Join us today for an episode about the reason putting on the trappings of faith is so important...
Today's episode is focused on Revelation 7: 9-17 and Matthew 5: 1-12...
In today’s Spiritual Foundation Episode, I talk about Revelation 7: 9-17 and Matthew 5: 1-12. I share how we are challenged to be able to put on the elements of faith. I also talk about how the challenge of the elements of faith are what make us live in fellowship with each other and Christ.
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Episode 1371: From Every Tribe
[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Thanks for joining me on episode 1371 of the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.
[00:00:08] James Pyle: I'm James Pyle. I challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others, develop your influence, and impact the world by using your time, your talent, and your treasures to live out your calling. Having the ability to master self awareness and transcend your limits are keys.
[00:00:31] And one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this. The Inspired Stewardship podcast with my friend Scott Maderer.
[00:00:50] Scott Maderer: What the community of Faith could be is blessed that it in a community that includes peacemakers. Blessed is the community that makes room for the meek, for [00:01:00] those that hunger and thirst after righteousness for those poor and spirit. Blessed is the community that finds space for those who mourn. Blessed is the community that knows persecution in is inevitable and.
[00:01:14] Welcome and thank you for joining us on the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent, and your treasures for your true calling. In the Inspired Stewardship Podcast, you will learn to invest in yourself, invest in others, and develop your influence so that you
[00:01:45] In today's Spiritual Foundation episode, I talk about Revelation chapter 7, verses 9 through 17, and Matthew chapter 5, verses 1 through 12. I share how we are challenged to be able to put on the elements of faith, [00:02:00] and I also talk about how the challenge of the elements of faith are what make us live in fellowship with each other and with Christ.
[00:02:10] Revelation chapter seven verses nine through 17 says, after this I looked and there was a great multitude that no one could count from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages standing before the throne and before the lamb. Robed in white, with palm branches in their hands, They cried out in a loud voice, saying, Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne and to the Lamb.
[00:02:33] And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, And they fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, Singing, Amen, Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might Be to our God forever and ever. Amen. Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, Who are these robed in white, and where have they come from?
[00:02:55] I said to him, Sir, you are the one that knows. Then he said to me, [00:03:00] These are they who come out of the great ordeal. They have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. For this reason they are before the throne of God, and worship him day and night within his temple, and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them.
[00:03:14] They will hunger no more, and thirst no more. The sun will not strike them, nor any scourging heat, for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Matthew chapter 5, verses 1 through 12 says, When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he sat down, his disciples came to him.
[00:03:42] Then he began to speak and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be fulfilled.[00:04:00]
[00:04:00] Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
[00:04:23] Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Starting with the Revelation text that this, which begins the text. Is the numbering of the saved, or sometimes called the numbering of the sealed, from the twelve tribes of Israel, which comes from Revelation chapter 7, verses 1 through 8, right before this.
[00:04:54] It's a counting of the 144, 000 and sometimes you will [00:05:00] hear people say that's the only people allowed or elected to be in heaven. There's 144, 000 people and that's it. And so you have to pay attention. You have to make sure you've earned your spot to be one of those. But if you start with verse nine of chapter seven, where we started today, it says a great multitude that no one could count.
[00:05:24] I'm pretty sure that's got to be more than 144, 000, right? And then the elder asks, who are these? Did he not know? Is this some sort of literary device or something to test John? Is this a way of starting a conversation? Who are these folks? And it says that these are the folks who have found their way into the kingdom.
[00:05:48] And they're described as people from every nation, from all tribes, all peoples, all languages. See, a couple of Sundays ago, we had All Saints Sunday, and it's [00:06:00] recognizing the saints that went before us. And in this description, this is what the body of Christ looks like. It looks like us, but not the us as we are today, but as the us we could be, not like the churches that often appears today where everyone looks the same and acts the same and wants everyone to be the same, but rather a church that represents the beloved community that celebrates diversity of every kind.
[00:06:28] that reflects the tapestry of the world in which we live. This is an amazing picture and an powerful hope that the church that makes it into the kingdom. The church that stands before the throne is the church as it is united in total, not divided into pieces like we see it today. But it's clear from this passage as well that getting there isn't easy.
[00:06:55] There's a lot to overcome, a lot of prejudice, a lot of injustice, a lot of [00:07:00] things that the church does itself that fights against this ideal. It's not a walk in the park. There's some effort, some struggle, some tribulation to get there. And then the elder seems to say that he knows all along that these are the multitude that came through a great ordeal.
[00:07:19] Ordeal, or in other versions, it's called a tribulation. Sometimes we talk about this as if it's a specific event having to do with the end times, like a last battle, or the last suffering that comes along with it. Others say, and I lean towards this kind of feeling, is maybe it's the ordeal of living in uncertain times.
