Monday, August 10, 2020

The Meek!

 

                   The Beatitudes Series

 

Introduction:

A.   ABlessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.@

 Matt. 5:5

B.   What is meekness?  Take a look at this clip:

 

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IhlJagn0LU

 

C.   Is Adam weak or meek?

 

Trans.    Let's look at this beatitude and see if we can tell!

Prayer

                           Matt. 5:5

 

I.   Let's look at the meaning of the word meek.

 

A.   We tend to think it means a spineless, cowardly person who cannot stand up to anything!

 

Def. Webster: Modest, mild, submissive.

 

From this we have formed the opinion that a meek person is submissive to everyone!  Doesn't stand up!

 

B.   Surely this isn't what Christ meant when he said, "Blessed are the meek."

 

 

C.   Meek:  Greek (praus)  2 basic usages

 

1.   The first deals with the right amount of anger.

ex.  To become angry over the hurt of others!  This moves us to help people!

 

2.   The second usage is that of a tamed animal!  It is strong not weak!  Yet at the command of the master it obeys!

              a.   A horse.

              b.   An oxen.

              c.   They are strong, but when well trained, they respond immediately to the master!

 

3.   So the meaning here is God-Controlled!  Because of  being God-Controlled we will only be angry at the  right times.  We respond immediately to the master!

              a.   In our clip, Todd suggested Adam do something that Adam did not feel was right!

              b.   He didn=t cater to the pressure but stood for what  he felt was right.


              c.   He responded immediately to the master!

              d.   That is being meek!

 

II.  What difference does Meekness make?

 

A.   If we are God-Controlled we aren't self-willed!

1.   This makes a difference in our homes because we  listen and consider what our spouse says realizing  we haven't got all the answers!

 

2.   This makes a difference  in our churches!  If we are self-willed we think everything should go the way we want it to go.  This attitude leads to jealousy and division.  If we are God-Controlled we are considerate of others and will say things the right way!  Most of all we will work things out!

 

B.   If we are God-Controlled we aren't wishy-washy!  Learn to be firm in your convictions but considerate of the convictions of others!

 

C.   If we are God-Controlled it affects all areas of our lives!

1.   Financial - Don't cheat!

2.   Family

3.   Leisure - clean and decent

 

III. The last part of this Beatitude says, "For they shall

inherit the earth."  What does that mean?

 

A.   Being God-Controlled and in God's will is the best for our lives!  We will be the happiest!  We will have a life of purpose!  We will have the abundant life!

 

"I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly!"  John 10:10b

 

B.   Being God-Controlled helps us find true friendships!   We will find friends that are also seeking meekness. Because of that, they will be friends who will be there through good and bad!

 

C.   So to inherit the earth means we will have the really important things this earth has to offer!

1.   Full and meaningful life.

2.   Truest friendships!

 

 

Conclusion:

A.   Meekness is not something that happens overnight!

 

B.   It takes a lot of yielding to God and attentiveness (watching) to find areas we aren't meek.

 


C.   Jesus told Peter, "Watch and pray that ye enter not  into temptation!"  Matt. 26:41  And Peter fell asleep!

 

D.   Too many times if we aren't careful we won't be alert to see the place we need to let God control until we've already messed it up!

 

E.   Do we need to pray that God would help us to watch and yield?

 

 

                            Prayer

Missional Moment & Announcements for Aug. 9th

 


Missional Moment!

The nursing homes are still needing craft supplies.

Masks - we have given out over 1,400 masks and are still making more. If you or someone you know needs a mask please contact us. If you would like to provide masks, please let us know.

Colonial Springs has asked that we make signs on a stake to encourage and support the workers who are dealing with the COVID 19.  You can ring the door bell at Colonial Springs and leave them in front of the door or bring them by Grace or Buffalo UMC during Office hours and we will take them over.  They will put them up in places that workers and residence and view them through the doors and windowss.  Thank you for your support of this new ministry!

Haven has finalized their move into Buffalo church.  Edwina is going to be volunteering for the Haven; if you are interested in helping at the Haven, let me know.   This is an exciting extension of Buffalo UMC's ministry!

Vicki's missional moment (during the service) for this weekend:

Overview of Festival of Sharing gatherings:
    Thanks for your continued support of the Festival of Sharing and there is still time to give, see     below for kit contents we are collecting or you can give money and we will shop!

