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Posts Tagged ‘Sermon on the Mount’

Matthew 7

September 19, 2009 Leave a comment

Matthew 7

This is the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus wraps things up by saying that the person who does what Jesus says in this sermon is truly wise. They are like the man who builds his house on a solid foundation. That solid foundation keeps his house standing when the storms batter it.

But the person who doesn’t follow Jesus’ words is foolish. They have tried to build on a weak foundation. When it storms, there is nothing to keep their house standing firm. The house collapses.

So the question is: Are you going to be wise or foolish? You have heard Jesus’ words. Are you going to follow what he says, or will you ignore it? I invite you to continue in this joustormrney through the Gospels—to learn the teachings of Jesus and put them into practice. There is so much wisdom contained in these books. If you follow his teachings, your life will truly be blessed.

I want you to notice that Jesus doesn’t say that the storms don’t hit the wise man’s house. They still do. But because he has built on a solid foundation, his house doesn’t collapse in the storm.

Following Christ doesn’t mean you won’t face storms—times in your life which are difficult. But when you build your life on Christ and his teachings, your world won’t fall apart. He will give you wisdom to make wise decisions and give you strength to face tough times.

Don’t be a fool. Follow Jesus.

 

Prayer for Today

Jesus, give me wisdom. Life is hard, and sometimes I don’t know what to do. I realize that true wisdom only comes from you. I am going to build my foundation on you and your word. Give me strength to deal with life’s storms. I know you will always be with me. Thank you. Amen.

 

“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” James 1.5

Matthew 6

September 17, 2009 Leave a comment

Matthew 6

When reading through the Sermon on the Mount, it seems like Jesus just jumps from topic to topic, none of which really have any connection to each other. But look again at Matthew 6. The first four sections all mention “reward” or “treasure,” and the final section sums it all up by urging us to seek God first.

Hopefully, you have never had to worry whether or not you would have food to eat for the day. However, I would guess you have worried about clothes or other things. The word here that is translated “worry” can also mean “give thought to.” It means to think about or concern ourselves with something.

As a teenager, your mind starts to change, and you start being concerned with what people think about you. “Am I wearing the right clothes?” “How can I get that person to like me?” “Will my friends think I’m a loser because I like the Jonas Brothers?”

If you want people to look at you and think you’re a great person, Jesus says you can do that, and that will be your reward. But it is shallow and temporary. It’s like trying to grasp sand. When you grab hold of it, it just slips through your fingers. Chasing after the things of the world will only leave you frustrated and feeling empty.

But Jesus says in Matthew 6.33 to seek God first. That word “seek” can also mean “desire.” Jesus says that if you make God your primary desire, if you want him and seek him, then you will be fulfilled. God will take care of the details of your life, and you will experience a joy and a peace that nothing in this world could ever give.

Seek God first.

 

Prayer for Today

Heavenly Father, I want to seek you. I want to know you better. God, show me just how awesome you are, and show me how insignificant everything else is. Help me to give my worries to you, and help me to trust you to take care of me. Amen.

 

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5.7

Matthew 5

September 12, 2009 Leave a comment

Matthew 5

Matthew 5-7 is called “The Sermon on the Mount” because it is a collection of teachings Jesus gave from the side of a hill. It is one of Jesus’ most famous teachings. In fact, many of the teachings here are taught around the world, even by non-Christians.

No doubt, Jesus’ listeners were shocked when they heard this. Look back through this chapter. There’s a phrase you see over and over: “You have heard that it was said…But I tell you…” This teaching was—and still is—revolutionary. Jesus came to turn our world upside-down.

It starts off right at the start. In the first section, called “The Beatitudes,” Jesus uses the word “blessed.” This word is often translated “happy.” So Jesus says happy are the poor in spirit, those that mourn, and those that are persecuted.

Excuse me, Jesus?

And you want me to love my enemies?

This is completely upside-down. How can I be happy in those circumstances? Jesus says that we will have a great reward in heaven (verse 12), but I think there might be something more.

The word “blessed” really means joyful. What is the difference between joy and happiness? Happiness is dependent upon my circumstances. In other words, I’m happy when things are going well, but when things go badly, I lose my happiness.

But joy comes from the inside, not from the outside. Jesus fills me with joy; it does not come from experiencing good times. And it doesn’t disappear when bad things happen.

In John 10.10, Jesus says that he came to give us “life, life to the full.” He came to give us the life we were meant to live. He came to fill us with joy so we could experience the reward of heaven here on earth. Jesus doesn’t promise bad things won’t happen. But a true relationship with Christ fills you with a joy that cannot be explained.

Are you filled with joy? Have you allowed Jesus to turn your life upside-down? The more time you spend with Jesus, the closer you draw to him, the more like him you become. When you do this, you will experience that joy. Pray to Jesus, and ask him to help you live your life upside-down.

 

Prayer for Today

Jesus, I want to be filled with your joy. Help me to live my life upside-down. Help me to love my enemies. Bless those who treat me badly. Help them to come to know you. May I live my life in such a way that others will see God and worship him. Thank you for your joy. Amen.

 

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4.4-7