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Watch 2022 online sermons » Beth Moore » Beth Moore - Resetting The Compass - Part 2

Beth Moore - Resetting The Compass - Part 2


Beth Moore - Resetting The Compass - Part 2
TOPICS: Resetting The Compass

Do you remember what point number one is? And we're looking back to chapter 5 of Matthew. Number one, we live in a magnetic field polarizing the needle of our compass. Number two is this. Christ calls us to recalibrate our compasses to the kingdom of heaven. I am saying discern where we're going in the Scriptures based on up and down, not right and left. Because if you're going to walk out of here and go, "Oh, I reject every bit of that," you're going right and left instead of up and down. And so I leave that for you to work out. I've had to work out a whole lot of things with Jesus, but he is not asking our opinion on this. He did not ask us to vote on it. He is not running a democracy. He is telling us what his ethics are, telling us what his values are; and we don't get to go, "Well, okay, I vote yay. I vote nay". None of that. None of that.

We live in this world, but we are not of this world. Our reasoning is supposed to be a whole different kind of reasoning. Our pull is the kingdom of heaven. That's our magnet. That's our magnet. This is not what... we think to ourselves, "Well, this is theological. This is theoretical. This is philosophical". Oh, no, no, no, no, no. This is actual. This is actual, this kingdom of heaven that he is telling us to reason by that are, that that's where we get our true north, that's where our needle knows home. This informs, is meant to inform our person, our priorities, our posture, our praying, our partying, our public witness, our politics, our platforms, our privileges, our personal relationships. All our social engagements, our work, our play, our pain, our pleasure, our fasting, our feasting, our grieving, our rejoicing, and our living and dying is all according to this pull, this magnetic draw of the compass straight to the kingdom of heaven, straight to the kingdom of heaven.

So listen to me carefully because this would seem like 101. I mean, this is Christianity 101, but I'm going to ask you when was the last time you just heard this pounded on because somehow the point has become doctrinal purity instead of Christ's likeness. The goal of all spiritual formation is Christ's likeness. So we can be as doctrinally pure as the freshly driven snow; and if we have no sense, no bearing of witness of Christ's likeness, we are doctrinally off the gospel track because it's everything. Yes, we are supposed to be doctrinally sound; yes, there are things that we are told this is, walk in obedience here; yes, there are yeses and noes; yes, there are do's and don'ts, all of those things, but every last one of those things all the way down to the filling of the Spirit; all those things, all those things all the way to the gifting of the Spirit, all of those things are to one end, and that is being conformed into the image of Christ.

In the words of Paul when he says, "I say this to you, my little children, that I am once again in the anguish of childbirth till Christ is formed in you". Christ's likeness, not doctrinal purity. Christ's likeness, not big mega churches. Christ's likeness, not increasing numbers of baptisms. Christ's likeness, not power and influence. Christ likeness. We have been told in 1 Corinthians 2:16 that we have the mind of Christ, that you who are in Christ Jesus have the mind of Christ, but we have to learn to think with it, to rationalize with it, to reason with it 'cause we still got that old mind. Oh, do we ever. Anybody? Anybody? Oh, we still got it all right. We still got it. To begin to think like him. I say to him so often, "Lord, just activate in me". And I don't know that that's the right word. It's probably not doctrinally pure. I don't know if it's the right word or not, but if it's not someone will tell me and before the night's over. But I will just say to him, "Activate in me the mind of Christ; that I may think with it, reason with it; that I'll pray with it, I'll converse with it; that we'll think like him". Philippians chapter 2, he says that, "Let this mind be in you that is in Christ Jesus". So that means think like he thinks, value what he values.

Now, this is a really big help to me, and I don't know if this is on anybody's playlist because, this is just huge. This settles so many things. Do you know what the major theme is of Christ's teaching throughout his ministry? If we're looking for what was the major thing, what did Christ teach more than anything else? Without a doubt, without a doubt it's not going to be salvation, it's not going to be repentance, it's not going to be fasting, it's not going to be hell, it's not going to be money. All of those things are there, but his one huge theme is the kingdom of God. He went and he preached the kingdom, he taught the kingdom, he taught them of the kingdom. "The kingdom is like, the kingdom is like, the kingdom is like, the kingdom is like".

So you and I begin to think like, reason like, rationalize like, have values like Jesus when the foremost thought on our mind is the kingdom of God, the kingdom of God, the kingdom of God, the kingdom of God; that everything we see, all the brokenness, all the suffering, all the things that are just like off, all the things that are so demoralizing, all the things that are just so like lost, just like lost, and yet we're forward-thinking the kingdom of God, the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God had an in-breaking with Christ. The kingdom of God was near, the kingdom of God is in us, the kingdom of God is coming to this earth, and God's will will be done on earth as it is in heaven. And there will be the renewal of all things and there will be a new heaven and a new earth, that we think continually in terms of the kingdom of God or in Matthew's terms the kingdom of heaven.

