June 2017  
SMTWTFS
    123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930 
     
This Week's Events
JUN

27

TUE
Prayer Circle
10:00 AM
Join us in the First UMC Sanctuary to pray for each other, our church, our community, and the world in which we live.
JUN

28

WED
Choir Practice
6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Bible Study
6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
6:00 P.M. in the Fellowship Hall of First UMC. A time for prayer, sharing, and studying the Bible.
Bible Search
Sermon on the Mount Sermon Series- February 2017

John Wesley preached 13 sermons over 100 times- here are the first three  covering Matthew 5----Source: http://www.lwbc.co.uk/Wesley/Preaching%20Wesley.htm 

 

Sermon on the Mount 1

"And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: and he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted."
(Matthew 5:1-4)

Introduction
Through the Sermon on the Mount, the Son of God is showing us the way to Heaven, the true way of life everlasting, and all the paths that lead to destruction. Every word He speaks is for our eternal good, for it is the Father's will for His children to be blessed.

Blessed are the Poor in Spirit
In the fifth chapter of Matthew the Lord lays out eight particulars which when applied guard against false religion. The very foundation of these particulars is Poverty of Spirit … "Blessed are the poor in spirit." This is not poverty on the materialistic level; instead Christ is speaking in terms of disposition of heart. This foundation is the first step to real joy, contentment and happiness in this life and in the next.
"Poor in spirit" does not refer to those who love poverty or who fear riches. This has always been the false notion of heretical religionists. They think that such voluntary or self-imposed poverty brings God's grace to the soul, and is a large step to the Kingdom of God. Yes, Paul does tell us that "the love of money is the root of all evil" (1 Timothy 6:10), but it is not the sole root, nor does his teaching carry the same application as being "poor in spirit." Poverty is not the remedy for covetousness or the love of money, for the poorest man can still lust after this world's goods. The phrase "poor in spirit" is found on the same branch as "purity of heart."
Who then are the poor in spirit? Surely it is they who know what they really are! They acknowledge themselves to be "wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked" without Christ (Revelation 3:17). They know that they have a bias towards the flesh, deserve God's wrath, and so often grieve His Holy Spirit. They realise that there is nothing they can give in exchange for their souls (Matthew 16:26), meaning that no amount of good deeds will ever merit eternal life. There is the awareness that it is impossible to obey God without the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit.
There is no human virtue in self-imposed humility. Some are proud of their humility. The Lord's expression is quite a different kind of humility, for it speaks of total helplessness. In Romans chapter one, the apostle Paul makes it clear that the whole world is found to be guilty before God, and that only those who come to Him as helpless sinners may receive justification, forgiveness and salvation.
True Christianity begins where heathen morality ends. Poverty of spirit, conviction of sin, denial of self, and having Christ's imputed righteousness instead of our own is the fruit of pure religion. Followers of false religion have no understanding of these things. Pagan religion has always sought to establish its own righteousness through good works, but not so with Biblical Christianity.
Those who are poor in spirit have the Kingdom of Heaven opened up to them already, for they have the "unsearchable riches of Christ" (Ephesians 3:8). They have "peace with God" (Romans 5:1, see also Philippians 4:19) and "joy in the Holy Ghost" (Romans 14:17). One day they will be crowned with the "crown of righteousness" (2 Timothy 4:8). This all comes by exercising faith in Christ and His finished work on Calvary. They are His faithful students and have learned of Him to be "lowly of heart" (Matthew 11:29). They may be poor in spirit, but they are indeed prosperous in the Kingdom of God.

Blessed are they that mourn
This sorrow is not the result of self-inflicted trouble, nor does it come from the loss of worldly fortunes. Some have afflicted their souls and have made a religious experience out of it, but the mourners spoken of by Christ are they who deeply yearn after God. These cry out to Him with words that cannot be expressed. They desire a deeper knowledge of God, and a fuller life in the Spirit.
Though they may endure physical sorrow in this world, they do not let it turn them from the true way, nor do they allow miserable comforters to coax them into giving up their faith in God. They are comforted by the Lord, and are blessed in their heart despite the discomfort of the flesh. The Saviour comforts them by giving them the "full assurance of faith" (Hebrews 10:22) which swallows up all doubt and tormenting fear. They are fully persuaded that nothing can separate them from the love of Christ (Romans 8:35-39).
This mourning will cease when it is lost in holy joy as we enter into the Kingdom of Heaven … "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning" (Psalm 30:5). While we await such blessedness in Heaven, there are those who reject Christ and doom themselves to the eternal miseries of Hell. This indeed brings a deep seriousness upon our spirits, a seriousness which is increased as we see the lost careering towards the bottomless pit, never to be seen again. The true meaning of 'poverty of spirit' and 'mourning' is foolishness to the world and false religion. The believer will always be considered as a fanatic and a lunatic to those who are lost in sin, yet we know that they stand on the very edge of destruction. It is our responsibility to warn them.

