What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Sermon Notes: "I Will Be Happy When..."



The title above was the question posed by our pastor in the beginning of his sermon today. The sermon was based on Matthew 5:1-12,  also known as "The Sermon on the Mount" and "The Beatitudes".  You probably remember them starting out as "blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven..."  and so on and so forth...

How would you answer the question, "I will be happy when..."?  Some people might answer with things like, "when I can retire...", "When I can pay off these debts...", When I grow up and can do what I want...", "When I can get out on my own"... "When I can buy a new house, or car, or whatever we think we need..." 

The "Beatitudes" listed in verses 1-11 all start out with "Blessed are...".  Some versions say "Happy are" instead of "Blessed".   "Happy are the poor in spirit?"..."Happy are those that mourn?"....
"Happy are the meek?" "Happy are those that hunger and thirst?"  "Happy are the merciful?"   "Happy are the pure in heart?"   "Happy are the peacemakers?"  "Happy are the persecuted?"

I wonder how many of us would have filled in the blank on the original question,

  • "I will be happy when..."  with, 
  • "when I am poor in spirit, 
  • or when I am mourning, 
  • or when I am meek, 
  • or when I am hungry and thirsty, 
  • or merciful, 
  • pure in heart, 
  • a peacemaker, 
  • or when I am persecuted???" 

It is kind of an upside down way of looking at our own "set of rules".  We think the blessed or happy are the rich, the strong, the winners, those who get their hunger and thirst fed at the best restaurants in town, etc.,  and not the other way around. 

But Jesus said that we are blessed when we are poor in spirit, because ours will be the kingdom of heaven...

The word "poor" in the Greek translates to "abject poverty".  True poverty is a cruel thing. Those who live in poverty long for a bit of kindness. They crave a bit of dignity. 

The poor in spirit bring nothing in their hands that God needs...

  • they come in their brokenness hoping to be mended
  • they come in their sin hoping to be forgiven
  • they come in their grief hoping to be comforted
  • they come in their illness hoping to be healed
We try hard not to be poor in spirit.  We try desperately to be in control all our lives.
Our best efforts, however, leave us exhausted.  We are so desperate to do it our way that we are exhausted.
We are used to demanding what we want and expecting to get it.

There was a wealthy man whose son lay dying in an emergency room of the hospital, badly injured. He pleaded with the doctor, saying, "I will pay for the very best doctors, hospitals, surgeons, specialists, whatever it takes, wherever we have to go to save my son."
The doctor sadly said to the distraught father, "Your money can't buy anything here. All you can do now is wait and pray."   Sometimes we are brought to that place of desperation before we realize that all we can do is wait on God and pray.  When we come to that place of being "poor in spirit", then we are blessed as we realize the true kingdom of God surrounding us and in us.


“Henri Nouwen once asked Mother Teresa for spiritual direction. 'Spend one hour each day in adoration of your Lord, she said, and never do anything you know is wrong. Follow this and you'll be fine.'”

"When our need is the greatest, there is where we'll find our blessing from God."

So now I ask myself and you to answer that question, "I will be happy when..."   And the answer is: When I realize that coming to that place of utter dependence upon God is where I will find true blessing and happiness and peace.  

Sermon Notes: FUMC, Interlachen, FL, Pastor John Bennett, 02/02/2020

Please Note : I want to repeat this disclaimer here...the notes, outline, and content included here are based upon my own personal understanding of the message that was being given. I am not attempting to completely quote or reproduce this message or any other message I've shared previously. Just as each person reading these notes may glean insights and thoughts that seem to directly apply to one's own situation and interpretation, my own delivery of these messages is skewed by my hearing and translation of what is being said. Some may read my notes here and wonder if they were hearing the same message as I...and I say, God speaks to each of us as He wills...there are things He is trying to get across to each individual that may be entirely different than what the person sitting next to you in the pew is needing to hear... That is how the Holy Spirit works! He knows what we need to hear and how to apply it to our hearts. So it is with that understanding that I present these sermon notes to you.


