Saturday, January 5, 2013

Day 3: Matthew 5-7; The Sermon on the Mount

My goal was to read through chapters 5 to 7 in the book of Matthew today.  I got through chapter 5.  I want to expand a little on what I read and how it will affect this season of reducing.

v. 3-12
Blessed are…
                the poor in spirit
                those who mourn
                the meek
                those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
                the merciful
                the pure in heart
                the peacemakers
                those who are persecuted because of righteousness

                theirs is the kingdom of heaven
                they will be comforted
                they will inherit the earth
                they will be filled
                they will be shown mercy
                they will see God
                they will be called sons of God
                theirs is the kingdom of heaven

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of 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 5:11-12

Why would we not want to be blessed?  There is so much reward. 

v. 13-16

“…let you light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16b
This is one thing that rings loudly in our attempt to simplify our lives.  We wish for others to see us doing so, to praise God for it, and to be inspired to do the same.  To eliminate unnecessary things in order to enhance their relationship with the Lord and others.  We want to be a bright shining family that encourages others and teaches others how to love God by our lifestyle.

v. 17-20

The law has not been abolished by Jesus’ coming.

I find it very important to not become blinded by grace.  It is good to depend on it, because it is how we have been saved, but we are also held accountable for our actions.  The law is important in our relationship with God and doing His will.

v. 21-30

When you consider in your heart and mind to do something sinful, it is the same as the actual sin in God’s eyes.  Before coming to the Lord in worship, first settle your quarrels with others in order to present a pure heart.  Get rid of whatever is causing you to sin rather than defiling your entire body.

This is one of those  “lesser than” sins in the lives of Christians.  “Yeah, I thought about another person sexually, but at least I didn’t actually sleep with them…”  That is just how our society teaches things.  It is okay to think it if you don’t act on it.  This goes the same way for consumerism.  If you are thinking it, you are doing it.  When I dwell upon an item I want, I might as well go and buy it and show it off to everyone – because my heart has been consumed.  My heart has been overcome by this little object instead of my Mighty Savior.  It is important to remember that if our heart and mind are focused solely on God and the things of Him, then sin will be far from our heart and mind.

v. 31-37

Do not divorce except for marital unfaithfulness.  Let your Yes be Yes and your No be No.  Keep your promises.

I like how straightforward those verses are about divorce, but I also believe there are many horrible circumstances that can blurry that command. 
LOVE the “yes be yes and no be no” verse.  There is no need to back up what you say or try to prove you are telling the truth if you always just stick to your word!  Don’t say something if it isn’t true and don’t promise something if you aren’t going to keep it.  It’s that simple.

v. 38-48

Do not resist when those try to do you harm, instead offer them more than they even wanted in the first place.  Turn the other cheek, go the extra mile. 
Love your enemies and pray for them.  Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.

This is a great set of verses for giving.  What better way to have a giving spirit than to make the decision to love those whom you don’t feel like loving, or to give to those who ask so much already.  Offer your second glove if someone steals the first, go even further when someone demands you to walk too far.  That is true sacrifice.  That takes a surrendered heart and spirit to only God. 

Just my thoughts and prayers through reading these verses.  Nothing scholarly or wise about it J

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