Guided by the Beatitudes’ – Part 2 – 2022

Dear BLCF Friends, Effective April 10, 2022, Bloor Lansdowne Christian Fellowship – BLCF Church will reopen by reservation only for Sunday worship under the limitations and guidelines set by Public Health and the Board of BLCF. In order to protect those who are vulnerable at Bloor Lansdowne Christian Fellowship from COVID-19 Virus infection, the BLCF Board mandates that the church will be open by reservation, with the following rules:
  • attendees must wear a mask while on the premises
  • attendees give their contact information upon arrival
  • attendees observe two meters of social distance while seated
  • attendees use hand sanitizer as needed
  • attendees follow any additional directions given by members of the board, while inside the church
Please be advised that both the BLCF Café Community Dinner and the BLCF Wednesday Prayer Service will continue to remain closed effective March 16, 2020, and until further notice. We pray with the administration of sufficient COVID-19 vaccinations, and following the determination of Health Canada and other Health Authorities, that the danger of the Pandemic will have subsided sufficiently, to allow BLCF to reopen safely more of our worship and outreach activities without any concern of infection to the vulnerable within our community. – Pastor Steve

BLCF: be_atitudes

Bloor Lansdowne Christian Fellowship – BLCF Church Message for Sunday:

‘Guided by the Beatitudes’ – Part 2 – (Part 1 was shared Sunday, October 16, 2022)

© October 23, 2022, by Steve Mickelson

Based on Messages shared at BLCF on August 18, 2019, February 26, 2017, March 5, 2017, August 23, 2015, and October 18, 2009

BLCF Bulletin August 18, 2019

BLCF: bulletin-February-26-2017

BLCF: beatiful-atitudes

Announcements and Call to Worship; Prayer Hymn #204: There’s A Quiet Understanding

There’s a Quiet Understanding – (Lyrics) – Christian Music Artists – https://youtu.be/BJTj8CGjJbg

Tithing & Prayer Requests; Hymn #572: Praise God from Whom All Blessings                                             Doxology (Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow) Instrumental – https://youtu.be/Mk4p3rihONU Hymn #177: Rejoice, The Lord Is King

Rejoice The Lord Is King (Acoustic Song Leading Video) // Emu Music – https://youtu.be/oh0BYrdd-8o

Responsive Reading #617: (The Beatitudes – Matthew 5) Music Special: “Beatitudes” – Hillsong UNITED (cover by Wade Cambern with LYRICS) – https://youtu.be/oFGYzpqUD7E Message by Steve Mickelson: ‘Guided By The Beatitudes’ – Part 2 (Part 1 Last Sunday) Let us pray… You may recall in our lesson last Sunday, we examined the Ten Commandments and the Mosaic Law, understanding that in spite of our sinful nature which began in the Garden of Eden, the Bible records that God has faithfully provided mechanisms for guiding believers along the “A Path of Righteousness”. Before the advent of Jesus, whose sacrifice on the cross, subsequent resurrection, and ascension to Heaven, allowed those who believed to be sanctified by the Holy Spirit. God gave the People of Israel the Ten Commandments, as described in Exodus 20:1-17. These laws gave a nation of former slaves rules to guide the people along God’s path. Over time, the Commandments have been expanded by the Jews into the Laws of Moses, comprising three Codes.

BLCF: 10-commandments-and-beatitudes

The first Code is the 10 Commandments. The second Code consists of the Ordinances, a set of Spiritual specifications which include: a description of the Tabernacle, Holy Days, acceptable offerings, and activities or responsibilities of the priesthood. The third Code may be described as a set of Social rules governing such things as diet, sanitation, quarantine, soil conservation, taxation, marriage, slavery, etc. Many consider these comprehensive Mosaic Laws as the foundation or template of our modern legal system. While the first code was given by God to Moses, the second and third were a human attempt to expand or embellish the original ten by covering every possible facet of society. Most importantly, as the manmade Laws grow in number and complexity, in an attempt to address each new situation, there is a tendency to forget the importance of the original 10 Commandments and who authored them. Some mistakenly think that Jesus came to do away with the Laws of Moses, as we read in Mathew 5:17, Jesus said that not that he came to destroy the law or the prophets: but he came to fulfill them, and by his death and resurrection bring the Holy Spirit to those who believe. The Holy Spirit is the key to God’s plan for providing guidance to believers to keep along His path. You may also recall in last Sunday’s lesson that as believers in Christ, God has removed the old rules or laws and provided, through the Holy Spirit, provided a beautiful and simple way for us to grow and mature, by accepting the responsibility of our spiritual maturity. He has given us his Beatitudes which each of us may use to measure our spiritual growth on a personal level. By doing so we may grow and develop our fruit of the Spirit and draw closer to his presence with the help of the Holy Spirit. The Gifts of the Spirit given by faith in Christ’s act of salvation are free, and not of works, lest anyone should boast. To grow the fruit of the Spirit does require a conscious effort on our part as believers. For any of you who have grown fruit in a garden, you must realize that it takes time and you may not get fruit in the first season. You must wait for the trees and vines to mature. You must plant, water, prune, fertilize, spray, and protect a tree or vine. And you must provide the right soil and climate to allow the fruit to grow and prosper. Finally, you must be persistent and patient to see fruit grow and mature.

