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When Christ Shines Through Part II



"When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. 2 He opened His mouth and began to teach 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 gentle, 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 of God." 
10 "Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." 
11 "Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
Good Morning my beloved,

We welcome you to worship in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is my honor and privilege to have you here with us today. We are especially grateful for those of you who have been sharing the ministry website, and social media platforms with all of your family and friends. Your faithfulness and commitment to share God's Word with others continues to bring about tremendous results. People are responding to God's Word! This is all so amazing. We ask you to pray that God will continue to give us boldness to speak the truth in ministry in the face of adversity in the coming days! As you may have noticed, it's becoming more and more challenging in the day in which we live. 

I want to let all of you know how grateful I am for all of you. We are so thankful for your prayers and continue to pray for all of you. Prayer is such a powerful tool, and a mighty weapon against the adversary. And through your sharing, God continues to bring a number of people to faith in Jesus Christ. Praise God! May He continue to use you and this ministry mightily to effect change in even more lives. Let's give God some praise for all He has done!

Although Jesus was Almighty God with all the rights and privileges of deity, He made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. He was poor in spirit. He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. He was a man of sorrows, well acquainted with grief. He wept and He mourned. He was meek. He hungered and thirsted after righteousness. And, He was merciful. I am convinced, this is not the description of a Christian today. If Christ has come to live within those who proclaim His name, to manifest His character, and to minister to others, does anyone ever see Christ shining through the Christian today?

I believe that we have been sucked into a world of entertainment, self-fulfillment and fools. We no longer mourn over our sin, we celebrate it. It is only those who mourn over their sin who know what it is to have their tears dried by the loving hand of Jesus Christ. 

In II Corinthians 1, Paul writes "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."

The subjective work of the Holy Spirit comforts us and the scripture comforts us. As we deal with the sin in our lives, God comforts us, through the work of the Holy Spirit, by the Word, and by the ministry of other believers. 
Unless you feel the weight of the burden of your sin, you cannot experience the blessedness of Christ. Christ is an easy burden compared to carrying the weight of our sinfulness. 
Let us pray
Heavenly Father,
Father, we thank You for the tremendous truth in Your Word.  Lord, may we come to realize that we are nothing but a sinner with no rights and no power. May we subject ourselves to Your will, that we might inherit the blessedness that is promised in Christ. Bring us to that point for our own good O' Lord, that Your glory might motivate us not to fall into selfishness and pride. Crush our pride, that we may truly become like Christ, yielding to the power of Your control, that we might be saved from sin.
Lord, we pray for those who may not know Christ, for those who are deceived, who have no place in Your kingdom,  that they would humble themselves and grieve over their sin. May they thirst for righteousness that only You can give. Let us be consumed with that which brings You honor and glory.
In Christ's name we ask and pray
Today's Message: When Christ Shines Through Part II
Happiness is a common desire among all people. Yet, so few people seem to find it. When people look at the Bible, all they can see is the negative. They seem to believe that God is some "cosmic killjoy" who spends all of His time trying to think up new ways to make people miserable. Jesus paints for us, a different picture. He demonstrates a God that desires us to have a life filled with satisfaction, contentment, and delight. The issue is, the world is looking for happiness in all the wrong places, associating it with all the wrong things. I would suggest that people seldom see Christ shining through Christians today.
When we allow the Light of Christ to shine through us, the world will see not only a happy person, they’ll see something much deeper…a portrait of the image of Christ. According to Romans 8:29, every Christian is to be conformed to the image of Christ. It is then safe to conclude that every Christian should exhibit the qualities that the beatitudes describe. These guidelines are not suggestions for Christian character, it is the standard that we should strive to measure up to. They describe the characteristics that the world will see in a life that is surrendered to the Lord.
Open your Bibles with me to the Gospel of Matthew chapter 5, today we will pick up at verse 5, where we left off in our last message. This text is so wonderful, so rich, offering us a new approach to life. That’s exactly what Jesus is doing. Theologically, we’re talking about the doctrine of the depravity of man. Last time, Jesus said that a broken spirit and a mourning heart were necessary to enter God’s kingdom. Quite frankly, this concept is completely foreign to everything we see today, where self-righteousness and spiritual pride are prevalent. Sin in the heart of man makes them proud. It’s the presence of sin that produces a hunger and thirst for that which is unholy. The beatitudes do not represent individual qualities, that can be produced by the Christian, but a complete picture of a person under the control of the Holy Spirit. This surely would have been a shock to the system of Jewish religious leaders of that day.