    Sharefest is scheduled for September 19th in Republic to deliver our collected donations!

    We will get together Saturday, Sept. 5th at 9 a.m. at the Buffalo UMC Family Life Center to     assemble the collections.  Come help if you can!

The Red Cross blood drive was a huge success with 27 donors!  Thanks for you support of this ministry!

Announcements

I am planning on doing a Bible Study from the book of Matthew.  I will start it in September and it will follow the school year.  I plan to offer it in person at the Buffalo Family Life Center and on Zoom as well.  Zoom will also help us be able to keep going when weather is not permitting.   This would probably be on Thursday evening at 7 p.m..   I will start with a Power Point presentation at the church of some slides from a trip I made to the Holy Land to help us see a little more about the area there.   At Buffalo Family Life Center,  we will set up for social distancing, and we will have a computer set up where people can join us on Zoom too. If you are interested, let me know.  Also, now would be a good time for me to help you get set up with Zoom so that you can use it when needed.  

Tonight:
GriefShare is paused fro now!

Monday express service at 6:30 at Grace - We have started a Monday Evening Express Service at Grace.  Most of the time, it will be around 30 minutes.    The music for this service is mostly Contemporary.  (If you are out of town for the weekend, have to work on Sunday, or just did not make it Sunday, this might be just for you!  Also, maybe you will just like the format!  Come join us on Monday night and check it out. Hear the message and sing a couple praise songs.  Worship and praise the Lord!  Let us help you start your week out right!)  Spread the word to those who may not know!  Some have been attending this service because it is easier to social distance at it; if that sounds like something you'd be interested in, again, you might check it out.  Also, as of this weekend, at the recommendation of our Health department, you are encouraged to wear as mask, unless you have circumstances that make it unbearably difficult.  Masks are available if you need one.

Wednesday, Aug. 12th at 9:15: Prayer meeting.   We meet in my office at Grace.  You are encouraged to wear masks as able and Social Distance, but if you can't come and want to be a part, I can include a limited number of folks by Conference call on Speaker phone if you will let me know of your interest.  

Wednesday, Aug. 12th at 10 a.m. at Grace:  The Faithbuilders Bible Study will meet.

Wednesday, Aug. 12th at 1:30 p.m. at Buffalo Family Life Center: Lydia Circle will meet!

Festival of Sharing:
Thanks for your gracious support of our District Challenge to bring unscented deodorant.  We were able to take 220, which was excellent!  Thank you!

We are collecting your old prescription eye glasses. They will be repurposed to serve those who need them.

For June, for Festival of Sharing, we are collecting items for or asking you to make Dental Packs for Missouri.  Information for this is available at the churches or you can call Vicki or I for information on what you need to buy or how you need to make the kit.

The July Mission Focus for Festival of Sharing was:

            Global  - CWS School Kits

         Childs scissors, ruler, pencil sharpener, 6 new pencils, large eraser, 24 ct. crayons,           3- 70 ct. spiral notebooks, 1- 12x14 up to 14x17 canvas bag w/ cloth handles – (no               logos).



Want to join a group of support to strengthen your faith and your health?

Lessons in faith, health tips and a walk for exercise. All with the support of others.

Let Pastor Vicki know if you are interested and we will set a date and time that works.



Thanks for your support of the ministries of the United Methodist Churches of Buffalo.  If you have still been attending via Live Stream, please remember that you can continue to support the ministries of our churches by mailing to P.O. Box 375 for Grace or to P.O. Box 134 for Buffalo UMC.  Also, you can give through PayPal online.  If you have questions about that, contact the office.

Please share our Live Stream by reposting on Facebook or my blog with others on either Facebook or by email  to help extend the ministry of our Churches!  Have a blessed week!

Think that’s everything.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Those Who Mourn!

                 The Beatitudes: Sermon Three

                    

Intro:  St. John 11:32-36

A.   v.35 is the shortest verse in the Bible!  But it teaches us a lot!  AJesus wept.@  KJV

 

B.   What is significant about the fact that Jesus wept?

 

C.   In our Beatitude for today, we see where Jesus said,  "Blessed are those who mourn!"

 

Trans.    Let's look together and see why we are "Blessed" if we mourn!