BLCF: Fruit_of_Spirit_Galatians_5_22-23

So now we are caught up on the lesson from last Sunday, let us examine Jesus’ message which describes a list of Beatitudes found in his Sermon on the Mount.

The Sermon on the Mount

BLCF: Gustave-Dore-Jesus-Preaching-the-Sermon-on-the-Mount

You may ask: “What are some concrete evidence or expressions of these spiritual gifts and are these expressions truly an example of using the Spirit’s Gifts in a manner that is producing fruit?” Jesus gave us a list of expressions of Godly Gifts, which he described as Beatitudes in his Sermon on the Mount, the longest sermon recorded in the Gospels. The message was delivered from a place called The Mount of Olives, which is why the sermon, is also known as The Olivet Discourse, where Jesus gives emphasis the importance of who his disciples are over what his disciples do, as described in Matthew 5:1-16 and Luke 6:12-26:

Matthew 5:1-16: The Beatitudes 

BLCF: beatitudes
5 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons[a] of God. 10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Salt and Light

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13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that[b] they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Footnotes: a. Matthew 5:9 Greek huioi; see Preface b. Matthew 5:16 Or house. 16Let your light so shine before others that

Luke 6:12-26 (ESV): The Twelve Apostles

BLCF: The_Exhortation_to_the_Apostles_James_Tissot
12 In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. 13 And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles: 14 Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, 15 and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, 16 and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

Jesus Ministers to a Great Multitude

BLCF: Sermon-on-the-Mount-Graphic
17 And he came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, 18 who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. And those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. 19 And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came out from him and healed them all.

The Beatitudes

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20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 21 “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied. “Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. 22 “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! 23 Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets. 24 “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. 25 “Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry. “Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. 26 “Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.
BLCF: beatiful-atitudes
We see that The Beatitudes come from activities motivated by a heart of love, humility, and compassion, rather than actions motivated by the expectation of rewards in this world. If the heart is right, then the believer will receive the blessings of a great reward in heaven. Question: “What are the Beatitudes?” Answer: The Beatitudes are the eight declarations of blessedness spoken by Jesus at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:3-12), each beginning with “Blessed are…” It is debated as to exactly how many beatitudes there are. Some speak of seven, nine, or ten beatitudes, but the number appears to be eight (verses 10-12 of Matthew 5 being one beatitude). The Greek word translated “blessed” means “happy, blissful” or, literally, “to be enlarged.” In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus uses the word to refer to more than a superficial happiness; in this context, blessed refers to a state of spiritual well-being and prosperity. The happiness is a deep joy of the soul. Those who experience the first aspect of a beatitude (poor, mourn, meek, hungry for righteousness, merciful, pure, peacemakers, and persecuted) will also experience the second aspect of the beatitude (kingdom of heaven, comfort, inherit the earth, filled, mercy, see God, called sons of God, inherit the kingdom of heaven). The blessed have a share in salvation and have entered the kingdom of God, experiencing a foretaste of heaven. Another possible rendering of the beginning of each beatitude is “O the bliss [or blessedness] of . . . .” The Beatitudes describe the ideal disciple and his rewards, both present and future. The person whom Jesus describes in this passage has a different quality of character and lifestyle than those still “outside the kingdom.” As a literary form, the beatitude is also found often in the Old Testament, especially in the Psalms (1:1; 34:8; 65:4; 128:1) and in the New Testament as well (John 20:2914:22James 1:12Revelation 14:13). https://www.gotquestions.org/beatitudes.html But what do we mean by the terms blessing and beatitude? We can find several definitions to help us understand:
BLCF: blessings

