Unpacking "Crazy Happy"

Crazy Happy  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  46:22
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Jesus said in
John 10:10 NIV
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
So, if Jesus said that he came that we may have life and have it to the full, is it any wonder at all that God wants us to be happy. There is no wonder.
Looking back at our text from last week, we said the blessed person, is the happy person. Today, I want to begin unpacking the Beatitudes. I believe that you will find the surprising and unexpected places happiness is found. Remember God wants us to be crazy happy.
If you have your bibles go to Matthew chapter 5. I want to look at the first 4 Beatitudes. Let’s begin reading at verse 3
Matthew 5:3–6 NIV
3 “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.

1. Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

As we begin to look at each one of these Beatitudes, think of them as steps to take in our Christian walk.
This first one probably has many of us asking the question, “what is poor in spirit?”
We all know what poor means. I’ve heard people tell me that when they were growing up they were too poor to pay attention. When we think of being poor we think about a physical poor. Meaning we don’t have any money or don’t make enough money. We are poor physically.
However, this is not what Jesus was talking about. Jesus was talking about a spiritual poverty or being spiritually poor or as he puts it poor in spirit.
To be “poor in spirit” is to acknowledge our spiritual poverty, our spiritual bankruptcy, before God. We are sinners, under the holy wrath of God, and deserving nothing but the judgment of God. We have nothing to offer, nothing to plead, nothing with which to buy the favour of heaven.

John Calvin wrote, “He only who is reduced to nothing in himself, and relies on the mercy of God is poor in spirit.

It is only to those that are poor in spirit that will receive the kingdom of heaven.
God’s gift of salvation is a gift that is absolutely free and it is absolutely undeserved. It has to be received with the dependent humility of a little child.
The kingdom of heaven is given to the poor, not the rich; the feeble, not he mighty; to little children humble enough to accept it, not to soldiers who boast that they can obtain it by their own prowess.
In Jesus’ day it was not the Pharisees who entered the kingdom, who thought they were rich, so rich in merit that they thanked God for their attainments; nor the Zealots who dreamed of establishing the kingdom by blood and sword; but publicans and prostitutes, the rejects of human society, who knew they were so poor they could offer nothing and achieve nothing. All they could do was to cry to God for mercy; and he heard their cry.
In today’s world, no one would want to admit to being poor. Nobody would ever say that happiness comes from being poor, but the person who humbles themself and admits that they are nothing without God are those that will receive the kingdom of heaven.

2. Blessed are Those Who Mourn

When we thinking of mourning, we think of losing a loved one. But it is plain from the context that those here promised comfort are not primarily those who mourn the loss of a loved one, but those who mourn the loss of their innocence, their righteousness, their self-respect. It is not the sorrow of bereavement to which Christ refers, but the sorrow of repentance.
This is the second step of spiritual blessing. It is one thing to be spiritually poor and acknowledge it; it is another to grieve and to mourn over it.

When was the last time that you wept over the sins of others?

Jesus wept over the sins of others, over their bitter consequences in judgment and death, over the impenitent city which would not receive him. You and I should weep more over the evil in this world. I believe that evangelical Christians, by making much of grace, sometimes make light of sin. There is not enough sorrow for sin among us.
Those that mourn for their sins and the sins of others will be comforted by the only comfort which can relieve their distress, the free forgiveness of God.
Revelation 7:17 NIV
17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’”
God will comfort us as we mourn for our sins and the sins of others.

3. Blessed are the Meek

The Greek word for meek is praus. It means gentle, humble, considerate, and courteous.
The “meek” are those who are humble and submissive to God. They depend on nothing but him for security in life and refuge from trouble. They commit themselves and the direction of their lives entirely to him. They are more concerned about God’s work and God’s people than about what might happen to them personally
Psalm 37:11 NIV
11 But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.
The meek, rather than those who aggressively pursue their own ways, ultimately will inherit God’s benefits and reign with him in the end.
We see it in the news and on social media how godless people boast and throw their weight around. We see the tycoon giants crush the little people. Politicians try to run people’s lives and make decisions to pad their pocketbooks instead of what is good for the people. But it is not those people that will inherit the earth.
Jesus said, it is the meek, those that are maybe stepped on and pushed to the background, those that are forgotten about. Because we know what it is to live and reign with Christ, we can enjoy and even ‘possess’ the earth, which belongs to Christ.
One day there will be a new heaven and a new earth and this will the meek’s inheritance.
Look at what Paul said.
2 Corinthians 6:10 NIV
10 sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

4. Blessed are Those Who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness

Righteousness in the Bible has at least three aspects: legal, moral and social.
Legal righteousness is justification, a right relationship with God. Paul wrote in Romans that even though the Jews pursued righteousness, they failed to attain it because they pursued it in the wrong way. They sought their own righteousness and did not submit to God’s righteousness, which is Christ himself.
Moral righteousness is that righteousness of character and conduct which pleases God. It is an inner righteousness of the heart, mind and motive. This is what we should hunger and thirst for.
Social righteousness is concerned with seeking man’s liberation from oppression. It is also the promotion of civil rights, justice in the law courts, integrity in business dealings and honour in home and family affairs. Christians are committed to hunger for righteousness in the whole human community as something pleasing to a righteous God.
Psalm 107:9 NIV
9 for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.
It is not enough to mourn over past sin; we must also hunger for future righteousness. We can not lose our hunger for the things of God, the right relationship with God. When we lose that hunger for God and his standards, we begin to die spiritually. That is why it is essential that we be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. The Holy Spirit is there to keep us away from evil and draw us closer to God.
Looking back, we can see that the first four beatitudes reveal a spiritual progression of relentless logic. Each step leads to the next and presupposes the one that has gone before.
To begin with, we are to be ‘poor in spirit’, acknowledging our complete and utter spiritual bankruptcy before God. Next we are to mourn over the cause of it, our sins, the corruption of our fallen nature, the reign of sin and death in the world. Thirdly, we are to be meek, humble and gentle towards others, allowing our spiritual poverty to condition our behaviour to them as well as to God. And fourthly we are to hunger and thirst for righteousness. For what is the use of confessing and lamenting our sin, of acknowledging the truth about ourselves to both God and men, if we leave it there? Confession of sin must lead to hunger for righteousness.
Do you see the progression of becoming who God wants us to be in Jesus’ teaching known as the beatitudes. Jesus is showing us the life that we are to live. Acknowledging our spiritual bankruptcy before God. Mourning our sins and the sins of others. Being meek towards others. And hungering and thirsting for righteousness.
God wants a crazy happy life for us. His crazy happy plan for our lives is so much a part of our human experience, and at the same time so far beyond anything we could image or come up with.
Who would have ever thought that the happy life would consist of things like humility and sadness and mourning and meekness and being hungry and thirsty. But, when this happens, God’s crazy happy plan for our lives starts to unfold. And this is just the beginning. Next week are going to continue to look at God’s crazy happy plan for us.
The second half of the beatitudes seem to turn even more from our attitude to God to our attitude to our fellow human beings. Think about it. the merciful show mercy to men, the peacemakers seek to reconcile men to each other, and those who are persecuted are persecuted by me. It seems likely therefore that the sincerity denoted by being pure in heart also concerns our attitude and relation to our fellow human beings. But that will be next week.
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