It’s time to take a few minutes to rest and reflect on God’s provision. Even in the storms of life, when we are hard-pressed, feel alone and defeated, we have a Refuge in Jesus. He is an immovable force, unshakable and unbreakable. He is for His people and passionate about pursuing our hearts, even into the darkest corners.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.” – Matthew 5:9
What if we have it all wrong? What if being a peacemaker means we actually ruffle some feathers. Turns out, that’s exactly what it means. Peacemaking isn’t for the fainthearted. It’s messy work, but it’s what we’re called to.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” – Matthew 5:7
Mentioned well over 300 times in the Bible, mercy is a word we probably ought to pay more attention to. Especially in this day and age when politics and religion are getting co-mingled in ways that often make us forget that first and foremost, we are brothers and sisters in Christ.
The biblical definition for the word mercy, as used by Jesus in his sermon on the mount, is this: to be compassionate (by word or deed, specifically by divine grace); have compassion (pity on).
Meanwhile, Webster’s New World Dictionary defines it this way: 1. a refraining from harming offenders, enemies, etc., 2. imprisonment rather than death for a capital crime, 3. a disposition to forgive or be kind, 4. the power to forgive, 5. a lucky thing; blessing.
This episode, as well as talking about what mercy is, we also focus on how to live a life of mercy in our day to day lives. We’ll look at 1 Peter 3:8-12 in the ERV (Easy to Read Version).
So all of you should live together in peace. Try to understand each other. Love each other like brothers and sisters. Be kind [compassionate; merciful] and humble. Don’t do wrong to anyone to pay them back for doing wrong to you. Or don’t insult anyone to pay them back for insulting you. But ask God to bless them. Do this because you yourselves were chosen to receive a blessing. The Scriptures say,
‘If you want to enjoy true life and have only good days, then avoid saying anything hurtful, and never let a lie come out of your mouth. Stop doing what is wrong, and do good. Look for peace, and do all you can to help people live peacefully. The Lord watches over those who do what is right, an, and he listens to their prayers. But he is against those who do evil.’
Listen in to this week’s episode to see some examples of how this might look in your own life.
We all know what it’s like to be hungry and thirsty, longing for something to fill our bellies. But what about our souls? What if there was a way to fill up the mysterious void we all seem to have deep down inside us?
Join Brandy this week for a quick lesson on Beatitude #4 to learn how you, too can be satisfied to your deepest core.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” – Matthew 5:5
If the best inheritance I can get by being humble is the earth, I’m not sure that sounds like a very good deal.
Let’s face it, the earth is kinda falling apart. We’ve got natural disasters galore, terrorism everywhere, racism that lingers despite our ‘enlightenment’, climate change and social injustice every direction you turn. It’s a mess.
But God only gives good gifts, so there must be more to it than what we currently see.
Turns out, there’s a lot packed into this one tiny verse in Matthew 5.
Often, when we think about the words meek, gentle or humble, we envision someone who is quiet and unassuming. This tends to be, in our mind’s eye someone who’s a bit of a wallflower. While this may be true in some cases, I think the best way to determine what a humble person looks like is to look first at what a non-humble person looks likes.
And boy, do we have some great examples. I’m not going to name names; I assume you don’t have to think too hard to come up with a list of at least 10 people who are, in fact, quite arrogant and loud about it. And beyond that list, all I really need to do is look in the mirror to find someone who’s far less humble than she’d care to admit.
While an arrogant person is often perceived to be loud and abrasive while a humble person is quiet and demure, God doesn’t look at what’s being projected out of us. He merely looks at our hearts and knows the state of our pride.
Arrogance is a lack of dependence on God. Humility is recognizing God’s rightful place in our lives and ceding that place to Him. It’s giving up our own agenda and right to rule our lives in order to seek God’s will in all things.
Tune in to this week’s episode as Brandy examines the third beatitude and what humility looks like, as well as the inheritance we’re longing for.
As we enter into another Presidential Election, it seemed only fitting to review our approach to politics and people as followers of Christ.
Listen to the FULL EPISODE and a SUMMER ANNOUNCEMENTHERE
I’d also like to invite you to watch a sermon presented by our pastor, Gregg Chastain at Community Church of Sandy in Sandy, Oregon. We have recently started a series on the book of Daniel. It comes at a perfect time, as we as Christians find ourselves increasingly being marginalized and asked to conform to the world.
We raise statues, monuments, and headstones to commemorate those we’ve lost and victories won. But what about the memorials and monuments to remember what God has done?
Join Matt and Brandy as they look at some of the Old Testament monuments that the Israelites erected. They’ll also explore different monuments we have and can find in our own lives in order to be reminded of God’s faithfulness.
Those twelve stones which they had taken from the Jordan, Joshua set up at Gilgal. He said to the sons of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in time to come saying, ‘What are these stones?’ then you shall inform your children saying, ‘Israel crossed this Jordan on dry ground.’ “For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed, just as the Lord your God had done to the Red Sea, which he dried up before us until we had crossed; that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, so that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”
I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.
Join Matt and Brandy this week as they talk about Bible reading and prayer – two of the greatest ways to navigate your faith. They’ll talk about things that have worked in the past and where they’re at now practicing these spiritual disciplines. You might be shocked!
Bible Apps for your phone (and maybe your computer): You Version Bible App – A great resource for multiple versions of scripture as well as a variety of reading plans and reminders to help you keep track.
“I like Jesus in the New Testament, but I could do without the God of the Old Testament. He’s just a bully.”
It’s a common complaint, so this week Matt and Brandy sit down with a special guest to talk about it. Is God the same throughout scripture? How can we trust that such a wrathful God is also a compassionate Savior? Join us for a lively discussion!
Gregg Chastain is the Pastor of Sandy Community Church in Sandy, Oregon. You can find out more about this church or contact Gregg by clicking here. You can also follow SCC on Instagram or Facebook.
Community Church of Sandy – A congregation of believers that merged from Community Presbyterian and Fellowship Bible Church circa 2015.