Israel 2014 IFL 115The remarkable words of Jesus know as the sermon on the mount is a treasure-house of truth, wisdom and comfort.  Followers of the Christ have often meditated on His elocution of these remarkable moments of mediation.  The crowds who heard were large even by modern standards.

Our buses filled the parking lot.  By groups of 40 the pilgrims disembarked.  Each one of us was filled with wonder as we walked the grounds where traditionally Jesus had preached this wonderful sermon.

It was a beautiful sunny day that welcomed our steps on this historic Israel 2014 IFL 097site.  The flowers were in full and radiant bloom.  The scene overlooking the Sea of Galilee was pristine.

Yet, as wonderful as the landscape and sacred church were, it was not the site that stunned us.  It was what occurred here 2000 years ago that mesmerized us.  Our Savior spoke here words that are miraculously preserved in Inspired Scripture for all of us to read.

Israel 2014 IFL 111Steve Green powerfully punctuated our experience with a song that brought to the threshold of worship.  Chuck Swindoll delivered a sermon from the Word that parked us right at the throne of grace.  Each drank in the moment that would forever be in our minds when we revisited that passage in the Gospels again.

Israel 2014 IFL 101On the way out of that worship gathering, I spied a thistle growing out of the rocky ground.  It was in bloom.  Like so many of us as pilgrims living our lives out of ground that wants to challenge every day we awake with heartache and obstacles, life can overcome when we trust in the Savior.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed ar 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 filled.”
Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute your and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because me.  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5.3-12

photo credit: brucefong photography