Good Mourning Bro. Ray Kennedy March 20, 2016
Matthew 5:4 (KJV) 4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. I. Stop Comparing Ourselves to Others.All God’s children have their own set of problems they are dealing with. The only righteousness we have is that which we were given when we trusted Christ. II. Stop Counting on Performance God isn’t nearly as concerned with what we do, as He is with who we are. Works didn’t save us, and works won’t keep you saved. It is true that the Bible tells us that faith without works is dead, but works without faith is the same thing. III. Start Considering the Benefits of Being Poor In Spirit. Paul understood this very well. Look at what he says in: Romans 7:15-25 (KJV) 15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. Matthew 5:4 (KJV) 4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. As paradoxical as it may sound, mourning is part of blessed living. The mourning to which Jesus refers is grief over our sin. It is the emotional result of understanding the first beatitude. Realizing we are poor in spirit is primarily intellectual. We come to understand we are spiritually bankrupt and need God's forgiveness. Luke 22:62 (KJV) 62 And Peter went out, and wept bitterly. This is an example of "good" mourning because it leads to blessed living. To experience good mourning, we must do four things... I. Accept responsibility for our sin Psalm 32:1-2 (KJV) 1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. The question "Whatever became of sin?" is worth pondering because our culture is making every possible effort to legitimize and even glamorize what the Bible calls "sin." 1. Refuse to rationalize our sin. Genesis 3:12 (KJV) 12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. 2. Refuse to legitimize our sin. We do this by giving sin more acceptable names. • We call it "adult entertainment," but Jesus calls it evil thoughts. Mark 7:21 (KJV) 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, • We call it "making love" or "sleeping together," but God calls it fornication. Ephesians 5:3 (KJV) 3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; • We call it an "affair," but God calls it adultery. Exodus 20:14 (KJV) 14 Thou shalt not commit adultery. • We call homosexuality an "alternate" or "gay" lifestyle, but God calls it vile affections and that which is unseemly. Romans 1:26-27 (KJV) 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. Today, most of God's terms in regard to sin are considered "politically incorrect" or out-of-date. However, there is no expiration date on the Ten Commandments or the Sermon on the Mount. That's why God tells us in Malachi 3:6a: Malachi 3:6 (KJV) 6 For I am the LORD, I change not…. "Whatever became of sin?" Even with all the efforts to rationalize and legitimize it, sin is still making multitudes of people miserably unhappy. The first step in good mourning is to accept responsibility for our sin. The next is... II. Acknowledge the seriousness of our sin The word translated mourn (pentheō, pen-the'-oh) conveys the idea of extreme sadness or deep grief, such as the death of a loved one. Psalm 51:4 (KJV) 4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. David knew sin is evil in God's sight. Isaiah 59:1-2 (KJV) 1 Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. Sin is so bad God will not even listen to our prayers if we have unconfused sin in our lives. Sin is so serious Jesus had to die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. It doesn't matter if our sin is gossip, profanity, dishonesty, immorality, or any other kind of sin. Any sin is a horrible evil in God's sight. Good mourning means we accept responsibility for our sin, acknowledge the seriousness of our sin, and... III. Admit our sin to God . We must admit our sin to the person we have offended most—God. David prayed: “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned” in Psalm 51:4. Yes, he had sinned horribly against Bathsheba and her husband Uriah. 1.Personalize our sin. After his horrible sins, King David prayed: Psalm 51:1-3 (KJV) 1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. 1. Verbalize our sin. Good mourning requires we confess our sin to God. One of the most wonderful promises in the Bible for us as Christians is found in 1 John 1:9. 1 John 1:9 (KJV) 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. This means when you personalize your sin and verbalize it to the Lord, you can have forgiveness and cleansing of all your sins. Good mourning requires us to accept responsibility for our sin, acknowledge the seriousness of our sin, admit our sin to God, and... IV. Accentuate the results This means we focus on the blessing of forgiveness. Jesus said, "Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted". The blessedness doesn't come from the mourning itself but from God's response to it. Good mourning produces God's forgiveness and comfort. Mourning over sin brings blessedness because it frees us from guilt. One of the greatest reasons for unhappiness and depression in our culture is guilt. Many feel like David when he wrote : Psalm 38:4 (KJV) 4 For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me. However, when we practice good mourning, we will be comforted in the fact we know our sins are forgiven. In fact, there can be no blessedness in life unless we know our sins are forgiven. Good mourning means we: • accept responsibility for our sin, • acknowledge the seriousness of our sin, • admit our sin to God, • and accentuate the results. Then, we can experience this truth found in Psalm 32:1: Psalm 32:1 (KJV) 1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. We are told in 2 Samuel 12:15-24 that after Bathsheba had given birth to David's child, 2Sa 12:15 …And the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife bare unto David, and it was very sick. 2Sa 12:16 David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth. 2Sa 12:17 And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them. 2Sa 12:18 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead? 2Sa 12:19 But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead. 2Sa 12:20 Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat. 2Sa 12:21 Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread. 2Sa 12:22 And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? 2Sa 12:23 But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me. 2Sa 12:24 And David comforted Bathsheba his wife, This glorious fact enables the believer to say, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" (1 Corinthians 15:55).