 

                            Prayer

                           Matt. 5:4

 

I.   Let's look at the meaning of the word mourn!

 

A.   Mourn-Greek pentheo (pronounced pen-they-oh) literally-to mourn for the dead.

 

B.   When the O.T. was translated to Greek it is the same word used to describe Jacob's grief when he feared Joseph had been killed by animals!  Gen. 37:34 Jacob loved Joseph and the thought of his death was almost  more than he could stand!

 

C.   So it is more than an "Oh, I'm  sorry"  But a deep heartfelt sorrow!

 

II.  How does this apply to our lives?

 

3 types of mourning this applies to:

 

A.   When we've lost to death those closest to us!

1.   The loss of a mate or a child to a tragic death!

2.   It has got to hurt very deeply!

3.   But to this deep hurt comes the promise "for they will be comforted."

4.   There are some points we need to remember when tragedy strikes!

 

a.   Don't blame God!

1)   God didn't want people to be puppets on strings.  So he created people with free  will!

2)   With that free will people made choices that brought sickness and death into the picture!


3)   That same God didn't want to leave people in this state either so God sent Christ to provide a way that we can be put back in that beautiful relationship with God  where there will be no hurt or sickness or death (Heaven).

 

b.   Don't blame ourselves!

1)   There are so many factors involved in death.

2)   More than likely we didn't control all of them.

3)   Taking on the blame doesn't help anything!  It just destroys us!

 

c.   Concentrate on letting God put it back together. 

1)   With God's help count the things we've still got; don't dwell on what                          we've lost!

 

"Italian Philosophy" poem from Robert Schuller quotes in "The Be (Happy) Attitudes:

 

Count your garden by the flowers,

Never by the leaves that fall.

Count your days by golden hours,

Don't remember clouds at all.

Count your nights by stars, not shadows,

Count you life with smiles, not tears.

And with joy on every birthday,

Count your age by friends, not years.

 

2)   Realize grief can make us "bitter or better."

a)   Let God make us better!  God wants to!  Rom. 8:28 AFor we know that all things work together for good to them who love the Lord ...@

b)   There are a lot of ways God brings good from bad situations but one thing God can always bring from every situation is, (If we will let God), God can use us to help someone else in a similar situation!

Ex.  One of my college professors,

Dr. Larry Crowe, lost a daughter

in a tragic car wreck.  He

talked of going through a time

of mourning and missing her

greatly.  Then one day he

determined to give it to God and

let God bring something good out

of it for him.  He said that God

had helped him and now he felt


that he was in a situation to

help someone else go through a

similar time: that was something positive that had                                   come from her death.  He got  very passionate talking about    God=s grace through those times.

  

d.   As we yield to God and remember and do these things God will bring us that comfort that we need!  "They shall be comforted!"

 

B.   Second type of mourning this applies to:  When we see the hurt or the injustice of others!

 

1.   Two ways we should mourn for others!

a.   When we see their hurt!

This could be mourning with them at the loss of a loved one or when some tragedy has struck them!

b.   Also, when we see that an injustice is being

done to them because of someone=s

unthoughtfulness or sin toward them!

 

2.   Our world today says, "Don't get involved."

a.   This has crept into our churches and somehow we sometimes fail to let our emotions and  heart get involved with the hurt of others!

b.   This goes against the teachings of the Bible!

              c.   Every once in a while, we see where someone really steps up to the plate and does something  because they are mourning for the hurt and  injustice of others. 

                   1)   Sometimes it is popular.

                   2)   Sometimes it is not; most of the time it probably isn’t.

 

              d.   Who do you know that needs an advocate?  Who needs someone to hurt with them?

 

3.   When we get involved and mourn for others this moves us to action and we find "comfort" in the  fact that we've done what we could!

 

C.   The third way we should mourn is at our sin and short comings!

 

1.   The way to become a Christian is through

              repentance and that begins with sorrow for sin and

realization of our need for God!

2.   After we become a Christian, when we fail and fall

short, when we fall short of God=s love, we should

still feel this sorrow for sin!

3.   This mourning or sorrow for sin moves us to


              repentance!   When we get to this place we find  comfort in the hands of a loving, forgiving God.

 

Conclusion:

 

A.   So blessed is the person who suffers hurt because of a  tragic loss for they will be comforted!  God will give them what they need!

 

B.   Blessed are those who mourn at the pain or injustice of  others!  How long has it been since we've mourned at the pain or injusctice in the life of another?  Pray that God would help us have a caring, concerned heart!

