunity to repent and be saved.   If Jonah had not repented,  he would have died in God’s wrath.  But Jonah repented to God.  God told to fish to spit Jonah on dry ground.

 

Jonah 2:2,9-10 NIV  [2]He said “In my distress, I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry. [9] But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’ ” [10] And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

Are you in a storm?

Are you in a storm because of rebellion to God’s word?  Are you living in sin?  You are probably experiencing a storm of some kind.  God stands back and allows it to happen or He may even cause the storm.  His Holiness requires a reaction to sin and rebellion.

Christ is our rescue.

But God also sent a savior.  Jesus Christ, who died for your sins and can offer a cleansing for your heart.

John 3:16 “ For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”

Christ’s sacrifice for your sins allows God to place HIS righteousness over you and the wrath stops.  All you need to do is, as Jonah did, repent to God.  Accept the prepared rescue God sent through His son Jesus Christ.

Your life in Christ will be blessed with His promises.  Get in a good bible preaching church that believes in fearing God and following Christ.  If you are in a storm,  ask Jesus to come into your heart.  Acknowledge your sin and rebellion.  Tell God you need a savior and your life will have a lightnside.

The Word of the Lord came to Jonah…and to you.

Jonah 1:1 NIV
The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai.

Notice, the Bible does not say ‘The Word of the Lord was SPOKEN to Jonah’ but rather the Word came to Jonah. It is an amazing fact to ponder. The Almighty God, the creator of all things, takes time to intentionally sends His word to you and me.

Have you heard a word from the Lord? I bet you have.

God does not speak in a physical voice. It is that thought that comes alive during a sermon or song. It is the personal revelation that jumps out to you from a verse you are reading. The word of the Lord is coming to you to help you in your walk or through a difficult time.

Even those who do not know God hear from Him through their conscious. In Romans 2:12-16 God says His laws are written on our hearts so even our conscious speaks His word to us.

God’s word to you today may be to have faith in His promises. His words may direct you to an act of service or to minister to someone with encouragement and hope. God’s word also warns and slices deep into our heart and soul healing us and pointing to Christ. God’s word may be to forgive someone. To be kind to those who are difficult to be around. God’s word may challenge your own desires. You may be directed to repent and ask Christ to forgive you and to cleanse your heart.

Is that thought from me or God?

Sometimes you may wonder if that thought is from God or your own thoughts. If the thought lingers in your heart and draws you to think about God and His word or challenges you to act according to Biblical principles…it’s God’s word coming to you.

Take time to listen today to your heart.

The Lord is sending out His words each day to call you to a relationship with Him. Take heed and no matter what your day or week looks like, THe Word of God brings life, light, hope, direction, conviction, strength. Listening to God’s word will place a Light-n-side you.

Unusual things to be Thankful for

 

Most people find themselves giving thanks for the blessings, and happiness of family and friends.  However, there are some very important but not so easy things to be thankful for.

First, we use Jesus’s example Luke 22: 17-20 – Jesus gave thanks for the suffering He will do on the cross.  Heb 12:2 – Jesus counted the cross as a joy even though He had to endure the pain, suffering, and humiliation.

Consider these things unpopular things to thankful for.

Afflictions

Psalm 119:71 NIV  It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. Many truths of God cannot be learned by reading or hearing but by experience.  Faith, patience, trust do not develop in the easy fun time of life but the difficult and painful times.  

 

In the tough times, God is at work IN YOU. 

It is the tough times that produce qualities

that cannot be gained in easy times.

James 1:2-4 Consider it (not actual feelings but you accept it as) pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Tribulations

John 16:33  “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.” Persecution for your faith is not easy, but with God’s presence, you will find His peace.

Stress

  Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Learning to have faith in God’s power and trusting Him in all situations. 

Confusion 

Romans 8:28   And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

 

When you don’t have an answer.  Wait and trust in the Lord.

In my life I did not know what to do in a situation for four months…then God began to put the answers together.  Trust Him.

My newest favorite verse!

  John 13:7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Psalms 103 – Benefits

Praise the Lord , my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.  Praise the Lord , my soul, and

forget not all his benefits

who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,  who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,  who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.