I invite you to follow along with me as I read, to set the text in our minds, as we prepare our hearts for what the Spirit of God is saying to each of us. Matthew 5:1-12. Listen for the voice of our Lord.

"When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to  Him. He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying,  "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

All of Israel had heard about the coming Messiah from John the Baptist. At the time when Jesus first arrived, there was tremendous excitement. They thought that the Messiah would come and He’s going to overthrow Rome. Their anticipation was heightened as Roman oppression escalated.  

When Jesus came saying "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel." They must have thought, surely, this is it! The Zealots, believed He would establish His own political kingdom by sheer might. The Pharisees believed that the Messiah would come and overthrow whoever was controlling Israel miraculously rather than militarily. They were awaiting the glories of the kingdom that have been promised through all the centuries by the prophets. Jesus devastated them in saying things like "My kingdom is not of this world." In 70 AD, the Romans had finally had enough of all of this and destroyed the city of Jerusalem and slaughtered over one million Jews. 

God’s plan was not anything like they thought. It must have really irked them that Jesus spent more time condemning the Jews than He did the Romans. Their irritation quickly turned into hatred, they knew He had miraculous power, but He wasn’t using it to fulfill their agenda. So, they had Him crucified. He then became even more intolerable.That's why in Romans, Paul said the crucifying of Christ made Him a stumbling block to the Jews. Jewish nationalism could never tolerate a crucified Messiah. Jesus specifically pointed to Isaiah 61, when He said "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord." They were ignorant of the meaning of Isaiah 40 to 66.

First He said the kingdom belongs to people who are weeping and mourning. Their disappointment really began here in verse 5, when Jesus says "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." This is the antithesis of everything they believed to be true of the Messiah. What kind of kingdom is established by those who are broken and mourning and meek? The word "meek" in Greek is "praüs," means gentleness and strength. Biblical meekness is not weakness but rather refers to exercising God's strength under His control. Meekness, is power under control, not self-asserted. It's a quiet disposition of the heart, a willing submission to God. Meekness is waiting for the Lord. This is how Jesus lived His life. Jesus is saying God’s blessing belongs to those who yield up to Him. This is in direct contrast to the characteristic nature of the natural man. 

Jesus condemned the leaders of Israel. He fearlessly spoke judgment to the hypocrites. He twice went into the temple and cleansed it. Yet, He fearlessly faced horrible hostility, mockery, terrible persecution and even crucifixion. Jesus was meek, He was not weak. Jesus had power and He had authority, He yielded it to the control of God. He did not use it for His own benefit.

Jesus said the kingdom is made up of people who are poor in spirit, who mourn, who are gentle or meek, now, in verse 6, He says "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." Who hunger and thirst for righteousness. Jesus is talking about a deeply felt need, a driving passion, an intense pursuit, He says "for they shall be satisfied." Many people spend their entire lives pursuing all the wrong things, then, they come to the end of their lives, never having attained it. 

In Luke 12, Jesus tells a parable of one such person, who is generally called the rich fool, whose land was very productive. Saying to himself, "What shall I do since I have no place to store my crops? The thought of giving them to somebody else who was in need, never entered his mind. "And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry." But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." This man was pursuing possessions, he was pursuing personal pleasure. He couldn't get enough. Here, Jesus is giving us a very vivid picture of the world, pursuing that which will bring them fame, wealth and power. Their passions and ambitions are horribly misdirected.

Typically, when we think of hungry and thirsty, we think of someone who missed lunch or had to wait fifteen minutes to eat it. When the Bible talks about hunger and thirst, it's talking about a level of desperation, for which there is no immediate solution. There are a great many people in the world who know a lot more about hunger and thirst than we do. Food and water are not luxuries, they are necessities, and so is righteousness. It is impossible to live in God’s kingdom without righteousness. Righteousness is to the spirit what food is to the physical body. When God touches the heart of a person whose spirit is awakened to their spiritual deprivation, they have an immense compulsion toward righteousness that nothing else can satisfy. The unregenerate, non believer has an immense compulsion toward sin. Only God can replace a hunger for sin with a hunger for righteousness. People today are literally starving, running around looking for whatever they think will satisfy them.