 

C.   Blessed are those who mourn over their sin and lack of

love!  How long has it been since we've mourned over

our own sin?  When we do, "We shall be comforted!"  We

shall find forgiveness! Jesus wept because He hurt with others; that is the kind of God we have! Mourning for others  is a Godly virtue!                  

 

     D.   As we encounter Christ in Communion today, allow God to

          help you to grow in this Godlike quality!

 

                     Prayer of Confession


Monday, July 27, 2020

Missional Moment & Announcements for July 26th



Missional Moment!

The nursing homes are still needing craft supplies.

Masks - we have given out over 1,000 masks and are still making more. If you or someone you know needs a mask please contact us. If you would like to provide masks, please let us know.

Colonial Springs has asked that we make signs on a stake to encourage and support the workers who are dealing with the COVID 19.  You can ring the door bell at Colonial Springs and leave them in front of the door or bring them by Grace or Buffalo UMC during Office hours and we will take them over.  They will put them up in places that workers and residence and view them through the doors and windowss.  Thank you for your support of this new ministry!

Haven has finalized their move into Buffalo church.  Edwina is going to be volunteering for the Haven; if you are interested in helping at the Haven, let me know.   This is an exciting extension of Buffalo UMC's ministry!

 Celebration of our Apportionment support and the difference it makes:

We highlighted the World Service Apportionment this week.  You can find the video we played on one of our Facebook pages.  Through World Service, we fulfill the Great Commission by going to the Uttermost parts of the world!

Announcements

I am planning on doing a Bible Study from the book of Matthew.  I will start it in September and it will follow the school year.  I plan to offer it in person at the Buffalo Family Life Center and on Zoom as well.  Zoom will also help us be able to keep going when weather is not permitting.   This would probably be on Thursday evening at 7 p.m..   I will start with a Power Point presentation at the church of some slides from a trip I made to the Holy Land to help us see a little more about the area there.   At Buffalo Family Life Center,  we will set up for social distancing, and we will have a computer set up where people can join us on Zoom too. If you are interested, let me know.  Also, now would be a good time for me to help you get set up with Zoom so that you can use it when needed.  

Tonight:
Monday, July 27th at 5 p.m. at Grace.  GriefShare will meet just before the Monday night Express Worship Service.  Spread the word!

Monday express service at 6:30 at Grace - We have started a Monday Evening Express Service at Grace.  Most of the time, it will be around 30 minutes.    The music for this service is mostly Contemporary.  (If you are out of town for the weekend, have to work on Sunday, or just did not make it Sunday, this might be just for you!  Also, maybe you will just like the format!  Come join us on Monday night and check it out. Hear the message and sing a couple praise songs.  Worship and praise the Lord!  Let us help you start your week out right!)  Spread the word to those who may not know!  Some have been attending this service because it is easier to social distance at it; if that sounds like something you'd be interested in, again, you might check it out.  Also, as of this weekend, at the recommendation of our Health department, you are encouraged to wear as mask, unless you have circumstances that make it unbearably difficult.  Masks are available if you need one.

Wednesday, July 29th at 9:15: Prayer meeting.   We meet in my office at Grace.  You are encouraged to wear masks as able and Social Distance, but if you can't come and want to be a part, I can include a limited number of folks by Conference call on Speaker phone if you will let me know of your interest.  

Wednesday, July 29th at 10 a.m. at Grace:  The Faithbuilders Bible Study will meet.

Festival of Sharing:
Thanks for your gracious support of our District Challenge to bring unscented deodorant.  We were able to take 220, which was excellent!  Thank you!

We are collecting your old prescription eye glasses. They will be repurposed to serve those who need them.

For June, for Festival of Sharing, we are collecting items for or asking you to make Dental Packs for Missouri.  Information for this is available at the churches or you can call Vicki or I for information on what you need to buy or how you need to make the kit.

New July Mission Focus for Festival of Sharing:
            Global  - CWS School Kits
         Childs scissors, ruler, pencil sharpener, 6 new pencils, large eraser, 24 ct. crayons,           3- 70 ct. spiral notebooks, 1- 12x14 up to 14x17 canvas bag w/ cloth handles – (no               logos).
Red Cross
Blood Drive

Wednesday August 5th
1:00 – 6:00
Buffalo UMC
Schedule your time slot today.

