Beatitudes–Mourning

The second beatitude is mourning, not necessarily the mourning as we think of it involving death, but mourning at the wickedness of the world.

Mourning

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.–Matthew 5:4

To “mourn” is to grieve over our own weakness in relation to God’s standard of righteousness and His Kingdom. It is also to mourn over the things that grieve God, to have our feelings in sympathy with the feelings of God, and to be afflicted in our spirits over the sin, immorality and cruelty manifested in the world. Those who mourn are comforted by receiving from the Father “righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”

In Luke 16:20, it says, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.” We see this in the world today. There are so many things we see in the news that is contrary to our faith, contrary to what the Bible says. The world rejoices these things as advancement in our culture. We should be mourning how wicked our world has come and how far our society has been removed from God.

As Christians we should be deeply disturbed by how far our world has got from God’s instruction. We should be grieving, we should be bothered, we should be sick of it. We have become so accustomed to the way of the world that some of it we take as normal and okay. We should never feel like we belong in this world.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain for the former things are passed away.–Revelation 21:4

What should bring us joy, is knowing that the Lord is coming back. That all the pain and suffering will one day end.

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Rewarding Evil

Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house–Proverbs 17:13

We need to be very careful with how we deal with people and the evil we try to bring into their lives. The Bible is pretty clear that if we reward evil, we will be dealing with trouble for the rest of our lives.

An example of this is in David’s life. He “rewarded” Uriah’s integrity and faithfulness with evil. From that point on, evil did not depart from David’s own house. In 2 Samuel 12:10-11 it says, “Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house, because thou hast despised me and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take they wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with they wives in the sight of this sun.”

Uriah was a good soldier that had integrity. When David saw his wife and got her pregnant, he tried to get Uriah to come home off the battlefield so he would sleep with his wife and the baby would seem to be Uriah’s. However, Uriah, said he couldn’t come off the battlefield if his men were still there. So David had him moved to the front line so he would be killed. As mentioned in 2 Samuel, 12:10-11, David rewarding Uriah with evil, brought nothing but pain and hardship from God.

Rewarding with evil, means we’re doing evil things to people. Modern day example of what David did are destroying people’s reputation so we can move up the corporate ladder.

We need to be very careful how we treat others. The saying, what goes around comes around is very true. Not only will we have to account for our actions to God one day, but here on Earth we will have to deal with the wickedness we have sewn. God will forgive us of our sins, but there are still consequences for our actions.

Temptation Part 4: Source

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.–James 1:13

All week I’ve been discussing temptation. See Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Nobody who sins can throw the blame on God. God may test us in order to strengthen our faith, but never with the intent of leading us to sin. The nature of God shows that He cannot be a source of temptation.

It is us, who falls into sin with temptation. James goes on to say in verse 14, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” We are the ones susceptible to Satan’s temptations because of our sinful nature and its evil desires. If evil desire is not resisted by the help of the Holy Spirit, it leads to sin and then to spiritual death.

It’s our heart that is evil. Matthew 15:19 says, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” God may use trials to build our spiritual character, but he always gives us a way out. We should remember that Jesus was tempted. Just because we’re tempted doesn’t mean we have to fail. I hate chocolate with a passion (yeah, I know I’m weird), and someone can try to pressure me to eat it, which is tempting me, but I have no desire for it. Now if you tried to pressure me with starbursts, that’s a different story. That would take some will power not to eat it. The temptation the devil uses is the same, if we don’t desire it, it’s easy for us to say we don’t want it, however, as it says in Matthew 15:19 our heart is evil and desires what we are tempted with.

When we look at temptation like the example with me and chocolate verses starbursts, it gives a different perspective on what temptation is and how we choose to reject it or fall into sin. We are the ones that make the decision, just like any decision we have. We must pray that God helps us cleanse out the evil desires in our heart so that we can reject the temptations we are faced with.

Are We Cutting Away the Bad

Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings. Jeremiah 4:4

In order to avoid the trouble coming upon them, the people of Judah had to have a complete moral change, by committing to truth, justice and righteousness. They had to be honest with themselves and repent of their sins.

So many times we are like this in our lives. We like to live in the world but be Christian also. Sure it feels good for a moment, but that moment passes by and then we feel remorse. We cannot keep trying to walk the line between being “Christian” while enjoying what the world has to offer. It’s either one or the other. God does not judge us like a car thermostat where you start getting kind of warm or kind of cold and at some point it’s okay. No, it’s either right or wrong.

As Christian men we need to start making sure we cut away any sin we have. Not partially cut it out. When someone has cancer, they don’t partially cut out the cancer, they cut everything out. Sin is just like cancer in our lives, and we need to cut it all out. If we don’t, it will creep back into our lives and be as predominant in our life as it was or even more.

This is the same in anything we do that’s bad for us. I like soda, and I know I need to quit drinking it. I’ve tried so many times to cut down and only drink a soda every so often, but what happens? I like that taste and the feel of the carbonation and I start craving it. I desire it and starting thinking about it more and more, until I have an extra one. Then I say, well one more won’t hurt, until I’m drinking several cans of soda a day.

This is why when we want to remove something negative in our lives whether it’s sin, bad habits, bad diets, etc; we have to fully remove it. Cut it out. . . all of it! Otherwise it will creep back in your life. Yeah, I’m cutting out soda fully in my life. Maybe I’ll do a post on why soda is so bad for you.

Friends You Keep

Proverbs 1:10:  My son if sinners entice thee consent thou not. 

This is so straight forward, but so often we fail to adhere to it.  When people’s sins look enticing to us we must not get sucked into it.  We must be like Joseph, with Potipher’s wife where he didn’t even stick around to be enticed.  It would have been easy for him to go down that slippery slope.  But how good are we at that?  If we want to keep from getting caught up in sin, we have to stay clear from it.  This sometimes means we have to lose friends.  We all have some friends that have questionable actions.  I’ve been there, where I was not living the best life for God, and at one point had to make the choice that it was better to part ways.  Your true friends will be happy for you they you are trying to improve, those are the friends you need to keep.  The ones that mock you, are only a hindrance in your improvement and a better walk with God.  Sin is like sugary candy or soda, its sweet right now but it has no value in our diet.  It slowly eats away at us and we start needing more to feed our craving.  Then one day we ask ourselves, how did we get so out of shape/rotten teeth/diabetes/etc or in the case of sin, how did we get so far from God?  We must be careful with the company we keep.