The gospel is about mending relationships.
“me first” is the cancer of the heart.
We cannot get rid of it without something radical.
Repentance and faith is the only radical thing that can remove the cancer. Repentance and faith are the only things that connect us to God.
Repentance is saying self centeredness, self absorption, self righteousness, me first permeates every part of my being even my good deeds. Often, we do things to try to control God, trying to control people.
Christianity starts with saying, “I realise that my biggest problem is me first” and then the flip side is repentance and faith.
Timothy Keller, April 3, 2016, April 3 — Counter-Culture for the Common Good
“Blessed” – closes word meaning is “successful/accomplished”
Matthew 5:11-16English Standard Version (ESV)
11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Salt and Light
13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that[a] they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Jesus redefined what it means to be meaningful and accomplished.
The beatitudes, before they point to me, they point to Jesus.
Why is it that I will become as rich as kings? Because he became poor.
Why will I be comforted? Because he wept, greaved and died in the dark.
Why will I inherit the earth? Because Jesus was meek, was like the lamb taken to the slaughter?
Why will I be filled? Because Jesus on the cross said “I thirst”.
When I see Jesus being persecuted and saving ME without any self pity… I can do this too for others. When I see Jesus Christ pouring himself out for other people, who do not deserve “it”, my enemies, I can do it. I can do it by looking to him.