Tag: Sermon on the Mount

Jesus: “I tell you!”

Scripture reading for January 7th:  Matthew 5

Many focus on the Beatitudes as a wonderful statement of kingdom life and blessings.   But Jesus spoke at length about many other common beliefs held among the people.  He reminded the people with “you have heard it said:” and then countered the common sayings with God’s perspective.  These truths ran counter to the current religious teaching of the day.  They also challenge us today in that the religious world still holds some of the same perspectives.

“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.”  (Matthew 5:21-22a)  Jesus took one of the Ten Commandments and showed that under kingdom rules, anger with another also was capable of bringing judgment.  Murder starts in the heart with feelings of anger and disparaging comments like “You fool!”!  God looks at the heart, not just the actions!

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.  If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away.  It is better for you to lose one part of your body that for your whole body to be thrown into hell.”   (Matthew 5:27-29)  Jesus took another of the commandments and showed that adultery also started in the heart.  God doesn’t just look at the acts in the kingdom He rules, he looks at the heart.  Breaking this command is serious business!  Better to lose an eye than to go to hell!  Maybe it’s time to listen to Jesus!

 

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Blessed in the Kingdom!

Scripture reading for October 7th: Matthew 5-7

Matthew recorded one of the longest discourses of Jesus in the Bible that is known as the “Sermon on the Mount”.   The kingdom of heaven was the subject of this great teaching.  God was King over the nation of Israel and they were blessed to be His loyal subjects!

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  (Matthew 5:3)   God’s kingdom people know that they can do nothing on their own.  They need God!  As a result, God blesses them with the kingdom as a gift!

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.  Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth.”  (Matthew 5:4-5)  Kingdom people are meek and mourn over sin.  They are humble and recognize their need of God’s mercy.  God promises them comfort and a great inheritance!

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.  Blessed are the merciful, for they will obtain mercy.  Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.”  (Matthew 5:6-8)   They hunger and thirst for righteousness and are satisfied by their King, who is their righteousness.  They are merciful because they have received mercy.   Kingdom kids are pure in heart because they have a new heart given as a gift from their King!

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.  Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  (Matthew 5:9-10)    They are peacemakers for they are sons of their Father who gives peace!  These kids are blessed when they are persecuted for their righteousness because they have heavenly vision of the glory to come.   They have a reward in heaven that no one can steal or destroy. (Matthew 5:7-12)  They will see their King’s face one day and bask in His glory!

Kingdom kids are blessed to be the light of the world.  They reflect the glory of their King everywhere they go.  They are the salt of the earth! (Matthew 5:13-16)  They help stop the corruption of sin and bring out God’s saving and preserving message of Gospel hope.  They are a people who love God and love their neighbors from their heart!  What a blessed life!

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Don’t Worry, Seek the Kingdom!

Scripture reading for October 7th: Matthew 5-7

There is a war going on in the hearts of men everywhere.  It is a battle for man’s affection and attention.  On one hand, we have “money” and its fatal attraction.  Money cries out for men to seek her and when they do, they end up serving her in slavery.  Money is visible, has influence, and is out to steal our heart.  Money promises happiness, satisfaction, and fulfillment, but rarely can deliver.  It can be easily lost or stolen by others.  On the other hand, God seeks the hearts of men everywhere.  He wants none to be lost, but all to come and love Him.  God promises to provide everything we need and more if we will love and serve Him.

“No one can serve two masters.  Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matthew 6:24)   Jesus taught his disciples about this war for affection.  He warned them that it was impossible to serve both masters.   It has been said that “money” makes a good servant, but a cruel master!  When we love money, it is a one way relationship.  The Bible states that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.  (1st Timothy 6:10)  God is the only true Master and Lord.  We can truly love God and receive love from Him.  His love always does what is best for us.

Many in America today are trying to do what God said was impossible; they are serving money during the week and then trying to serve God on Sunday’s.  In the end, the lover that gets the least time becomes hated!  What is God’s advice to those who struggle with this war and worry about getting ahead and meeting daily needs? “So do not worry, saying,’What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and all these things shall be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:31-33)  By putting God and His Kingdom first, all our physical needs will be provided.  God is the true Lover and Master!  Cast all your cares on Him and give up courting “money”!

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