Psalm 103:1‭-‬5 NIV

We all are looking for benefits.

Benefits of eating right.  Benefits of a good marriage.  Benefits of health, freedom, learning, and loving.  However the benefits listed in the first few verses in this chapter are blessings we cannot achieve on our own.

 

The benefits of believing and following God.

 

  1. Forgives all your sins – and the effects of those sins on our life.
  2. Heals all our diseases – God is the healer.  Even in the hospital – God heals.
  3. Redeems your life from the pit.  From lost and hopeless to firm ground.
  4. Crowns your life with love and compassion.  God makes us smile inside.
  5. Satisfies our desires with good things.
  6. A youthful spirit renewed like the soaring of an eagle…at any age.

 

No wonder David starts and ends this psalm with “Praise the Lord, Oh my soul“.

 

Enjoy God’s benefits and let your lightnside rejoice.

Romans 4:9-12 A sign and a seal

Romans 4:11   And he received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised.

sign - Im a christian

 

Righteousness comes only through faith.  Faith in a God who sent His Son to die on a cross for our sins.  In the Old Testament the faith was centered on God and His promises.  God would instruct the nation of Israel to put in place specific sacrifices and feasts representing God and the future work of Christ.

It started with Abraham

The first connection between God that would be become the nation of Israel was through Abraham.  God blessed Abraham for his beliefs in the promises God gave him (Genesis 15:4-6).  That process of faith began a work in Abraham that works in all believers.  An active righteousness that helps us become more like God and less like fallen man.  We will always be wrestling again our human nature but as righteousness increases the power of selfish man decreases.  God blessed Abraham to be the father of many nations.  But God was also beginning to build a specific nation and bloodline through which Christ would come.  So God placed a requirement on Abraham to be a sign and a seal of God’s righteousness for this family line.

Circumcision became an outward sign of a previous faith.

 

Circumcision became that sign and seal that you are a believer in God.  It became an outward sign of a previous inward faith.  Those that became circumcised were voluntarily carrying a sign of their faith in God.  It was not enough to just believe and no change.  Righteousness requires a outward observance.  Righteousness requires an outward representation of our choice to believe in God. In Abraham it was circumcision and that would be the sign for the upcoming Jewish nation.

What is the sign of our faith in Christ today?

It is your testimony. It is your outward Christian life.  Your becoming a light in a dark world is your sign.  You becoming transformed into a new life and turning from your old habits is a sign of the old man being cut off (circumcision).  The ministry of Adult and Teen Challenge alike many others are a sign and a seal of what faith in Christ can do.  It is their outward sign of an inward circumcision of the old life.

Water Baptism is also a sign and a seal of this transformation through faith.  Baptism just like circumcision is not what saves or transforms you.  They are signs and seals of God’s righteousness working in you because of your faith.

Your daily devotions and life. Becoming more and more like Christ in your walk, marriage, job, conversation, thoughts, desires are all great signs to all the world of your faith in Christ and your lightnside.

Romans 4:6-8 Blessed Assurance

Romans 4:6-8 NIV  “David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: [7] “Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. [8] Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.”

blessed assurance

Blessed is the man…

 

What does the word blessed mean? I am a little surprised as I look at the definitions from the internet. It describes blessed as being righteous, holy, consecrated. This definition makes the word blessed as more of a adjective. I had always thought of the word blessed as more of an active verb. A description of the quality of life or of a goodness following me. In Psalms 23 the first words are blessed and the final statement is about God’s goodness and love following me in my life which is right? Is there more to learn of the meaning of being blessed?

“esher”  “makarios”

The Hebrew word for blessed is “esher”. It means “happy”. The greek word for blessed is “makarios”. It also means “happy”. So blessed seems to be describing a state of happiness. Happiness for what exactly? That our sins are forgiven. That our sins are no longer counted against us. That is when we keep our faith in Christ and allow His presence to be in us and working on us. This active righteousness in our soul makes us happy. We are in a right and good relationship with God. Just as Adam and Eve before sin. They and us walk with God.

