This morning I want to announce that we're beginning a new
series of messages on The Beatitudes,
8 of the Wisest Sentences Ever Spoken by a psychologist,
a philosopher, a religious leader, spoken by Jesus Christ.
And we want to talk about it, look at them in depth
so that we can empower you.
Simply put - I want to bless you.
I want to give you a blessing.
You need it. I
need it. We
all need it. I often give people a private blessing.
I love to do this. I'm often met in public places, recognized
because we've been on television 34 years. That's a long time. And
I like to give people a blessing.
"May God bless you, I often declare.
In that private place in your life where
you need the blessing most and
God knows where that is better than you or I."
Because if you can, if God could say to you, "will give
you a blessing today, what do you need most?" Probably
your answer would not be the right answer.
He knows you better than I and we'd probably ask
for a blessing to give comfort with a problem or the pain
that we're dealing with, when that's probably not what we
need most. What
we need most is the wisdom to see and the courage to make
the deepest decision that we've been avoiding probably all
of our life. So this morning I want to be a blessing.
You know Jesus had been touring His country and people had
begun to hear about Him and there were reports that He performed
miracles of healing and people that were deeply transformed
listening to His words. By the time He reached home in Nazareth
on the north shore of Galilee it came out that He was going
to be preaching on this time.
It would be on the mountain now called Beatitudes,
after his sermon. And when He appeared at the appropriate time the crowds had
gone ahead of Him.
He was the greatest crowd puller in His country,
in this time. And He looked at them and as He prepared His sermon He knew
the most important part of the message is the introduction. He looked at them and the first word out
of His mouth was "Blessed"...The
second sentence, "Blessed"... The third sentence, "Blessed"... The fourth sentence, "Blessed"...The
fifth, the sixth, the seventh, the eighth sentence, "Blessed"...
Wow! Setting the stage to positively program believers and
those who came just to check Him out, to positively program
their minds with 8 fundamental, psychological, theological,
spiritual principles that would dominate the subconscious
and change their personalities, empowering them emotionally. That's what we all need - emotional empowerment.
We all need a blessing.
After the 9/11 I know people that are still suffering from
it and aren't handling it adequately.
morning that word means more to us than anything else.
We pray for our people there.
We pray for peace soon.
Remember my guest last Sunday, Lt. Colonel Neita
Armstrong. And she had with her 12-year-old daughter.
She wanted communion before she'd have to leave and
she said, "You know where that is."
Got a picture of her this morning came through e-mail.
She said, "I've been sheared." Remember she had long hair last week. This very moment while I'm speaking to
you she's shipping out from San Diego.
She's hugged and kissed her little girl good-bye. Had to have her hair cut because she said
you go days without a shower. You don't want long hair. She'll be there in a matter of hours.
And you know where there is.
I pray that she'll come back alive and well. She's one of the most devoted members of this church. She said
she's packing up everything.
Most important is she said, "all my eagles." She's an Eagle Club member, gives generously
every year. God bless her.
She needs a special blessing, as does her daughter.
As do the people that are in the danger zone right now.
You know you have been invited this morning here to enroll
in a New Hope training class.
I hope you take it seriously and sincerely.
We need you.
We really do.
You will not discover the meaning or purpose of life
until you feel you can be and are a blessing to someone.
You don't need a lot of academic degrees, nor even
a lot of education, what you need is sensitivity. Of all the telephone calls that have come
in, if you don't know it, New Hope Telephone Counseling
is located in that Tower and that's why it's called the
Tower of Hope. Because in that tower is a telephone with the number N-E-W
This week the phone rang, the voice at the other end of the
line said, "I'm an American soldier and I'm calling
on my cell phone. No one in the war is in a more dangerous
spot or closer to where the bombs would fall than I am. And I have my special operations troop
around me. Our
heads are all touching to get as close as possible to this
phone to hear your prayer. Please pray for us. We need it."
needs a blessing.
The world needs a blessing.
Jesus starts with focusing on blessing. Wow!
know His custom designs blessings.
He uses different blessings for different people but what I
have discovered after years of studying, reading and applying
the principles of the 8 Beatitudes to different situations
is they seem to have one thing in common.
They tend to focus us on thinking positively, turning
us into persons with a positive mental attitude.
Wow! We all need a positive mental attitude,
young or old.
Heard about a guy who was stopped at the Little League team
to see what the score was.
And they were playing hard and he said to the first
little kid, you know sitting on the bench, "What's
the score?" And
the kid said, "14 to nothing; they're leading."
And the man said, "14 to nothing?
How could you still look so excited, enthused, positive?"
Kid said, "Well, simple, we haven't been up to bat
Bob Westonberg is responsible for this, and Ed Small sent it
to me. Positive Mental Attitude.
That is what the blessing has to deliver. Here's a woman, not 14 years old, 92 years old; 92, petite,
well-poised and proud lady.
Always fully dressed by 8 o'clock with her hair fashionably
coifed and make up perfectly applied even though she is
legally blind and today she moves to a nursing home.
Her husband of 70 years recently passed away making
the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing
home she smiled sweetly when she heard someone speak to
her saying, "Well your room is ready."