[00:07:40] It might be something cataclysmic and world encompassing, or it might be just even the daily ordeals that we read about in the newspaper, or see listed in our prayer chains, all of these ordeals of illness, or infirmity, or abuse, or victimization, or injustice, or hunger, or poverty [00:08:00] all of these struggles, large and small that we face in the world, and the sum total of these might add up to that great ordeal that we're talking about.
[00:08:12] The pushback against that is, of course, it's got to be something more than just survival, more than just getting through whatever the struggles are and just living through it. And I think that's true because it says, These folks washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb.
[00:08:31] Obviously that's not meant literally because you can't take something white and soak it in blood and make it white. You can't make something white by soaking it in blood. But blood in the Bible is usually referencing life or a sacrifice. So the multitude is those that sacrificed. and made themselves.
[00:08:54] They put on the life of the lamb. They put on faith. They put on the attributes of [00:09:00] Christ. They put on the fruits of the spirit. These are the ones who put on Christ and lived it as if it was their own and lived it in front of everyone and all, especially those in need, especially those who were abused or mistreated, especially those where injustice was being done.
[00:09:21] against them. These are the ones who lived and worked for the benefit of others. These are the ones who cared for you and loved you. That's the folks who we recognized a few days ago on All Saints Day. These are the folks that we remember, the folks that have given us an example to pick up. When we wash our robes in the blood, in the life and witness of the Lamb, we then put that on and begin to act a little bit more like he did.
[00:09:50] To love as he did, and they become us, and we became them, because we are all part of the [00:10:00] saints that are celebrated. We are all children, but we're children who are called to look a little more like God, to purify ourselves a little bit more, to be something different. And I think the passage from Matthew begins to call us out a little bit.
[00:10:19] What does that look like? What does it look like to be a saint of the church and walk in the life of Jesus, to put on the blood and the life of the Lamb? Jesus tells us this. It begins, the Sermon of the Mount on Matthew's Gospel begins, Blessed are you. I've often wondered if instead of maybe posting the Ten Commandments everywhere, we would post the Beatitudes, the Blessed.
[00:10:49] Might be a little impractical in some ways, but that's the problem. A lot of times we read the Beatitudes and we think these just aren't really practical, they're [00:11:00] impossible. We can't live to this standard in the world that we live in. How could we live up to all of this? But maybe the Beatitudes aren't meant to function like the law and be rules.
[00:11:14] Maybe they aren't meant to show us that we're falling short and lay our guilt upon us and say see, you are a sinner. You failed. Maybe instead of being presented as a measuring rod for the interest into the kingdom of God, the way they're often used to beat people up, maybe, We need to look at it different.
[00:11:36] Jesus starts each of these with the word blessed and the word in Hebrew that's being used here that can be translated often can be translated as happy or blissful. So blissful are those who it's not a description that ties up to some sort of browbeating and guilt casting. [00:12:00] Maybe these aren't a challenge.
[00:12:03] Or maybe they aren't a psychology of happiness, but maybe they're a word of encouragement instead of an impossible standard. See, in the previous chapter of Matthew's Gospel, a lot of stuff happens. We have the temptation of Christ in the wilderness. We have the return and the calling together of the community of followers.
[00:12:27] And then he teaches and he heals and he draws larger and larger crowds. And then he lets us know his teachings, but in between, he makes a statement. Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near. And repent isn't about shame on you, but rather about turn around and follow me. Get behind me. Follow me.
[00:12:52] Do what I'm asking you to do. Put on my life and my faith. And the Beatitudes seem to be [00:13:00] a snapshot of what the community of faith could be. What the community of faith could be is blessed, that it, in a community that includes peacemakers. Blessed is the community that makes room for the meek, for those that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for those poor in spirit.
[00:13:19] Blessed is the community that finds space for those who mourn. blesses the community that knows persecution in is inevitable and still decides to make room for those that the world thinks is unimportant, for those being persecuted. Jesus seemed to be getting out the albums and saying look at who you are, look at who you can be, look at those who are among us.
[00:13:49] Look at the call to faith and put it on. Be blessed in a different way. And that is what the celebration is [00:14:00] about. Thanks for listening.
[00:14:08] Thanks so much for listening to the Inspired Stewardship podcast. As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen. But act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this episode, do me a favor. Go over to facebook. com slash inspired stewardship and like our Facebook page and mark it that you'd like to get notifications from us so that we can connect with you on Facebook and make sure that we're serving you to the best of our abilities.
[00:14:47] with time and tips there. Until next time, invest your time, your talent, and your treasures. Develop your influence and impact the world.[00:15:00]
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Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. – Matthew 5: 12