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The Blessed Life


SERMONN.jpg Pete Cornell

Years ago I served a church in St. Louis. Following one particular Sunday morning service I was approached by a distinguished looking man who asked for an appointment. We quickly set up a time to meet. When we met for our appointment, I began the conversation like I begin most. “Tell me your story,” I asked. Over the course of the next several minutes he gave me his background. He shared experiences of pain and loss, of grief and sorrow. He concluded his story by saying, “Pastor, I’ve broken all ten commandments. Is there anyway I can be good enough to be accepted by God? Am I beyond the reach of God’s forgiveness?”

Over the course of thousands of years many have wondered and wrestled with those same questions. When Jesus came and spoke the words we now call the Sermon on the Mount, he was announcing the present availability of God’s Kingdom. This sermon begins with a very familiar section commonly called The Beattitudes. With these eight simple sayings, Jesus answers two questions. First, who is eligible to participate in the present Kingdom?

The late Dallas Willard, author of The Divine Conspiracy, believed that The Beattitudes are important in helping us understand the availability of the Kingdom. The Kingdom is available to those we would least suspect. Of them Willard wrote,

“Blessed are the physically repulsive,
Blessed are those who smell bad,
The twisted, misshapen, deformed,
The too tall, to little, too loud,
The bald, the fat and the old-
For they are all riotously celebrated in the party of Jesus.”
(p. 123)

The Kingdom is available to everyone. No one is too far from God’s reach, even those who have broken all ten commandments.

Categories : Sermon on the Mount

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