Conclusion
Those who "mourn in Zion" (Isaiah 61:3) must not allow themselves to be moved away from their faith in God, yes, even when we see the multitudes plummeting into Hell. Remember, we walk in spiritual reality rather than vain shadows. One day the "poor in spirit" and those who "mourn" will experience their Lord wiping away every tear from their eyes (Isaiah 25:8; Revelation 7:7:17, 21:4). Though a period of poverty and mourning may have to be endured in this life, the Lord will "give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness" (Isaiah 61:3). One day we will enjoy the blessedness and riches of Christ in His eternal Kingdom.

21 June 1740.

Sermon on the Mount 2

“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”
(Matthew 5:5-7)

Introduction
In this message we will discuss three blessed states, which are: [1] Blessed are the meek; [2] Blessed are they which hunger and thirst after righteousness; [3] Blessed are the merciful.

Blessed are the meek
The meek are blessed for they shall inherit the earth. But who exactly are the meek? It is certainly not they who hide themselves because of timidity or inhibitions. The Lord said meekness rather than weakness would be blessed. Meekness does not include being unconcerned about others and every day life. That is not meekness but apathy. Nor does meekness mean a lack of zeal for God or the staying clear of troubles and excesses caused by others. Christian meekness does not undermine but balances the affections and the mind. Instead of producing fear it propagates true faith in Christ.
The meek have a calm confidence and assurance in God. They continually say, “It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good” (1 Samuel 3:18). The meek, though knowing the truth, may be persecuted for it, yet they remain “Zealous for his God” (Numbers 25:13). The meek are masters of their own selves and hold to the noblest of purposes. They control their temperament, anger, and desire. The meek are never found wanting in Christian love and mercy, but go beyond mere human compassion as they reach out to others around them. This Christ-like meekness even extends to every one of their enemies and persecutors.
That the meek “shall inherit the earth” seems to fly in the face of the wisdom of this world, but though the world may hate and war against the meek, they remain steadfast and sure. The meek conquer the earth without the need for armed aggression and fear, for they are motivated by the love of God. False religion has always used intimidation and force, whereas faith is the power the meek use to win the lost to Christ. These are they who will rule and reign with Christ throughout His Millennial Kingdom.

Blessed are they which hunger and thirst after righteousness
Only those who earnestly desire true righteousness will be filled with it. From righteousness springs up every holy temper, for it is found growing in the love of God. Hunger and thirst are the strongest of all our bodily appetites, and should be so in relation to our spiritual appetites also. We eat and drink, but do not stop doing so after a single meal; instead we want more on a daily basis or at regular intervals. Our craving for meat and drink, or any of this world’s goods, is only a poor example of our appetite for Heavenly things.
It is not possible for a believer to fully satisfy his soul, as he yearns for the Living God, in this life, yet he is blessed in so doing. Some think that righteousness is living a moral life, being religious, and being charitable to one’s neighbour, but the righteousness the saved long for goes far beyond this. The righteousness we speak of comes from being “joined unto the Lord in one spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:17), having “fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3), and walking “in the light, as he is in the light” (1 John 1:7).
Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness will be filled with the very thing they long for, even with righteousness and true holiness. God will feed them with the bread from Heaven and with the water of life. They will be filled because they do not waste time and money searching for “that which is not bread” nor do they “labour for that which satisfieth not” (Isaiah 55:2). For them only pure religion, which is built upon the power of godliness, will suffice. Such righteousness and its blessing can only be found in Jesus Christ.

Blessed are the merciful
The merciful will be blessed with the mercy of God. Here ‘mercy’ implies compassion, tenderness and gentleness. The most important quality of mercy is ‘brotherly love.’ We may think that we are doing wonderful things for God, yet it is all meaningless if we do not possess Christ-like mercy.
Christian mercy overcomes evil with good, and it stands apart from all harshness and sourness of spirit. It is not bitter or vengeful; instead it desires to see all men blessed by God (see 1 Corinthians 13). The merciful truly love God, their neighbour and their enemies. True mercy is the opposite of a hateful and bitter spirit, for it springs from the love of God.
The merciful will obtain the mercy of God. They will be blessed in all their ways. Such mercy will be repaid a thousand times over in this life and in the next. They will continually know of God’s rich mercy being bestowed upon them (Ephesians 2:4). As they walk in love, they will experience God’s love in every possible way. 

