Special Days – All Saints: Revelation 7:9-17 or Isaiah 51:1-6; Psalm 34:1-10, 22; 1 John 3:1-3; Matthew 5:1-12

Looking at things with Christ’s eyes
Christ invites us to ‘come’ (Revelation 6:1, 3, 5, 7) – and look at things through His eyes. With Him, we look at earth. With Him, we look at heaven. Troubled world, tremendous worship – These are the things we see when we look through the eyes of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our world is deeply troubled. Heaven’s worship is absolutely tremendous. Of all our many ‘troubles’, the greatest is this: We are sinners, and none of us ‘can stand’ before ‘the face of Him who sits on the throne’. Our earthly ‘troubles’ are nothing compared with this! There is hope. There is a way of ‘salvation’. We can be saved through ‘the blood of the Lamb’. If, however, we turn from Him – ‘the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world’- there will be no hope. We will face ‘the wrath of the Lamb’ (Revelation 4:16-17; 5:10, 14; John 1:29). Will you be saved – or lost?
Listening to God and speaking for God
‘The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him that is weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught’ (Isaiah 50:4). We are to listen to God. We are to speak for God. We cannot speak for God unless we are listening to Him. Before we can speak for God, we must speak to Him. We must pray, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening’ (1 Samuel 3:9-10). Listening to God comes before speaking for God. First, we wait on the Lord – ‘I waited patiently for the Lord’. Then, we witness for the Lord – ‘He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God’. Waiting on the Lord and witnessing for Him, we will win others for Him – ‘Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord’ (Psalm 40:1-3).
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Looking to the Lord, we are ‘radiant.’ He has ‘delivered’ us. He has ‘saved’ us (Psalm 34:4-6). Rejoicing in God’s salvation, we say, ‘I will bless the Lord at all times’ (Psalm 34:1). We call upon others to worship the Lord with us – ‘O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His Name together!’ (Psalm 34:3). We invite them to trust in the Lord and come to know the joy of His salvation – ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good! Happy is the man who takes refuge in Him!’ (Psalm 34:8). We encourage them to keep on hearing the Word of the Lord so that they may learn to walk with God – ‘Come, O sons, listen to me, I will teach you the fear of the Lord’ (Psalm 34:11). We seek to lead people on to spiritual maturity. We say to them, ‘Depart from evil, and do good’, praying that they will become ‘mature’, ‘trained by practice to know the difference between good and evil’ (Psalm 34:14; Hebrews 5:14).
Our full enjoyment of eternal life is still to come.
Through faith in Jesus Christ, ‘the Son of God’, we receive ‘eternal life’ (1 John 2:22-25; John 20:31). Our enjoyment of eternal life has already begun – ‘we are God’s children now.’ Our full enjoyment of eternal life is still to come: ‘It does not yet appear what we shall be…’. We have begun to experience Christ’s victory: ‘The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil’. We look forward to our full enjoyment of His victory: ‘When He appears, we shall be like Him…’ (1 John 3:2, 8). Some will try to ‘deceive’us. We must keep our eyes on Christ – ‘He laid down His life for us’. We have received His ‘love’. We must show His love – ‘Let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth’ (1 John 3:7, 16, 18). Do you believe in Christ? Live the life. Be a believer – in deed’!
We have begun to enjoy God’s blessing. Let’s share it with others.
Here, in Matthew 5:1-2, we have the introduction to ‘the Sermon on the Mount’ (Matthew 5-7). Reference is made to both ‘the disciples’ and ‘the crowds’. The disciples are taught with a view to becoming teachers of the crowds. Peter learned from Christ and later he taught the crowds (Acts 2:14-42). The Sermon on the Mount was heard by the crowds as well as the disciples. Jesus spoke to the crowds. His ministry to the disciples had a dual purpose. It was for their own spiritual strengthening. It was training for the time when they would be entrusted with the Lord’s commission: ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations… teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you’(Matthew 28:19-20). Do you read God’s Word solely for your own benefit? Or, do we have an eye for ways in which we can learn to share His Word with others?
‘The Beatitudes’ show us God’s way of blessing. We might also describe them as the Be Attitudes, since they show us what we are to be. Jesus teaches us that the way to happiness is the way of holiness. The only alternative to the way of holiness is the way of hypocrisy. There can be no true happiness when we are walking in the way of hypocrisy. Holiness is to take shape in our lives – the shape of Jesus Christ living in us. This is the truly happy life: the Christ-centered life. We are not to live according to present appearances. We are to live in the light of the future Reality of God’s heavenly Kingdom. Some of Jesus’later statements can be viewed as an exploration of the meaning of the Beatitudes. The general principles (Matthew 5:3-10) are to be applied personally: ‘Blessed are you…’ (Matthew 5:11-12). We are not only to read the Beatitudes. We are to live them.

One thought on “Special Days – All Saints: Revelation 7:9-17 or Isaiah 51:1-6; Psalm 34:1-10, 22; 1 John 3:1-3; Matthew 5:1-12

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