St. Matthew 5:1-12
(The following is taken from Bishop J. C. Ryle's Expository Thoughts On Matthew
Published by The Banner of Truth Trust)
Would we know what kind of people Christians ought to be? Would we know the character at which Christians ought to aim? Would we know the outward walk and inward habit of mind which become a follower of Christ? Then, let us often study the Sermon on the Mount. (Matt. 5, 6, 7)
The Lord Jesus calls those “blessed” who are poor in spirit . He means the humble, and lowly-minded, and self-abased, he means those who are deeply convinced of their own sinfulness in God's sight: these are they who are not “wise in their own eyes and prudent in their own sight.” Humility is the very first letter in the alphabet of Christianity. We must begin low, if we would build high.
The Lord Jesus calls those “blessed” who mourn . He means those who sorrow for sin, and grieve daily over their own short-comings. These are they who trouble themselves more about sin than about anything on earth: the remembrance of it is grievous to them; the burden of it is intolerable. Blessed are all such! “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit” and a contrite heart (Psa. 51:17).
The Lord Jesus calls those “blessed” who are meek . He means those who are of a patient and contented spirit. They are willing to put up with little honour here below; they can bear injuries without resentment: they are not ready to take offence.
The Lord Jesus calls those “blessed” who hunger and thirst after righteousness . He means those who desire above all things to be entirely conformed to the mind of God. They long not so much to be rich, or wealthy, or learned, as to be holy.
The Lord Jesus calls those “blessed” who are merciful . He means those who are full of compassion towards others. They pity all who are suffering either from sin or sorrow, and are tenderly desirous to make their sufferings less; they are “full of good works”, and endeavours to do good.
The Lord Jesus calls those “blessed” who are pure in heart . He means those who do not aim merely at outward correctness, but at inward holiness. They are not satisfied with a mere external show of religion: they strive to have always a conscience void of offence, and to serve God with the spirit and the inner man. Blessed are all such! The heart is the man.
The Lord Jesus calls those “blessed” who are peacemakers . He means those who use all their influence to promote peace and charity on earth, in private and in public, at home and abroad. He means those who strive to make all men love one another, by teaching that gospel which says, “Love is the fulfilling of the law” (Rom. 13:10).
Lastly, the Lord Jesus calls those “blessed” who are persecuted for righteousness' sake . He means those who are laughed at, mocked, despised, and ill-used, because they endeavour to live as true Christians. Blessed are all such! They drink of the same cup which their Master drank.
Such are the eight foundation-stones, which the Lord lays down at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount. Eight great testing truths are placed before us. May we mark well each one of them, and learn wisdom.
Let us learn how entirely contrary are the principles of Christ to the principles of the world. It is vain to deny it: they are almost diametrically opposed. The very characters which the Lord Jesus praises, the world despises; the very pride, and thoughtlessness, and high tempers, and worldliness, and selfishness, and formality, and unlovingness, which abound everywhere, the Lord Jesus condemns.
Let us learn how unhappily different is the teaching of Christ from the practice of many professing Christians. Where shall we find men and women among those who go to churches and chapels, who are striving to live up to the pattern we have read of today? There is too much reason to fear that many baptized persons are utterly ignorant of what the New Testament commands.
Above all, let us learn how holy and spiritually-minded all believers should be. They should never aim at any standard lower than that of the Sermon on the Mount. Christianity is eminently a practical religion: sound doctrine is its root and foundation, but holy living should always be its fruit; and if we would know what holy living is, let us often bethink ourselves who they are that Jesus calls “blessed”.
WOMEN'S GUILD BAKE SALE
Sunday, February 9th after church
Thank you to all who cook such delicious baked goods to help missions.
REV. CANON WILLIAM JERDAN
Canon Bill will be preaching Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014. During coffee hour he will give a presentation on GAFCON (Global Anglican Future Conference) which took place in Kenya last October.
Pictures taken downstairs starting Sunday, Feb. 9th for a Church Pictorial Directory.
CARD TABLES NEEDED
Please bring card tables for the Preschool to borrow for their Fund-Raiser Feb. 22nd. We would appreciate having them here on or before Sunday, Feb. 16th. Thank you so much!
PERSONAL CARE PANTRY
Love INC is especially in need of laundry detergent and toilet paper. A box is provided in church narthex.
WORLD MISSION SUNDAY
Archbishop Robert Duncan of the ACNA has designated the last Sunday after Epiphany as World Mission Sunday. Donations to The Anglican Relief and Development Fund are encouraged. Checks may be sent to ARDF, P.O. Box 3830 , Pittsburgh , PA 15230-3830.
107th SYNOD of the DIOCESE of MID-AMERICA
Feb. 20, 21, 2014 at the Church of the Holy Communion, Dallas, Texas
LENTEN SERVICES & SOUP SUPPERS
Lent begins Ash Wednesday, March 5th, 2014.
Soup Supper 6:30 p.m. Service 7:30 p.m.
These suppers and services continue every Wednesday until Holy Week.
“THE LAST SUPPER” PLAY
We hope to do a play on Easter this year. Any men or teens interested in taking part, please call the church office. Thank you!
Palm Sunday, April 13, 2014
Good Friday, April 18, 2014, Service at 7:30 p.m.
Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014, Easter Egg Hunt and Breakfast at 9:00 a.m.
Holy Communion at 10:30 a.m.
ANNUAL PARISH MEETING
April 27, 2014 following church
There will be a luncheon prior to the meeting.
All reports need to be turned in to the church office for duplication no later than Easter, but preferably Palm Sunday, April 13th .
Saturday, May 3, 2014 at 9:30 a.m.
June 11-13, 2014 in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania
MISSIONARIES OF THE MONTH
Please be in prayer for Bishop Gearhard & Grace Meyer for their work in Germany and for all the parishes in Germany.
Mike Acke, Sr.,
Chief Ike Nwosu,