25 comments:

  1. Wow...powerful!!!!! Exactly what I needed to see...thank you, Pamela. smiles

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    1. I am so glad that this touched your heart today, Linda. Sometimes God speaks to us through the most unexpected places. Blessings to you today and smiles too!

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  2. Your church's windows are so pretty! Our Pastor is doing a 9-week series on the Psalms. It will take us through to a couple of weeks before Easter. Today was Psalm 120-121 and I love verses 7 & 8 of 121: The Lord will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

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    1. Such wonderful promises from God's Word. Wow...I love those verses! Thank you for sharing them with us. I needed those today.

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  3. Nice sermon.
    But I am mad at churches right now.

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    1. Mad at churches? The people in the churches? Because the church is made up of people who form the Body of Christ. Mad at God? or just the institutions? People will always disappoint us and fail us, but GOD never will. I like the advice Mother Teresa gave Henri Nouwen above. Especially the first part..."Spend one hour each day in adoration of the Lord..." That takes our eyes off of people and back on God...and there we will find peace and rest and comfort and strength and courage and everything we need. People will always fail us, but Jesus NEVER fails. I am sorry you are mad at churches. Tell it to Jesus. After all, they are His children, and He will admonish and chastise them as needed. And then be at peace. Life is too short to be mad at people who are human after all...just leave them in God's hands and go on with life.

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  4. WOW! Pam, your interpretation of the message and scripture given is so awesome! The Beatitudes offer so much to us as Christians, when we are presented with them it causes us all to pause and reflect how we are living our lives! Great food for thought you have shared, I can tell you have a close walk with the Lord, which comes through in your posts. You certainly demonstrate Matthew5:16! Thank you for sharing.
    Blessings,
    Sue

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    1. Oh my goodness, Sue. Thank you for your very kind words. I must admit, I had to look up Matthew 5:16 to see which verse you were referring to, and I am truly humbled by your kind assessment. I pray that it is true in every way. I must say, however, that most of what I said above was pretty much quoting our pastor's sermon this morning. We are blessed to have a very good student of God's Word as our Pastor, and he brings very good, thought provoking messages to us each week from God's Word. We are very thankful and blessed. Thank you for visiting and your words of affirmation. What a blessing it is getting to know you!!

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  5. This is a wonderful post-thank you!

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    1. Thank you, Jan. I am so glad you were blessed by it. We have been blessed with our Pastor and his delivery of God's Word to us each week. I am glad that I am able to share some of what he taught to us to you today. What a blessing!!

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  6. These are sobering thoughts that convict. Thanks for sharing.

    The photos of the stained glass windows are lovely.

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    1. Thank you, Barbara. Yes.there was definitely a lot there to think about in that sermon. It truly made me think and be convicted of perhaps a lack of conviction when I need it most...

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  7. Sounds like it was a wonderful sermon, and certainly gives one a lot to think about. I'm not sure how I would answer your question...I will have to digest that awhile. But I do find happiness each day in my husband, my son, and my grandchildren and in knowing that I am a child of God, a born again Christian, and that God loves me and forgives me of my sins:)

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    1. Those are wonderful things to be happy about for sure! And the last part..."That God loves me and forgives me of my sins"...there is where you have it..."blessed are the poor in spirit, for their's is the kingdom of heaven..." Had you not been willing to confess your sins and recognize that you even needed God to save you, you would still be lost. But when you acknowledged your need of God because you couldn't save yourself from your sins...you became a part of God's family...and a part of the Kingdom of heaven! That's exactly what the point of the message was! Thank you for sharing your heart today! You are a blessing!

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  8. Oh, I forgot something I wanted to tell you! I love the title of your blog. I have always loved that saying. God most definitely shut a HUGE door in my life and not just opened a window, but actually SHOVED me through it:) I thought I had my future/my career all planned out all the way through college but God had a very different idea and at the very last minute He sent someone into my life that completely changed the direction of my life. And as time went by I realized that this was exactly where I was supposed to be and exactly what I was supposed to be doing. God sure can have a sense of humor sometimes:)

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    1. Thank you so much, Cheri, for this "extra" comment...wonderful words of affirmation and encouragement because your story is exactly what I was thinking when I chose the title of my blog. And I think your story also goes along well with today's "sermon notes". We THINK we are in control of our destiny, and we try to so hard to make things happen the way WE think they should go, and then GOD comes along and often times has to literally slam a door in our faces to get us to even look out that open window to the beautiful life He has planned for us instead. Isn't our God and awesome God? He knows exactly what is best for us. We just have to learn to listen, and watch for those "open windows" of HIS opportunity...and be blessed! Thank you so much. You've made my day!

