MATTHEW 5:34_But I say unto you swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne.
Psalm 15 lists several creation principles everyone should live by – especially salty-lit-up disciples. The last part of verse 4 (KJV) says, “He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.” If you make a promise and in the long run it turns out to be something bigger than you thought, or cost more money that you expected – keep your promise. Psalm 15 says even if it hurts, keep your word.
In His New Covenant teaching Jesus transforms the old law about swearing – don’t swear at all! A practice in the Hebrew culture in that day was to swear by something. The more important the something was, the more emphasis on the oath. Jesus targets that system.
Perhaps the thought was you could get by without keeping your word if you didn’t swear by God’s name. If you swore by God you had to keep your word. As usual, Jesus looks beyond man’s plans on how to get by without keeping His creation principles. Jesus sees a loophole. He plans to plug it!
If you made a promise by heaven but did not mention God’s name Jesus says, heaven is God’s throne. The two are inseparable.
This sounds a lot like the murder and the anger, and the looking and the lust.
True God, I don’t want to look for loopholes in Your teachings. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ plugs loopholes—I need Him to plug mine!
MATTHEW 5:28_But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her…
Just like Jesus’ lesson on the heart connection between murder and uncontrolled anger, now He will teach a heart connection between sexual sins and your ability to live free from bondage.
King David was more than just a God-fearing man. He is consistently referred to as a man after God’s heart. We’ve already discussed the importance of the heart being the center of your spirit. To call David a man after God’s heart is a compliment from God to David.
For all the godliness of David’s life, how he led the Israelites to love and obey God, what is the first thing most people think when they hear his name? Bathsheba, right? A few people may think of Goliath first, but the next thought is, Bathsheba.
Go back to Proverbs 6 (KJV), “33A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away.” It will forever be connected to his name. This is not to be interpreted that God did not forgive. He did forgive, and even promised to always have a descendant of David upon the throne.
How did such a godly man fall so low? He looked … too long. Job 31:1 (KJV), “I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?”
Saving God, Help me make a covenant with my eyes. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ can help me avoid shame—Praise Him!
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 6:7_as the heathen do…
Jesus goes from reproaching hypocrites to reproaching heathens. The word heathen in this verse can be translated as Gentile. Remember, Gentiles are not Jews. They were not under the covenant God made with Abraham. Nor were they under the laws God gave to Moses.
The Jews considered the prayers of Gentiles to be great babblings. Since Gentiles did not serve or have a relationship with the One True God, their prayers were not directed to Him. Therefore, to whatever god or idol they prayed, all they could offer was empty babbles.
After Jesus conquered death and was about to ascend back into heaven, He gave His disciples a commission. Mark 16:15 (KJV), “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
Jesus gave Peter and Paul a specific commission – to share the gospel of the resurrected Jesus with the Gentiles. Praise God Peter and Paul obeyed the call!
We are no longer heathen just because we are Gentiles. Those of us who answer the call to become salty-lit-up disciples can enter our closet, shut the door, and commune with the Holy God of Heaven! Hallelujah!
Lord Jesus, Praise You for being the God of all mankind. Praise You for making a way for Gentiles to enter Your presence . In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ loves Gentiles—He made a way for me!
MATTHEW 6:6_But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet…
There are times when it is appropriate to talk with your loved one publicly. Those conversations are not from the depth of the heart.
Private conversations build love. The more private the conversation, the stronger the love. The more private the conversation, the better you get to know each other. The more trust builds. Falling in love with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit follows the same path.
For true love to develop between people you need to be of the appropriate age. You also need to be in the appropriate circumstances in life. It requires a man and a woman – not a boy and a girl.
For true love to develop with the Savior the younger you get to know Him, the better. I Timothy 4:12 (KJV), “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”
Make a covenant with God in your youth. Ezekiel 16:60 (KJV), “Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant.”
God remembers the covenants of your youth.
King of Kings, I praise You that You do not believe I am too young to make a covenant of love with You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ loves children and youth—He loves me!