The blessing of being poor (in spirit) – Matthew 5:3

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Matthew 5:3 reads: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (NASB) One must assume that Jesus knew what he was doing when he put this Beatitude first in the list. Blessed are the poor in Spirit. Luke’s record shortens this saying to simply, “blessed are you who are poor” […]

Life on the wheel – 5 reasons why your church calendar is out of control and what to do about it

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A pastor friend recently referred to the sum of all the activities at his church as “the wheel.” Hearing him say this, a vision of a large hamster wheel came to mind. There often is a sense in a church body that things need to happen and that everyone needs to pitch in to keep […]

Introduction to the Beatitudes – Sermon on the Mount #3

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Before examining the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-11, it would be helpful to offer a few words on the meaning of the word translated “blessed” in our English Bibles. The word in the original is makarios, which in Homer denoted the “transcendent happiness of a life beyond care, labor and death.” (Theological Dictionary of the New […]

Where the wild things are . . . worshipping

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I noticed a reference to wild beasts in Mark 1:13: And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him. (NKJV) While in the wilderness, Jesus was with the wild animals. Do you suppose that the animals recognized Jesus as their […]