Understand with me that all those other themes, salvation is about wearing those wedding clothes getting into the kingdom. You understand what I'm saying? All those other things, hugely important. We have to be born again because we're to be transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of his dear son, Colossians tells us. We have one agenda. We have one agenda. We have one agenda, one agenda, and that is to get on the same page with Jesus. The real love, same page with Jesus. It's not about my opinion. It's not about yours. It's not about where you land. It's not about where I land. It's not what side you're on. It's not what side I'm on. None of that makes any eternal difference. Where does he land? What does he value?

So I want to refresh your memory because it has everything to do with this. Remember what's just happened. They've just had all these people brought to him; all these people seizing, sick, demon-possessed, paralyzed. All these people, all of these maladies coming to Christ, coming to Christ, coming to Christ. He's healing, healing, healing, healing, healing. Listen, these few disciples, their eyes were this big. Now, he's out with all the crowds, and this is the first teaching to come out of his mouth in the Gospel of Matthew. So here's what I thought we would do. I thought it'd be wonderful, my church does this, to do some responsive reading in the Scriptures, and I think will also help you instead, because what we're about to read, it's so familiar to many of us that we can kind of go like, kind of zone out.

You know, kind of check our texts, and this is just like, it's huge. So kind of help us stay with it if we say it. So like put some enthusiasm, and then what we're going to do is I'm going to say the first line, we're going to do the Beatitudes together. I'm going to say the first line. You're going to see it on the screen. Your part is where it says congregation. And so I'm going to say the first line, then, congregation, you say the second line. So are you ready? And let it land.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the humble, for they will inherit the Earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. You are blessed when they insult you and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of me. Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you". The Word of the Lord.

Let's come up with a working definition of the word beatitude. What shall we do? What shall we use as a way to define what these things called the beatitudes are? And so, based on a whole lot of study, the beatitudes are the eternal ethics of the kingdom of heaven. Eternal. The reason why I really wanted to bring out eternal is because not only 'cause his Word is eternal, but these are not Christ's way of overcorrecting the mistakes and misinterpretations of the people in the Old Testament. That might be easy to think, that he's reacting to them, that he's seeing where they've gone with this thing. He's seeing the level of legalism. He's seeing how hypocritical things have gotten. You can look at Matthew 23 and see the context of that. And so he's pushing back against all of that. That's not what's going on here. These are eternal ethics. Felt this way before time or feel this way after time. We would see this in God through the Old Testament. Same God. Same God. These are eternal ethics, eternal ethics. I want you to see something.

Now, scholars just across the board, any of you that will take up studying Matthew, and do, do. You will just love it. But one of the first introductions, you'll get to it, across the board will be that he is absolutely teaching to a Jewish audience. Absolutely. Jewish audience or Jewish Christian audience, either one of those two, but he's talking very much, he's talking, Matthew constantly talks in terms where they are drawing connections to the Old Testament, and connections to the land, and connections to Israel. He's talking a language that they understand. So it's very important to know his audience so that you can understand some of what is in play here because in knowing that, in knowing that he is tapping into their connection with the Old Testament heritage and with their Jewishness.

We see in Matthew 5:1 that Jesus went up on the mountain. Well, to Jewish listeners, that's already significant because anytime somebody is going up to the mountain, their first thought is going to be Moses. Moses went up to the mountain, and let me tell you Matthew is making the connection on purpose. He's going up on the mountain and he, writing to that Jewish audience making a connection to Moses, and many scholars believe that to be true and what, you'd see the connections are just one right after another. Let me throw out a couple of them to you. Matthew's Gospel is the one that opens with the slaughter of the children. Matthew's Gospel is the only one that references Jesus coming out of Egypt. Moses spent 40 years in the wilderness, Jesus spent 40 days. Moses ascended a mountain, here Christ goes up a mountain. Moses taught the Torah, and I hope to be able to prove to you so does Jesus.

The theme of blessing in the canon of Scripture is from Genesis to Revelation. Genesis 12, verses 1 through 3, this is when God calls out Abram, tells him to go to a country, "Leave your father's house, go to the place that I will send you, that I will take you. And you are to become a blessing through which I will bless the nations of this world". I mean, this was the promise to Abraham, the gospel preached beforehand in the terms of Galatians. So knowing that's really important, but it never gets more important to the children of Israel than right there in the desert when Moses is bringing them the blessings and the cursings. And so blessing is just huge in the Law of Moses. Just absolutely huge. And so understand with me when Jesus goes, when Matthew tells us, our eyebrows are meant to raise when he says that Jesus went up on that mountain and he sat down.

