MATTHEW 5:19_and shall teach men so…
Jesus teaches something worse than to break even the least commandment – teach others to do the same. You can directly teach someone, or you can teach by influence. The power of influence is tremendous – and everyone has it!
You can’t keep commandments and make wise decisions in your own strength. When it comes to sin there is a one-size-fits-all consequence – eternal separation from God. Romans 3:23 (KJV) “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” James 2:10 (KJV) “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” God’s compassion and forgiveness make a way to fix that. You need Jesus!
A hypocrite is a professing Christian who lives contrary (including influence) to the principles and teachings of the Bible. In other words, to be a Christian who is void of salt and light. The hypocrite will not cause anyone to thirst for truth – salt contaminated by the lures of the world and lost savor. No weary traveler will find the path to freedom through the darkness of a hypocrite.
You may not believe you are accountable for your influence. If someone makes a poor decision because of your influence, it is no different from your direct teaching. Everyone is responsible for their decisions – they can’t blame anyone else. But you are accountable for your contributing influence. And this is Jesus who says there will be a consequence.
Your call to be salt and light includes your influence. Contribute a salty-lit-up influence!
To really know Jesus is to know He is not about judgment and punishment. Jesus is the very embodiment of love, mercy, and grace. But it is also Jesus who warns there are consequences in life. This is why He draws attention to the importance of living in accordance with the commandments.
Just as the laws of the land, God’s laws are for your safety and protection.
Precious Jesus, I want my life to be salt and light to those thirsty and in darkness. I want this to be true in whatever You call me to do in life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is mercy and grace—I want to live like that!
MATTHEW 5:14_A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
Why is it that a city set on a hill cannot be hid? The answer is light. No matter how high the hill, or how thick its botanical surroundings, the lights of a whole city on a hilltop will shine through the darkness.
Unless the city is without power, or kerosene, or fire, the lights will shine. Unless every business and every family operates from dawn to dusk, the lights will shine. The lights shine for one reason – because darkness comes. Every day, darkness comes.
The primary purpose of any light is to dispel and overcome darkness. What a beautiful calling! Jesus calls His disciples to be light … to the world … to shine from a hilltop … and that light cannot be hid.
Think of your light as hope for the hopeless.
Think of your light as a guide to the lost.
Think of your light as healing for the sick of soul.
Think of your light as freedom for the captive.
The primary purpose of any light is to dispel and overcome darkness.
Surely if there is anything you need to become, it is light in this dark world. Spiritual darkness comes to the world when lights are ousted. Someone needs to turn on the lights! If you consider yourself to be a Jesus-disciple then you are called to turn on your light!
God of Glory, Thank You for changing my life from darkness to light. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ’s light dispels darkness—He will do that for me!
MATTHEW 5:10_Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
No one wants to be persecuted, for any reason – even righteousness. But if we are, let’s hope we respond as the Apostles after they were beaten for teaching the words of Jesus. Acts 5:41 (KJV), “And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.”
Jesus says we’re blessed if we are persecuted. He says the reward is the same as for those who are poor in spirit – the kingdom of heaven. I still see this reference to the kingdom of heaven as something we attain in this life. There is a difference. We do not experience the kind of perfection in the earthly kingdom as we will in the eternal heavenly kingdom. But we can experience the power of walking free in our spirit and overpowering fear, in this kingdom of heaven.
I hope I appreciate persecution when it causes me to become a part of the kingdom of heaven. I know I will suffer persecution as a part of God’s kingdom in this life.
I must take heed to the reason Jesus says I will be persecuted – for the sake of righteousness.
Dear Savior, I ask You to help me be alert to righteousness in this sinful world. Help me stand for it and live it out in my life daily. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is the kingdom of heaven—I want to live in Him!
MATTHEW 5:9_Blessed are the peacemakers…
I can never be a peacemaker if I am not willing to yield to someone else’s viewpoint. I can never be a peacemaker if I can’t find peace within myself. All this is fully dependent upon knowing who Jesus is and who I am in Him.
I can only be a peacemaker if I am founded on the rock of Scriptural truth. I must not compromise convictions for the sake of being someone’s friend. I know that sounds backwards after I just said I must be willing to yield – but don’t forget there is a fine line. To be a true friend, I would never agree with something I know to be contrary to the Bible. The best way to love people is to help them find the path to freedom, which is truth.
Needless to say everyone thinks their side is right, but for Christians there has to be a standard – the Bible. The Bible teaches the path to become a peacemaker is to love, to yield, and to serve.
Romans 12:18 (KJV) says, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”
We just can’t live at peace with everyone in this life. This life is a time for good versus evil. If we follow the Biblical principles of love, yield, and serve, we can learn to be peacemakers, even in this evil world!
God of Peace, I pray You will teach me how to love, yield, and serve. As much as is possible on my part Lord, help me live in peace. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is my peace—He will teach me peacemaking!
MATTHEW 5:7_for they shall obtain mercy.
What a lovely blessing the merciful receive – they obtain mercy. Meditate on that. After all the giving and pouring out of yourself and your time, there is mercy to receive! Everyone needs to be on the receiving end of mercy! Praise God there is a time when mercy is poured out on you!
A day will come when you need mercy. You will experience what a beautiful thing mercy is. You will feel the warmth, comfort, and peace mercy gives. And since mercy is not a Band-Aid, you will receive freedom – from guilt. To give mercy to someone is to free them from the wrong done to you.
Be glad you were a part of blessing another person. Be grateful that when you felt rejected or taken advantage of, you chose to respond with mercy – even though your offender was undeserving. Most of all, be grateful to the Holy God of Heaven because you are full of the Holy Spirit. That’s the only way you can be merciful. You see, you don’t deserve mercy either.
Mercy not only frees your offender; it is a part of the path to your freedom – from unforgiveness.
Loving Father, Forgive me for any time I have not bestowed mercy. Help me focus on You and Your truth more than the world’s deceptions. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ’s mercy is the path to freedom—He will help me!