MATTHEW 6:7_use not vain repetitions…
Vain repetitions means to automatically repeat phrases with no heart felt meaning. This does not mean you shouldn’t pray a certain prayer more than one time, or join in unity to pray something like the Lord’s Prayer. There is power in unified prayer. The key is whether the group is unified in heart before Holy God. Matthew 18:20 (KJV), “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” I believe God loves to hear unified prayer.
Neither does this mean that if you have been fervent in prayer but have not received an answer you should stop praying. Luke 18:3-7 (KJV), “And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him [the judge], saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. 4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming [emphasis mine] she weary me. 6 And the Lord said, ‘Hear what the unjust judge saith. 7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?”‘
This judge didn’t even believe in God. But he did what was right for the widow, because he grew weary of her continual asking.
Jesus says God will do much better than people – keep praying!
Holy Jesus, Praise You that You never grow weary of me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ never grows weary of my prayers—He hears me!
MATTHEW 5:44_bless them that curse you…
Are blessings something you only receive? Is God the only giver of blessings? Does God ever use people to deliver His blessings?
Think of some of the people God has placed in your life. Are there ways He has blessed you through them? Have you ever thought that God could bless someone through you? Have you ever asked God to bless someone? Have you ever prayed God’s blessing on someone? If you have, most likely it is not someone who just cursed you, right?
By now you have caught on to Jesus’ pattern. Your curser is exactly who He wants you to bless! Don’t you wonder how they would react if you said, “I asked God to bless you today,” and added, “be on the lookout!”
God will bless your enemy if you ask Him. Even more, He will bless you. He will bless you from the inside out. You trusted in and believed the teachings of Jesus.
Think of people in your life who you feel may curse you. Ask God to bless them. Ask Him often. Ask Him to bless them in ways that bring Him glory.
Wait and watch what God will do!
Father God, Please bless the people who may curse me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ loves to bless people—I pray for His blessings!
MATTHEW 5:19_the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Can you think of a more beautiful reward than to be called great in the kingdom of heaven? It surpasses any honor the world can offer.
To receive this reward means you believe in and teach (by word or influence) Biblical commands. If this were impossible Jesus never would have taught the principle. The road to the reward begins with some understanding of the life of Jesus. The understanding can’t be gained without Bible reading and meditating (dwelling on until you have it in your heart) on what you read. Bible study needs to be filled with prayer. This is what is known as a daily quiet time.
Dedication to a quiet time leads you to become a salty-lit-up disciple. You won’t have one without the other. The Bible, prayer, discipleship, salt, and light are BFFs.
Jesus clears up some of His teachings in the rest of this chapter. His balance of judgment and mercy equaling the fulfillment of the Law gives some understanding.
Learning to distinguish the spirit of the Law from the letter of the Law brings everything together.
Savior of the World, I want to be great in the kingdom of heaven. I want to believe that if You said it then it is possible. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is the Spirit of the Law—He wants to teach me!
MATTHEW 5:9_for they shall be called the children of God.
How do you find peace within yourself? Peace comes from connecting the soul (mind, will, emotions) with the spirit. When the soul connects with the spirit which is connected to Christ, it experiences confidence and security – regardless of circumstances.
When peace is dependent upon life’s circumstances being exactly as you want, seldom will you find inward peace.
Open your eyes. See Jesus at work in your life. Hear Him calling. Focus on Jesus in the midst of your storms (physical, spiritual, or psychological). Believe Jesus is who the Bible says He is. Experience the peace that overcomes life’s circumstances.
John 16:33 (KJV), “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me [Jesus] ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
That verse says a lot. This life will not always go the way you want. Life comes with trouble. Jesus lets you know that He’s got this – no worries. That doesn’t mean you won’t hurt, moan, groan, and cry. If you didn’t do any of those you wouldn’t have trouble.
Agree with Jesus and let Him overcome your world – you will be a child of God!
Dear Jesus, I praise You for overcoming the world. I know You can overcome the storms which rage within my soul. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ gives peace—To my soul!
MATTHEW 5:1_he went up into a mountain: and when he was set…
Have you ever heard, “On your mark, get set, go?” In this verse Jesus reaches His mark, which is up on a mountain. You must reach your mark before you can begin the race, and you must have prepared yourself before you reach the mark. Once the mark is reached you get set—ready to begin the work.
Baptism was a part of Jesus’ preparation for His mark. Another was testing and endurance. Jesus endured a wilderness experience away from home, family, and friends. He suffered.
He suffered physically because He chose to fast during this time—to deny the body in order to strengthen the spirit.
He suffered temptation of the flesh to break the fast—in order to satisfy the physical over the spiritual.
He suffered a power struggle—to test God’s Word rather than believe it. He suffered the struggle of fame—to seek the praise of men over the praise of God.
You will face tests and sufferings throughout life. Suffering can break you or make you. The making or breaking is a decision, and the decision is yours.
Holy Great God, Help me endure my struggles in life. Let Your Word teach me wisdom that I may reach the mark and be set for Your go. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ suffered—He will help me be strong in suffering!