Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sermon On The Mount - Good mourning

Matthew 5:4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. "

A man, a father whose son had left home and been gone a long time would often pass by the front of the ranch to purposely look down the road for travelers. There was always the hope that he might see his son returning. He was experiencing a sense of loss. He grieved and mourned in his heart the separation from him of his flesh and blood. And then the day came. He looked again down the dusty road with tired eyes and beheld one who travelled alone. He watched for a minute searching for the familiar gate… and then he saw it. He called to servants and then went rushing out to meet his long lost son, who once was lost but now was found. And he thought of amazing grace.


The Words:


Mourn – death or loss of a loved one or thing. This is a word about separation, and the response we have to that loss. As we read some of the Psalms hear the lament of the author, mourning about loss. We all have experienced loss of things, of people. For some, life seems to be made up mostly of goodbyes, of leavings. But there is another word…
Comforted – A calling to one’s side. This word is about a coming together, about relationship. Ever been stranded by the side of the road when a stranger stopped, maybe a trucker, and helped change your tire, or fixed a clamp on a hose? That person came along side you and helped, even comforted! Remember in John 14:6 where Jesus said He would give us a Comforter, the Holy Spirit who would be with us forever. Here we are living our life, trying to be all we can be. We are trying to do the right things, and it is hard. We are trying to not do the wrong things, and that is also hard. And as we walk along the road of life, the Holy Spirit comes along side and comforts, and helps.


The paradox:


Those who have lost and mourn for their suffering, will find things they never realized they were missing. They will discover new worlds they never knew existed. Sometimes when you lose something you think nothing can replace that item or that your feelings of loss are now with you forever. But experience and the promises of God speak otherwise. Often with the loss of a loved one, for example, we are able to understand that our reality is changed. It is not about glossing over or getting over the loss. It is about accept what has happened, and moving on into a different reality. This is where grace comes in to our lives. Remember the story of Job? He lost his family, his property, and his health. In the end he got it all back 2-fold. Did it cover his loss? No, but through the loss he came to know God as he never knew Him before. Job discovered a God he did not recognize before his loss. The God Job found was a God of details, a God much bigger and more intimate than Job could ever had imagined.

Application:


Allow your heart to be broken by the things that break God’s heart. It’s not just sin that breaks God’s heart; it is the loss of relationship that occurs as a result of the sin. When we sin, and live with unconfessed sin, it puts a wall up between us and God. Why? Because God is holy. He has called us to be a holy people, a people that reflect His character. It was the mourning over sin that first brought us to Jesus, the recognition that we can’t deal with the sin problem ourselves. Don’t ever lose that sense that you can’t do it. It is only in Jesus that you can.
Allow your pride to be broken. Remember the first Beatitude? Poor in Spirit. It is about letting God be the Lord of your life, about letting God sit on the throne of your life. There are 3 areas of your life that you need to give control of to God. Your thoughts, your words, and your actions. Your actions and words reveal your thoughts, what is in your heart. You can say all the right words, but if your life isn’t characterised by love, you’ve missed the whole point of following Jesus. Remember that story in Matthew 9 of Jairus’ daughter who died? As Jesus drew near the professional mourners were there wailing and making noise. When Jesus said they were premature, that the girl wasn’t dead they laughed openly. Their mourning was just a show, just something put on or show.
Lastly, allow your future to be broken. You have all these plans. A year or two and this will happen and you will be at such and such a place. Even this afternoon, you will do this or be there. Make your plans, but give them to God. Allow Him control and you will see life is about more than stuff and things. God will put people in your path that need to hear your word of encouragement, that need to hear the Good News of the Gospel. Allow God to be in your details, allow Him to step in and revise your appointment book, because He has divine appointments for you.


Do you have a sense at what is happening hear? We all have losses of one kind or another. It may be stuff, it may be a relationship or two, or it may be health. Mourn over these as you need to, but go beyond them. Go beyond the things of this earth, and mourn about the things of heaven, and you will be comforted. God has promised that He will come alongside, and you will be comforted.



“28 Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

Matthew 11:28-30

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