Strangers and Pilgrims

1 Peter 2:11-12 KJV Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; [12] Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
 
We need to remember that this world is not our home. We are strangers and pilgrims in this world. We are here instructed that we should maintain an honest conversation before the world. The word conversation here is dealing with our lifestyle. The way we live our life on a daily basis is to be in agreement with the fact that we are strangers and pilgrims in this world. Our life should show others the love of God and how to come to God. Even if they speak evil against us, our lifestyle should contradict what they say.

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Matthew 5:11-12

Matthew 5:11-12 KJV Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
 
Here is the final Beattitude. Remember the word blessed means happy. We are talking about being happy God’s way. The Lord now tells us how to react to those who would revile us. The word revile means to defame. When people want to discredit our faith, our response is to be rejoice and be glad. That sounds the opposite of what we want to do. We are to react in that manner because the focus of our life is not here on this earth, it is in heaven. God will reward us for our faith, not this world.   

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Matthew 5:7

Matthew 5:7 KJV Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
 
If we want to be happy God’s way, then we must be merciful to others. Too often, we have expectations of how people around us should act and treat us. When those expectations are not met, we become disappointed, frustrated, and even angry. We fail to realize that we are sinners in need of mercy and forgiveness. When we are merciful, we understand the fact that each of are prone to sin and failure. When we are merciful, we do not place expectations on people that will lead to frustration. If we are merciful to others, we can expect mercy from God. God knows our true nature as sinful human beings. He is merciful towards us, we should treat others in the same manner.

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Matthew 5:6

Matthew 5:6 KJV Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
 
If we are to be happy God’s way, there must be a hungering and thirsting for righteousness. Righteousness is conforming our heart and life to God’s view of right and wrong. We must crave the idea of being aligned with how God sees right and wrong. Our view of right and wrong is often skewed by our sinful, fleshly nature. We often compare our view of right and wrong with others. We feel pretty good if we have a better sense of right and wrong than our neighbor. But how does our view of right and wrong compare with God’s viewpoint? That is the measure of righteousness. Let’s desire to have God’s view of right and wrong in our every day life.

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Matthew 5:5

Matthew 5:5 KJV Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
 
The next step to being happy God’s way is meekness. Meekness is often associated with weakness. Nothing could be further from the truth. When the Greeks wanted to paint a word picture of the word meek they used a bridled horse. Picture all the power, speed, and agility of a horse controlled by the reins. That is meekness. Meekness is having our emotions and thoughts under control. Meekness is a part of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). When we allow the Spirit to control our emotions and thoughts, we will experience meekness. When we allow the Holy Spirit to control our emotions and thoughts, He will also help with control of our actions. Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to control our emotions and thoughts today.

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Matthew 5:3

Matthew 5:3 KJV Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 
Today we start with the Beattitudes. Each starts with the word blessed. This word means supremely happy. This happiness does not come the circumstances around us. This happiness comes from a condition on the heart that is determined by our spiritual life. The first step towards this spiritual happiness is to be poor in spirit. The word poor means beggar; pauper; destitute. In others words, our desire for spiritual things is like one begging for bare essentials of life. Does this attitude describe our desire for a relationship with God? Are we just content with salvation but never knowing the depths of what this relationship really is? We should be careful not let others things interfere with our desire for a relationship with God. We must guard against settling for less than everything God desires us to have.

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Upcoming Events

FEBRUARY
 
February 2 – Bible Sunday
 
February 8
Youth Activity
Game Night
5 pm at the Church
 
February 9-12
Revival Meeting
Guest Speaker: Evangelist Dave McCracken
 
February 14
Valentine Banquet
6:30 pm

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