Definition (from Google): blessing [bles-ing] noun

    1. The act or words of a person who blesses.
    1. A special favor, mercy, or benefit: The blessings of liberty.
    1. A favor or gift bestowed by God, thereby bringing happiness.
    1. The invoking of God’s favor upon a person: The son was denied his father’s blessing.
    1. Praise; devotion; worship, especially grace said before a meal: The children took turns reciting the blessing.
    1. Approval or good wishes: The proposed law had the blessing of the governor.
While we see in the above six definitions, some include examples, that are either secular or faith-related. Our lesson today will focus on the second and third definitions:
    1. A special favor, mercy, or benefit: The blessings of liberty.
    1. A favor or gift bestowed by God, thereby bringing happiness.
When we combine these two definitions, we a special favor, mercy, or benefit (through Jesus’ sacrifice), which gives the believer the God-given gifts of liberty from sin and joy to the heart. Augustine of Hippo comments on the Beatitudes listed in the first of today’s Scripture verses that is Matthew 5:1-16, posted within an article by Steven Rummelsburg published online at crisismagazine.com.

St. Augustine’s Commentary on the Sermon on the Mount

Steven Jonathan Rummelsburg

BLCF: Saint_Augustine
The Beatitudes in Matthew’s Gospel are described as “perfect works emanating from virtues perfected by the gifts” of the Holy Spirit. St. Augustine orders and clarifies the relationships between the beatific precepts and their corresponding spiritual gifts:
    • Poverty of spirit corresponds with fear of the lord in which all wisdom begins.
    • Meekness corresponds with piety, honor for the sacred Scriptures and the restrained power to live them out.
    • Mourning corresponds with the gift of knowledge and facilitates the discernment of good from evil.
    • Hunger and thirst for justice corresponds with the gift of fortitude to be truly just.
    • Mercy coincides with the gift of counsel which exhorts us to forgive as we wish to be forgiven.
    • Purity of heart corresponds with the gift of understanding what the eye has not seen and the ear has not heard.
    • Peacemaking corresponds with the gift of wisdom.
St. Augustine explains that “for with peacemakers all things are in proper order, and no passion is in rebellion against reason, but everything is in submission to man’s spirit because that spirit is obedient to God.” http://www.crisismagazine.com/2014/st-augustines-commentary-on-the-sermon-on-the-mount The Beatitudes, as listed in Matthew 5:1-16, are expressions of the believer’s faith and heart that can be viewed as the seasoning or ‘salt’ that enhances our faith activities, helping to illuminate or shed ‘light’ on the Lord’s Gospel. The ultimate purpose of the salt and light is to glorify our Father in heaven. The second of today’s Scripture verses, Luke 6:12-26, gives us a background to the events immediately prior to Christ’s Olivet Discourse, Jesus, gave the following prayer to God, called forth his disciples, selecting twelve Apostles or messengers of his Gospel. In Luke 6:13-16, the Lord names the twelve: 13 And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles: 14 Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, 15 and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, 16 and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

BLCF: beatitudes

Before Jesus gives the Sermon on the Mount to the multitude, the Lord heals those afflicted with diseases and cures others troubled with unclean spirits, with others seeking to touch and be healed. The Lord shares his message of the beatitudes, but tempers the expectation of blessings by his disciples, with caution of woe to those whose appearance lacks the salt and light expected from a true disciple of the Lord, Luke 6:24-26 (ESV): 24 “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. 25 “Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry. “Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. 26 “Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.
These warnings of woe are clarified in Matthew 25:31-40 (ESV), where Jesus describes how we may truly understand how a believer would be separated and judged, based not upon actions, but upon the love, humility, and compassion showed to others, In other words as disciples of Christ, we must focus upon the importance of who we are over what we do, as was described at the very beginning of today’s lesson:

The Final Judgment

BLCF: sheep-goats
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you did it to me.’ In order to receive God’s blessing and receive the favor of inheriting the kingdom of heaven, we need to first demonstrate our own favour to the least of our brothers and sisters. In order to receive God’s blessing and receive the favor of inheriting the kingdom of heaven, we need to first demonstrate our own favour to the least of our brothers and sisters. If we are made in His image, then our image must be an expression of His love. After all, God is Love.
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The Beatitudes remind us again that people work their entire lives to achieve wealth, fame, and power, which may bring material rewards. Christians believe, however, that those who live by the code of conduct outlined in the Beatitudes and pursue righteous lives will develop the quality of character that God wants His followers to have and will ultimately be blessed with the reward of an eternity in Heaven. Let us pray…

Closing Music Special: The Beatitudes Song – (Lyrics) – Provided to YouTube by Catapult Reservatory, LLC · Brook Hills Worship · Matt Mason · Mandi Mapes Kottas – https://youtu.be/5yxs5wFpnGg Benediction – (Philippians 4:19): And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.

BLCF: No Jesus No Peace

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