Conclusion
The world will never be won to Christ through religion or military strength, even though some have used such methods in the past. The Jews, the Muslims, and the Heathen will never come until they see real Christianity being displayed in this world. The church has a great need of meekness, righteousness and mercy today. Each individual believer must lay down his life for Christ’s sake, and continually overflow with His love, or else we will never be effective witnesses (Romans 12:1; 1 John 3:16). The lost will not know Christ through opinions or circumstantial religion. It will take a wonderful manifestation of the true sons of God to accomplish that (Romans 8:19). 

19 October 1739

Sermon on the Mount 3

"Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."
(Matthew 5:8-12)

Introduction
It our duty to steadily look into the "perfect law of liberty" and to continue in it (James 1:25). In this law we have described three further aspects of the "blessed" life of the believer. In these verses the Lord Jesus Christ reveals something more about what Biblical Christianity really is. By avoiding or neglecting these teachings, a Christian does great disservice to his soul, and truly dishonours God. In this sermon we promote the pure religion of Jesus Christ.

Blessed are the Pure in Heart
Christian love is the "fulfilling of the law" (Romans 13:10) and "the end of the commandment" (1 Timothy 1:5). This love for God and our neighbour proceeds from purity of heart.
The "Pure in Heart" are those whose hearts have been purified through faith in the blood of Christ Jesus. They are purified from unholy affections and filthiness of the flesh and spirit by "perfecting holiness in the fear of God" (2 Corinthians 7:1). They have the spirit of gentleness and meekness, and hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matthew 5:6).
The "Pure in Heart" shall see God. What a blessing this will be! God will bless them with the clearest communication of His Spirit as they proceed through this present life, the most intimate of "fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ" (1 John 1:3). He will cause His glory and countenance to shine upon them. The "Pure in Heart" do see God dealing with every aspect of their lives, and they see His hand over them for good. More especially they see Christ in the breaking of bread and in the time of prayer.

Blessed are the Peacemakers
Inward purity always produces outward holiness, thus peacemakers reveal themselves to be the true children of God. The word "peacemakers" can only refer to believers who love God and hate strife and contention, but desire God's mercy and grace to be poured out upon their brethren in Christ.
The peacemaker seeks to reconcile those who have allowed bitterness to divide them. Peacemakers are those who do "good unto all men" at every opportunity (Galatians 6:10), and endeavour to "keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:3). They rejoice when he has been offered the privilege to bless others with material things, and to assist them in their needs. The peacemaker is an instrument in God's hand as he sows the seed of His Kingdom.
Peacemakers are truly the children of God, and are blessed because they have received "the Spirit of adoption" and they been made "joint heirs with Christ" (Romans 8:15; 8:17).

Blessed are the Persecuted
The Lord was well acquainted with human nature. He reveals that the "Pure in Heart" and the "Peacemakers" would be hated by the world. Paul teaches in Galatians 4:29 that those "born after the flesh" will persecute those who are "born after the Spirit." In fact "all who will live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution" (2 Timothy 3:12). The apostle John adds, "Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you" (1 John 3:13). This persecution and hatred is a result of the world rejecting Christ and Biblical Christianity … "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me" (John 15:18-21).
This persecution comes for righteousness sake, that is, because the believer lives according to God's righteousness rather than by the standards of the world. The spirit of the world is continually in direct opposition to the Spirit which is of God. The leopard and the kid cannot lie down together in peace. The scandal of the cross has not ceased.
The believer is blessed despite the fact that the world reviles him for Christ's sake. He is blessed because he does not retaliate, but rather overcomes evil with good. He rejoices because he is allowed to suffer for Christ, knowing that such "light afflictions, which are but for a moment, worketh for [them] a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (2 Corinthians 4:17). The persecuted are in good company since the prophets were also abused and mistreated by the world and false religion.

Conclusion
These virtues describe Christianity in its native form as it was delivered by its Great Author. We may call the Genuine Religion of Jesus Christ. Those who oppose the "Pure in Heart", the "Peacemakers", and the persecuted, are found fighting against God Himself. These things are the foundations of Christianity, so let us avoid being hearers of the word only, but let us not rest until every line is transcribed in our hearts, until we be found holy and perfect as our "Heavenly Father is perfect" (James 1:22; 2 Timothy 1:9; Matthew 5:48).

26 August 1739.