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  9. Wonderful inspiration here, Pamela! Thanks for sharing Sunday's message from your pastor. God is the source of our joy when we submit to Him.
    Blessings!

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    1. Amen to that!! There is great peace and joy in total submission to Christ.

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  10. Not people, churches, religious corporations, and their ridiculousness sometimes. And maybe upset is a better word to use. Their requirements for baptism go above and beyond Christ's. Their procrastination is awful.

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    1. And I am sure that is regarding perhaps a particular church or denomination. Every church/ denomination seems to have its own requirements for baptism. In the churches that I am most familiar with "believer's baptism", which takes place when the person, whether a child or adult, requests to be baptized as a way of testifying to their faith in Christ and wanting to be identified as a Christian believer. The act of baptism does not make us a Christian...it is the outward expression of our faith that we have already made a commitment to Christ. In some denominations they practice infant baptism (or "Christening"), which is an expression of the parents of that child that they will bring him/her up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and make a commitment to raise that child in the Christian faith. However, my understanding of this is that the child must at some point in his/her life make his own commitment to Christ, either through "confirmation" that he accepts that faith of his parents as his own, or through taking that step of believer's baptism at a point in time when he or she has truly accepted Christ as Savior. The only "requirements" should be that person's testimony of faith in Christ, renouncing sin and the "world" and choosing to follow Jesus. Then it is a matter of setting the time, date, and place for the baptism to take place. I know some churches do offer classes for people (children and adults) before they are baptized so that they fully understand what they are doing and why. That is not a bad idea, as some people, especially children or teens, want to get baptized because their friends are doing it, and it is a good idea to be sure they understand what they are doing and why, and that they truly have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. I have worshiped in and worked in several different kinds of churches, and each one has their own way of doing it. The important thing is to give people the opportunity to be baptized, and don't put it off when they are eager and ready to do so. We may never get that chance again.

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  11. Pam, I have to tell you this as you will get a chuckle. Years ago I taught on the The Beatitudes. I couldn't then and still can't (LOL} pronounce words correctly. So I was just a going with the lesson and said, I am just loving this lesson on "The Beautytudes"......Several of the older gals in Christ just laughed. Well I learned the correct way to pronounce the word that night and you an imagine I was a tad embarrassed. (NOW, I am too old to be embarrassed)and still do not pronounce words correctly. But, the sweetest thing was one of those precious older in the Lord and older women said to me was, "Cindy, you pronounced that word perfectly....the beatitudes are indeed BEAUTYTUDES! Hugs and blessings to you dear Pam.
    Cindy

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    1. Oh Cindy! I LOVE that idea..."BEAUTYTUDES"! Why not? They help to produce a more beautiful spirit and soul within us when we practice the "Beatitudes". Kind of makes me think of the Christian author, speaker, and "comedian" Patsy Clairmont, when she wrote a book called, "Sportin' a Tude", 'What your attitude says when you're not looking." You could write your own book about the "Beautytudes"...I think it would be a best seller! Love you and your fun sense of humor. When we can laugh at ourselves everyone will laugh with you and cheer you on. Thank you for sharing this. It made me chuckle for sure!!

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  12. Pam: The message of the beatitudes teaches me a lot every time I read them. I too had dreams and aspirations in my youth that were not where God led me. I am at peace and unafraid of what will happen to me or to those whom I love. God knows our hearts and what we can handle in our lives. Good message. Peace and blessings

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    1. Thank you Cecelia. Amazing how God's Word continues to be alive and teaches us new things every day of our lives!! We are so blessed to be His children!!!

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