What about the quality of life around us?

If blessed means happy, does it also describe our life situations? Is being blessed describe an easier and smoother life? No. In fact your life may become more difficult because of being blessed.  Matthew 5:3-11 NIV

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 sons 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.

These verses describe tough life situations but also says they are blessed, or happy. How can both be true? I believe the word blessed means a happy relationship between our spirit and God. It is a deep eternal connections that at our core brings a real happiness. In our life we may experience feelings placed in us by the holy spirit to make us pray or intercede for others. To make us hunger for righteousness for the world. To place us in an atmosphere that we are mistreated because of our relationship with Christ.   In spite of our circumstances we find at the very core of our soul there is a calm   peaceful happiness of a relationship between our spirit and God. We are blessed by this assurance of His love for us. We feel His presence and Christ’s love.  We feel the power and comfort of the Holy Spirit.  We are blessed. Blessed is the man who sins the Lord will never count against him.

Click on the title of the song Blessed Assurance.  Close your eyes and allow truth and His presence to minister to you and brighten your lightnside.

Blessed Assurance

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine, O what a foretaste of glory divine. Heir of salvation, purchase of God. Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood. Perfect submission, all is at rest I in my Savior am happy and blessed. Watching and waiting, looking above. Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

This is my story, this is my song. Praising my Savior all the day long

This is my story, this is my song. Praising my Savior all the day long

Romans 4:5 Four steps to Freedom

However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.

Stairs from four pieces of the puzzle

Four steps of  a great and priceless truth.

This verse is one of the greatest verses of Hope that has been burning in my heart for several days.  It is a wonder and is adorable to me.  Let us see below the surface of the words  and into the  four steps of  a great and priceless truth.

 

Step 1: –  To the one who does not work:   This is not a lazy person.  This is not someone who feels they are owed life or someone who sees themselves as perfect and everyone else as flawed.  No, this is one who recognizes there is not enough goodness in me to achieve the needs of life.  It is someone who knows he does not have the tools to become a righteous person.  He know the nature of falling man is too selfish and too broken to ever achieve a right standing with a Holy God.  He stands without any hope. So he stands looking at the Gospel.  At what God has promised and done.  He recognizes the only hope of becoming right with God and himself is from outside himself.

He does not work.

 

Step 2: but trusts God:  This is where all the effort of the man is focused.  It is in trusting.  It is in believing God can do what He promised.  This trust comes from reading scripture and seeking God.  Trusting God requires one to go against all human nature.  It is to place trust in something that you have never seen.  It is believing in an eternal supernatural presence that can somehow effect your daily life and interactions with others.  It is a belief that God can somehow change you and empower you to become right with Himself.

He trusts God

 

Step 3:God justifies the wicked:  God sees this trust and the first order of business is to justify the ungodly.  To forgive the sinner.  To take the load of sin and dirty laundry of the heart away.  Sin is a burden and a weight.  As a sinner you carry this weight of sin everywhere you go and it constantly reminds you of your failure and hopelessness.  This weight of disappointing yourself and others is a constant burden to life.  It brings on more sin and depression.  It convinces us there is no hope…Then because of step one and two, God justifies the sinner.  The weight has dropped off our hearts.  For once we can stand straight and walk upright before God.  We are justified by Him.

God justifies the wicked.

 

Step 4:Faith is credited as Righteousness:  WOW.  Not only are we free from the weight of sin but a righteousness not our own has become our own.  It is credited to us from God.  This righteous is not just a right relationship with God,  it is a working righteousness.  It brings with it the covering of God,  the power of the blood of Jesus,  and the power and direction of the Holy Spirit.  This righteousness is much more than a status in life.  IT IS LIFE.  This righteousness  begins to strengthen and heal and correct our vision of what is important in life. It creates in us not only a right relationship with God but an active Godliness in us to spread His love and lightnside presence around to a lost world.

Faith credited as righteousness.

 

The wonderful progression:  Man does not work.  He Trusts God.  God justifies the wicked. Righteousness is credited to man. Man becomes a carrier of God and revels to others the hope of transformation.