(Note: they will be testing for Covid antibodies on all donated blood)
Want to join a group of support to strengthen your faith and your health?
Lessons in faith, health tips and a walk for exercise. All with the support of others.
Let Pastor Vicki know if you are interested and we will set a date and time that works.

Thanks for your support of the ministries of the United Methodist Churches of Buffalo.  If you have still been attending via Live Stream, please remember that you can continue to support the ministries of our churches by mailing to P.O. Box 375 for Grace or to P.O. Box 134 for Buffalo UMC.  Also, you can give through PayPal online.  If you have questions about that, contact the office.

Please share our Live Stream on Facebook or my blog with others on either Facebook or by email  to help extend the ministry of our Churches!  Have a blessed week!

Think that’s everything.

The Poor in Spirit


                    The Beatitudes:Sermon 2
                     
Introduction:
A.   What does it mean to be poor? 

B.  Chances are that few of us really know what it means today in the way Jesus’ hearers would have understood it!

A.      Most of us and our children have never missed a meal and enjoy many of our wants!  Our stomachs have growled, but we have never experienced real hunger!

B.      Our Missionaries experience people who understand real Poverty!  There may be some in our own country who do!

C.      The folks Jesus spoke to would have understood real poverty; they would have understood completely being poor!

Trans.    This sermon will be about poverty but not about financial or physical poverty but about "Spiritual Poverty".

                            Prayer
                           Matt. 5:3

I.   To understand this "Beatitude" let's look at the meaning of   the word poor!

A.   Def. Poor: Greek ptochos (pronounced toe-kos).  Young's Concordance def:  trembling poor

B.   "It doesn't mean barely getting along but absolute poverty!  Going without food until trembling!

C.   Same Greek word is used in Luke 16:20-22 in place of  the word beggar! Or poor man in the NRSV!
1.   Here we see Lazarus in poverty that finally ended in death!
2.   Totally dependant on others for food!
3.      He lay at the gate longing for the crumbs from the table of the rich man.

D.   But notice it's not talking about food or physical poverty here!  Poor in Spirit!  It's talking about Spiritual Poverty!  

II.  How can we be blessed or Happy if we are spiritually poor?

A.   By "Realizing" that we are spiritually poor within
          ourselves.  It doesn’t mean depriving ourselves of  spiritual Growth to keep ourselves poor!

A.      By realizing where we would be without God!


B.      By realizing we are trembling poor, spiritually, without God!  All that we are spiritually is because of God=s grace!

D.   When we realize we are nothing without God, we turn to God for the strength God=s love offers!

William Barclay:
"Blessed is the [person] who has realized his {or her} own helplessness and who has put his [or her] whole trust in God."

III. "For theirs is the kingdom of Heaven!"

A.   Those who strive to realize what their life is without God are part of the kingdom of Heaven!  Now and in Eternity!

B.   Only those that see their unworthiness shall be a part of the kingdom of God!

IV.  People aren't ready for spiritual growth until they see
themselves the way God sees them!

A.   Isaiah puts it well!  Isaiah 64:6
"All our righteousness are as filthy rags."  Compared to God we are very "Spiritually Poor"

B.   This doesn't leave any room for self-pride!

V.   Self-pride is very prevalent in our world today!    

A.   Some think their skin color is better than other
          people's skin color!

B.   Their race is better than others!

C.   Some people can't tolerate those that dress
          differently!  (Sad-These couldn't have accepted
          Christ!)

D.   Self-pride keeps us from accepting people in other social classes!

F.      Self-pride keeps us from accepting people who are different in some way than ourselves!

F.   Saddest of all ...Self-Pride says "I don't need God I'm making it fine myself!"  Many in our "Land of Plenty"  feel this way!

G.   All of us have bordered on this last one before
because "Don't we tend to forget God when things go well and call out to God when it starts falling apart?"


VI.  So we all need to grow toward this virtue of being "Poor in Spirit".

A.   We need to see how far we fall short in God's eyes!

B.   We need to see where we would be without Christ!

C.   When we realize this and we desire growth and realize we need God's help to ever grow; we are ready to grow.

D.   Then when we realize where we are in God's eyes, where
          we would be without God, and with God's help are
growing, then we will be the "Kingdom of Heaven"
because we will be busy sharing & telling of God's Love
and what a difference it's made in our lives."
1.      We become more grateful and live from an attiude of thanksgiving instead of an attitude of deserving what we have!
2.      We want others to find this God who has forgiven us and given us another chance!
3.      We want to share what God has done in our lives!

