MATTHEW 6:21_For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Just like all Jesus’ teachings, the bottom line concerning wealth is a matter of the heart. All consuming takes place in the heart. If you are consumed with being a Jesus follower, He has residence in your heart. He reigns supreme. The longer Jesus is in control, the more space He consumes. The more space Jesus consumes, the less space the devil can occupy. The less space the devil occupies, the more freedom you enjoy!
Psalm 119:30-37 (KJV) gives some insight to this heart conversion process, “I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me. 31 I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O Lord, put me not to shame. 32 I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart. 33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end. 34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. 35 Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight. 36 Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness. 37 Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way.”
Choose the way of truth. The eternal treasure and the Jesus heart sync together. Consider what fills your heart.
Loving Jesus, Help my heart to sync with eternal treasures. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ wants to fill my heart—I choose His way!
MATTHEW 5:45_That you may be children of your Father which is in heaven…
If you listen to him, the devil will convince you the Christian life is too hard. No one can keep all these commandments. And there’s doom if you don’t!
The only way to keep from falling for the devil’s deceptions is to know the truth!
Christianity is not about keeping a bunch of laws. It is about a new life with Jesus. Get into God’s family. Be confident that you are a child of your Father in heaven. Ask Jesus into your heart. You’ll automatically receive the bonus of the Holy Spirit dwelling inside you. Any commandment/law keeping is the Spirit’s job.
How does that work?
Remember that open heart surgery? The Spirit changes your desires by creating in you a deeper love of Jesus and His teachings. Love is not about making yourself good. It is about the Spirit producing stronger desires for righteousness, and the desires for unrighteousness losing their grip.
Psalm 23:3 (KJV), “… he [the Lord] restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
How do you get to the righteous paths? God leads you. Why? For His name’s sake!
Father in Heaven, Praise You for leading me where I need to go! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ has the power to change me—He will do it!
MATTHEW 5:21_Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time…
Jesus begins a series of principles to shed understanding on His fulfillment of the Law. He shares something which up until this sermon only Jesus could do – balance judgment and mercy. Now it is time to teach His salty-lit-up disciples how it’s done!
What was said by them of old time was the Law. The Old Testament covenant God made with Abraham and the laws he gave to Moses (the Ten Commandments, etc.). This was the standard the Hebrews lived by – their rules and regulations. This is how they worshiped, how they gave themselves to being Jews – God’s chosen people.
We Gentiles had no chance for the kingdom life because we were not chosen. Neither did we have the laws to teach us how to worship, serve, and know God. What was said by them of old time was for the Jews alone.
If that was enough, there was no need for a New Testament covenant (and Gentiles would be in a heap of trouble!). Jesus now becomes salt and light for the Old Testament.
If the Scribes and Pharisees have had trouble relating to Jesus before – watch out. They are about to throw a fit!
Father of All, Thank You for teaching me an understanding of balance. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ teaches balance—He helps me understand!
MATTHEW 5:20_But I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and the Pharisees…
Jesus asks us to compare our righteousness to that of the Scribes and Pharisees. If we’d been trained and educated in the Law to the degree they had, we’d be one of them.
Look closer. Jesus does not want just a comparison. He wants our righteousness to exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees! What? How can an average Sunday school, church-goer have more righteousness than the educated, religious power-people?
Can it be that Jesus is not impressed with the Scribes and Pharisees’ righteousness? How is that possible? They were all about the Law, and Jesus just finished teaching the importance of the Law. He taught He did not come to earth to destroy the Law.
Also, He had just taught that to break even the least commandment carries with it a heavy consequence – to be least in the kingdom of heaven! So, why does Jesus not stand in awe of the ones who spend their time teaching and observing it?
Holy God, I want my righteousness to be more than knowledge. Please teach me how to live it. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ lives righteousness—He wants me to do that too!
MATTHEW 5:19_and shall teach men so…
Jesus knows to live outside of Biblical principles brings heartbreaking consequences. He wants to protect you, not punish you. The punishment comes on its own – a natural byproduct when you make your own decisions of right and wrong.
Jesus knows the world is too hard, too difficult, too deceiving for you to take on by yourself – so He gives you commandments to live by. These commandments are taught in the Old Testament by God’s chosen leaders and in the New Testament by Jesus and His disciples. Jesus knows even the least commandment is for your good.
Jesus sees every tear you shed, hears every sigh of your heart, and knows every pain disappointments bring. He tries to save you as much pain as possible. Suffering comes with life – period. God’s commandments are a true safety to keep you from experiencing suffering unnecessarily.
It is enough to bear the pain of having broken God’s commandment, but far worse is the guilt of having led others astray with you.
Holy Lord, I don’t want to make my own suffering by breaking even Your least commandment. Let Your Word teach me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ knows all my pain—He wants to help me!