Before Saul became Paul, had the attitude that if anybody’s going to heaven I am. Then, on the road to Damascus he got a glimpse of the Lord, he became physically blind, but he could spiritually see for the first time who he really was. He became poor in spirit! Seeing ourselves accurately comes by seeing the Lord in His glory! When you’ve had enough of everything you thought would satisfy, and still feel empty, you have to reexamine your heart. When you see your true sinful condition, a new hunger for righteousness emerges. Today, many Christians, do not recognize their utter spiritual bankruptcy. There's no overwhelming weight of conviction about their sin. When Christ returns, they're are going to recognize that what they desperately need is righteousness. And they don't have any.

The deeper you get into God's Word, the more humble you become, the more you realize your own nothingness. Verse 6, is transitional, not only because of what went before but because of what now comes after it.

"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." This is so profound that there’s no way that I can begin to cover it all. Mercy literally goes from one end of Scripture to the other. Many people treat mercy like a human virtue. Jesus Christ was the most merciful person that has ever lived. He healed the sick, the lame and the blind. He raised people from the dead. He took a woman who was caught in the act of adultery and confronted her accusers. And yet, they screamed for His blood. Mercy is not just meeting a need, it's getting inside that persons skin and feeling their need.

Titus 3 says "He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy."

Unless you have truly hungered and thirsted for righteousness, you cannot be merciful, pure in heart and a peacemaker. When a man's heart has made peace with God, he becomes merciful, pure in heart, and a peacemaker. They’re not looking for fame, success, or wealth. They desperately seek righteousness, with an all consuming, all-embracing, preoccupying desire. I believe people only become authentic Christians when they reach this level of desperation. Most people only become desperate about a physical illness, a financial situation or perhaps a marriage or whatever is going on in their life. What drives people to God is when they realize their moral bankruptcy. We're not meant to control our Christianity, our Christianity is meant to control us. 

The first four Beatitudes were entirely inner principles. The next Beatitude reaches outward and touches others. Those who acknowledge the desperate need for mercy, begin to show mercy toward others. The first four Beatitudes are the inner attitudes and the last four are the things which they manifest. When you are mourning over your sin, you will wash your heart pure with the tears of penitence. When your heart is pure, you are meek and meekness makes peace. Kingdom people aren't takers, they're givers. We are merciful toward someone when we forgive. Mercy and forgiveness are intrinsically linked. God’s mercies are infinite. Forgiveness flows out of mercy, and mercy flows out of love. God's mercies are based on love. God's great love flows down to our need of His mercy. Mercy always presupposes problems. Grace deals with the problem. Grace removes the sin, mercy removes the punishment. It's all linked together, yet they're different. Thank God, He offers us mercy and grace. 

God knows that we've all done awful things, but He loves us so much, He has so much mercy, He can forgive us. He came into the world in human form and died on the cross, so justice could be satisfied. Do not ever forget that! Mercy does not violate justice. It does not excuse sin. I believe there is too much of that in the church today, we excuse sin. People in the church sin against God and never deal with it. They never acknowledge it or confess it, they just want mercy. Justice demands payment of sin. Justice was satisfied through Christ's sacrifice on the cross. God will never violate His holiness to be merciful. There will be God's merciless judgment on people who do not accept the truth. If you never deal with your sin and never acknowledge Jesus Christ, you will have judgment without mercy. We must confess sin as sin and repent and turn away from it and only then will we know His mercy. God is loving. He is gracious. He is forgiving and He is merciful. He will not allow sin to go unconfronted or unpunished. 

Ever since my children were little, if they come to me and tell the truth about something they've done wrong, I'll be merciful. If I find out they haven't been truthful, there's going to be punishment. Where there is truth, we are to be merciful, gracious, loving and forgiving.  

Jesus said in Matthew 25, "For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’" God identifies with destitute people. God enables us to be merciful even in a godless, corrupt society. Mercy is not a normal human attribute, it's a kingdom character. 

Paul writes in Ephesians 3, "And to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God." God is the source, that comes through Christ. We cannot be merciful on our own. 

Let's stop there for today. This is really powerful stuff. It's all starts with recognizing your own spiritual bankruptcy. That's really the key.

In Closing..

I get criticized a lot for the lack of love in my messages, it's not a lack of love. In genuine love, there has to be a confrontation of sin. It is an act of mercy. In fact, I believe it's the most merciful thing that you can possibly do for the soul of someone. How loving is it not to warn someone about Hell? That would be the most unloving thing I could ever do! My heart grieves for the lost, I am compelled to warn them. I have such a deep love for the Word and for those who are desperately in need of His mercy. When God sets the standard for righteous character, He sets it at His own level. Only the pure in heart will be saved and inherit eternal life. For they alone attain God’s standard.

May it be so..

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name
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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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