Smiling she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, guided by
the escort. I
provided a visual description of her tiny room including
the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window.
"I love it," she stated with enthusiasm
of an 8-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.
"Mrs. Jones, You haven't seen the room yet, just wait."
"Doesn't have anything to do with it," she said.
is something you decide on ahead of time.
Whether I like the room or not doesn't depend upon how the
furniture's arranged, it's how I arrange my mind and the
thoughts in it. I've already decided to love it. It's a decision I make every morning when
I wake up. I
have a choice - I can spend the day in bed recounting the
difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer
work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that
still do." She
continued, "Each day is a gift as long as I wake up
I'll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I've
stored away for this time in my life. Old age is like a
bank account" she said. "You withdraw what you've put in. And my advice to you, young man, is deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories."
We need a blessing. Blessings
give us a positive mental attitude. It's phenomenal. But
the question is why does God bother? Why does He care? Why
is it so important to God that He bless you and that you
receive it? And
are changed into a positive thinking person because of it?
Answer to that is a very, very important question
is everybody needs a blessing and God needs more people to give
it to them.
He needs you.
He needs me. There are people that are relatives that
are friends; they get Christmas cards from you. Some don't but they're across the street, or they live in the
same apartment building and you are the best connection
God can find to connect with those persons and give them
the blessing He wants to give them.
No body else is quite positioned like you and you
can sense it and feel it.
Here we had, not long ago, a very sad funeral in this church.
A 12-year-old little boy who suddenly went to sleep
against the wall in the gym class in the Academy here and
he was dead on arrival.
His parents, friends put the funeral on, I spoke. And the principal of the school, Sheila
Coleman has been trying to comfort them.
And the mother of that little boy just threw herself
against me before the service hugged me and I hugged her,
and she sobbed and sobbed and sobbed.
I never met her before but I wanted to bless her
so badly and tried and so did Sheila. She took to Sheila and hugged her and
cried and cried and cried.
So we were a blessing to her, but had never met her
And then this week Sheila heard that her sister, beautiful
younger sister who sat in that pew right there for the funeral
service, mother of a child 1 and 2, but this sister had
an accident, was in a coma, and is not coming out of it
yet. And when
Sheila was praying here she remembered this tragic death
of the little boy.
So she and Jim got in the car and they drove through
all the freeway, all the way to Riverside to the hospital
where this sister is lying just to draw close to this young
mother in a coma and probably say nothing but just leave
a prayer for God to bless. And when she called the right number on
the telephone to make sure she was going to the right place
who should answer the phone but the young mother who'd lost
the boy who is now there watching over probably her dying
couldn't believe it.
She said, "Mrs. Coleman, did you drive all the
way from Garden Grove just to see my sister?
Can't believe it." This is why God wants to
bless you, so that you can be a blessing and you cannot
resist giving away what you took in. It feels so good and there are so many
people that have no faith, no religious connections, they
don't know anybody.
But you can get to them; you can be the blessing.
Why does God want you take a blessing? Have you taken it? What is the blessing you should take?
I don't know. How will it come to you? Probably through words that I speak here.
Probably through members of this church or other
you were to make a list of the 10 most effective ministers
in the world you'd probably forget one name and that would
be yours because you are effective with people.
None of the rest of us can touch, but you can.
So what's God's blessing for you?
Well to receive it you've got to be there before
you know how to give it away. And how do you receive it? You accept Jesus Christ, get close to
Of all of the volumes of psychologists that have been published,
of all of the thousands of self help conferences and seminars
nothing surpasses, and I can think of nothing that matches,
the power of 8 sentences that Jesus
taught. Thirty years old, where did He get the wisdom? I really believe He was the Son of God. Eight sentences all
starting with the "blessed."
Blessed, blessed, blessed, blessed, blessed, blessed. He
needs you, accept Him as your Savior and as your Lord. You
will be a blessing.
I was on the phone this week with a pastor. Grace Community
Church in Houston. Two of the astronauts that were killed
in the shuttle belonged to his church. And Rick Husband
was the commander and they were told that if there were
special messages they wanted to leave behind if they could
not return home they should write them out, and all did
that. They were all told to have everything
in order because of the possibility of never coming back.
And on the piles of paper that the Commander Rick Husband
left, on the top was a note to his pastor. And he said,
ížIf I don't come home tell them about Jesus, He's
real to me." Wow!
Open your heart, let Jesus become real to you, and with a look,
a word, a touch, a smile or the sharing of a tear helping
someone cry you will be Jesus Christ's body and Spirit coming
home. You will be the blessing. Invite your neighbors and friends for the next 8 weeks until
Easter and we'll share each point with you. Thank you very much and letíŽs pray.
God, we look at the world today and O God, at war. And we look O God, with some very, very special precious relatives
and friends of us that have left the safety of America and
are in the danger zone.
And O God, we pray that You may resolve these conflicts
swiftly, soon, with a minimum of a loss of life.
And we pray that You will turn each of us who are
hearing these words into ministers of mercy, motivation,
into my life, O Christ, so that I can pass the blessing
on to others. Amen.