Understand with me by no means is Jesus replacing Moses. The law was given to Moses by God. Jesus is God. The Law of Moses has been God-breathed, God-given, but the one who by his own Godness sent Moses is superior to Moses. The Beatitudes are not conditions for conversion. Does everybody understand that? He's not saying, "This is how to be saved. Go become poor. Go become grieved. Go get persecuted. Go do all of these things and then you're in the kingdom of heaven". No. He's talking to people. Remember, Matthew is writing post-Easter. He's talking to a community as if they are already converted, but he's telling them, "These are the values of the converted. These are its ethics". Remember, this was a tax collector. This is Matthew. This is Matthew. You talk about someone whose needle was pointed down to the kingdoms of this world. This is Matthew talking here. We were transferred into this kingdom at our conversion, but these are the ethics of it. Jesus literally looked down through those Beatitudes. He literally was the embodiment of them. Anybody know what I'm talking? I mean, he embodies them.

Look down through every single one of them, every single description was Christ in his earthly life; every single one of them, from beginning to end. Furthermore, if we were to look up Isaiah 61:1 through 3, which gives the job description, this is what the Sovereign, "The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me. He has sent me to preach good news to the poor". We look at that section that's so beautiful that became the very first message he gave in Nazareth in Luke chapter 4, we would see that the ethics he preached in his very first sermon in Luke match the ethics right here that he is teaching in the Gospel of Matthew. He's turning those cultural values completely upside down. One of the things I love best about the Beatitudes is it: it's in such contrast to the cruelty of this world. Hasn't the world gotten cruel, has gotten so mean? People are so mean online. They're are so mean. The most hateful things, hunger and thirst for righteousness.

Do you just like look at wrong and think, "God". Would you just look at injustice and think, "To God in heaven, win. Oh, Lord, win". That's to hunger and thirst after righteousness. I'm going to tell you something. We fight for what is right and meanwhile know there is a place and a time when this will be made right. I love what Dr. Boring says here. "The move to the future tense indicates that the life of the kingdom must wait for the ultimate validation until God finishes the new creation. The future tense of the Beatitudes resists all notion that Christianity is a philosophy of life designed to make people successful and calm today in the present moment. Christianity is not a scheme to reduce stress, lose weight, advance in one's career, or preserve one from illness. Christian faith instead is a way of living based on the firm and sure hope that meekness is the way of God, that righteousness and peace will finally prevail, and that God's future will be a time of mercy and not cruelty. Blessed are those who live this life now even when such a life seems foolish, for they will in the end be vindicated by God". They will in the end.

And I want to read something to you out of the book, "Lament for a Son". It's just a classic, and it's by Nicholas Wolterstorff. And it was so beautiful that I bought it, and then I looked at the context of it. And it's going to take me a minute to read it to you, but it's so beautiful I almost didn't know what to do with it. He wrote it 12 years after his son was killed in an accident hiking on a mountain in Austria. He was 25 years old. And so 12 years later, he writes this classic called, "Lament for a Son". Now remember, blessed are those who mourn because he's going to talk about that exact thing.

"Who then are the mourners? The mourners are those who have caught a glimpse of God's new day, who ache with all their being for that day's coming, and who break out into tears when confronted with its absence. They're the ones who realize that in God's realm of peace there is no one blind and who ache whenever they see someone unseen. They're the ones who realize that in God's realm there is no one hungry and who ache whenever they see someone starving. They are the ones who realize that in God's realm there is no one falsely accused and who ache whenever they see someone imprisoned unjustly. They're the ones who realize that in God's realm there is no one who fails to see God and who ache whenever they see someone unbelieving. They are the ones who realize that in God's realm there is no one who suffers oppression and who ache whenever they see someone beat down. They're the ones who realize that in God's realm there is no one without dignity and who ache whenever they see someone treated with indignity. They're the ones who realize that in God's realm of peace there is neither death nor tears and who ache whenever they see someone crying tears over death. The mourners are aching visionaries. The mourners are aching visionaries".

That in Christ, when our mourning is set before him as a sacrifice on the altar, that mourner's constant thought is how we grieve the brokenness of this day and how we look to a day when it shall be no more. Revelation 21:4 says the most remarkable thing. It says, "And he," God, "will wipe away every tear". The hand of God, the hand of God on your face touch the tears and wipe them away.
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