Blessed not Stressed Pt 3
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God."Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Context - this passage is one of Jesus first sermons that he preached. It is called the Beatitudes which means a "statement of blessing".
We are looking at blessing. What does it mean to be blessed?
The word "blessed" in Matthew 5 is the Greek word "Mak-ar-ee-os" meaning "fortunate, happy and well off".
I did some research and from a biblical perspective blessing is defined as:
"Both a public declaration of a favoured status with God and endowed power for prosperity and success".
I would personally define blessing as:
"having the favour of God in us and the favour of God on us"
What happens in us and what happens to us.
If you don't have a relationship with God then you won't life a blessed life. It starts with knowing God is in your life.
So how do we live a blessed life and not a stressed life?
We need to have the right checks.
These are three things we must always keep in check
1: Live from the inside out.
The Beatitudes was preached to the religious Jews at the time.
They were living a life that was consumed with what was happening on the outside.
They neglected what was on the inside.
Jesus shifts the focus from whats happening on the outside to the inside.
Spirit, soul, body
- Popular opinion says you get to heaven by being good enough.
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:3 ESV)
Poor in spirit represents a need for God. A position of humility.
- Popular opinion says the pursuit of happiness will satisfy you
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." (Matthew 5:4 ESV)
Who mourn over their sin. They will be comforted.
- Popular opinion says stand up and always do what's best for you, don't let anyone tell you what to do.
"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." (Matthew 5:5 ESV)
Meaning blessed are those who refrain from the right to do something for the sake of someone else benefit.
- Popular opinion says satisfy yourself.
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. (Matthew 5:6 ESV)
- Popular opinion says be ruthless in your pursuit.
"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. (Matthew 5:7 ESV)
- Popular opinion says be immoral:
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:8 ESV)
- Popular opinion says fight for your rights
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Matthew 5:9 ESV)
- Popular opinion says live a comfortable life
"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10 ESV)
- Popular opinion says clear your name under all circumstances.
"Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. (Matthew 5:11 ESV)
We must order our lives around a desire for the spirit.
2) Have an eternal perspective
Perspective is everything, it is the difference between a blessed life and a stressed life
WHERE you see will determine WHAT you see
You'll see either an average house or a beautiful house
You'll see either and average life or a beautiful life
You'll see either a blessed life or a stressed life.
When your eyes are fixed on God then our perspective shifts
WHERE we see will determine HOW we walk - DEMONSTRATION
2 Kings 6:14-17 ESV
 So he sent there horses and chariots and a great army, and they came by night and surrounded the city.  When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, "Alas, my master! What shall we do?"  He said, "Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them."  Then Elisha prayed and said, "O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see." So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
An eternal perspective means we understand how blessed we are and the stresses of life aren't as stressful.
Living a blessed life is seeing things in light of eternity
Life is temporary
Prayer changes our perspective.
When we pray we are taking on the perspective of God.
3) Keep God at the center of everything.
Jesus in the sermon on the mount continues by saying:
Matthew 6:31-34 ESV
 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'  For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Seek first the kingdom of a God and all these things will be added to you.
What are you seeking?
A blessed life is one where God adds to it.
In the blessed life you aren't the priority, God is.
In the blessed life you aren't the centre, God is.
We are all faced with decisions - where will I place my relationship with God and his kingdom
Some small decisions, some bigger decisions.
6 years ago I was faced with a big decision - God was calling me into ministry as a pastor.
I was in my final year at university - about to finish my degree in Medical Radiation in the area of Radiation therapy and had jobs lined up. But he started calling me - do you trust me with your future. Long story short, after confirmations I decided to go to bible college and "give up" my future I had planned and studied for. There isn't one day that I have regretted this decision God has truly blessed me with an amazing job, wife, daughter, family and future.
When we seek first the kingdom of God we live the blessed life.
Where is God for you right now?
How are your priorities going?
There are a few indicators that can help answer that question.
What I do win my time
What I do with my talents
And what I do with my tithe are all indicators of where God is positioned.
When he is positioned at the centre and his kingdom is my priority then all of those areas come second.