Conclusion:  Let me say!
"O the blessedness of the person who realizes his or her
 total dependence on God; he or she is and will be "a part
 of the kingdom of heaven."

A.      This sermon brings us to ask ourselves, "Have we come to this place in our lives?"  This place of realizing our total dependance on God and really letting God live through us?

B.      Then, and only then, will we be truly happy and blessed!  Then, and only then, can we really shine as God’s representatives in the world!


                            Prayer

Monday, July 20, 2020

The Supreme Blessedness!


                        The Beatitudes
            Sermon One:  "The Supreme Blessedness"

Introduction:

     A.   Watch this clip:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKKjqzkGo3o

B.   How many of you like or want to be happy?  We all do!

C.   This passage of scripture we are about to study tells us how to be Happy!

Def. Nelson Bible defines Blessed as Happy!

D.   We are in a season of Growth in the Christian year,
between Easter and Advent; the color is green! It is
fitting that as we are in this season of growth
we should look at some of Jesus= teachings in order to
grow! As we search for what Christ was trying to get
across in these scriptures determine to let yourself
discover just what this Blessedness or Happiness is and
how we can attain it!

                            Prayer
                         Matt. 5:1-12

          Personal Challenge to memorize Matt. 5:3-10

I.   To begin a study of the Beatitudes or "Blessings", let's look at the importance Christ put on teaching!

A.   Notice in verses 1 & 2 he sat and began to teach!  (He sat signifying teacher!)

B.   Matt. 25:14-30 "The parable of the talents" (summarize)
          1.   Man going on a journey summons his slaves.
          2.   To one he gave 5 talents, to one 2, and to one 1, each according to his ability.
          3.   The one who had 5 talents made 5 more, the one with 2 made 2 more, but the one with 1 buried it and hid it, only returning the one to his master.
          4.   The master was not pleased with the one who only returned one; he took his talent and cast him into outer darkness!
          5.   The message is clear we should grow or build on the
talents & abilities God has given us!
"We aren't to stand still but grow!"

C.   Matt. 28:20 "The Great Commission" ends with "Teach them to observe all things."


D.   If we are to grow we must be taught!  I believe Christ felt this way!

E.   So when Christ taught he had something very important to say; to help us to grow!

F.   So we are going to look at these important Christian virtues that Christ taught, that we call The Beatitudes!

II.  To get more out of these teachings of Christ we will look at these in 8 individual sermons!
1.   The poor in spirit. v.3.
2.   Those who mourn. v.4.
3.   The meek. v.5.
4.   Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness. v.6.
5.   The merciful. v.7.
6.   The pure in heart. v.8.
7.   The peacemakers. v.9.
8.   The persecuted. vs.10-12

III. A true disciple wants to learn so Christ has given him/her some food for thought!
Christ was teaching some ideals (virtues) that we should try to grow toward in our daily lives!

IV.  But too many times in our world today growing toward Christian Ideals is the farthest thing from our minds!

A.   Sometimes we are self-centered!
"Do your own thing!"
"Don=t worry about others, but look out for number
 one!"

B.   If we aren't self-centered we get caught up in devoting our lives to material gain for ourselves and our families!

C.   So in our world today it is very important to see what Christian Virtues Christ would have us grow toward!

V.   In order to get the real message out of each Beatitude we must first understand the word each begins with!  "Blessed"

"Blessed" means "O the blessedness of ..."

A.   Our closest translation would be Happy.  "Oh the Happiness of"

B.   But our English word Happy comes from a root word "Hap" which means depending on chance!

This is true of the happiness of this world it is by chance! Even in our little cartoon, as much as we all loved it, much of the happiness that it described depended on our conditions, it depended on chance!

C.   But the Blessedness of the Beatitudes doesn't depend on chance!  It is grounded in God's love!  And it comes to those that strive for Christian growth even when the going gets tough!

This is a Happiness that isn't based on world  
conditions but on our relationship to God!

VI.  The word blessed or the phrase "O the blessedness of..." indicates that this blessedness is something for the here and now.

A.   We can claim these virtues in our present life!

B.   But these virtues only come to them that hunger & thirst after righteousness!

Conclusion:
Let's set out with this background of what the beatitudes are and a longing to be taught Christian virtues, to grow as disciples of Christ in the weeks ahead!

                            Prayer