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Which Rung are You On?

Jesus calls us to be different.

I went to a restaurant, a type of place. As we were eating, this girl comes out with a bucket of Thousand Island dressing. She's coming out of the kitchen to fill up the salad bar. But she catches her heel and launches the container of dressing all over this one guy. He's got Thousand Island dressing from the top of his head to the bottom of his shoes; dripping off his forehead, off his chin, on the lapels of his suit, all over his tie, all over his pants, all over his shoes. He is a mess. And he goes ballistic.

He starts calling this poor girl every name a football coach ever called me growing up. And he says, "I can't believe just how stupid you are. Look at this! This is the first chance I've had to wear this suit. It cost me $350 and you have completely ruined it." She's going, "Sir" and she's trying to clean up. "Get away from me! You caused enough damage already." His wife chimes in. "That's right. It's a $350 suitbalalalalala."

Everybody in the whole restaurant is watching this deal, and he says, "I want to see the manager." The manager comes out and says, "Is there a problem?" What a dumb question. "Yes there's a problem. This stupid girl has ruined my suit. It's the first chance I've had to wear it$350."

"Sir, we'll clean your suit for you. No problem. We'll take of that." The guy says, "I don't want my suit cleaned. I want a new suit. It's completely ruined. I want a new suit. I want a check right now for $350." The manager disappeared, and the guy with him. I imagine he wrote him a check and justice was served.

The interesting part of the story is that this happened on a Sunday afternoon. Now why in the world would a guy be in a suit on a Sunday afternoon? Oh, I don't know. Probably just came from hearing a great ...

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Mike Breaux is teaching pastor of Heartland Community Church in Rockford, Illinois.

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Sermon Outline:


Illustration: Man who reacts with fury when a server ruins his suit with salad dressing is a church-goer.

The Beatitudes are like rungs on the ladder to countercultural living.

I. The spiritually bankrupt are happy.

To be poor in spirit is to admit you need God.

II. Those who weep over their sin are blessed.

Peter wept bitterly after denying Jesus.

III. Those who turn over the controls to God are happy.

Meekness is power under control.

We must realize that self-help can't help.

IV. Those who hunger after God are satisfied.

Our desires begin to change and this changes us.

These first four steps all happen on the inside, and the rest are outward.

V. Mercy comes out of those who have received mercy.

Illustration: One girl showed mercy to a mentally and physically challenged boy.

VI. The ones who are honest with God are happy.

Psalm 51:6

VII. Blessed ones change the temperature around them.

Illustration: Breaux tells how his wife radiates the presence of Jesus.

We can be thermometers or thermostats.

VIII. Persecution comes to those who are like Jesus.

Illustration: Breaux witnessed the fervent prayers of two Chinese pastors who had endured persecution.


Illustration: Breaux shares a prayer for his life, "Fellowship of the Unashamed."

Jesus was different, and he calls us to be different too.