MATTHEW 5:20_But I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and the Pharisees…
Jesus is love – true, genuine, unconditional love from head to toe. He is the purest form of mercy. He is grace at its greatest. If Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law, then the purpose of the Law must be love, mercy, and grace.
Make the Bible your best friend. The wisdom from it is far beyond awesome. If you don’t spend time with your best friends – they won’t be your best friends for very long. The more time you spend in the Bible, the more you gain understanding of wisdom.
The Scribes and Pharisees spent a lot of time studying the Law, but they failed to gain wisdom and understanding. Why? The heart. If your time in the Bible results in knowledge which lets you appear better than your friends, your righteousness will never exceed that of the Scribes or Pharisees.
If your Bible time results in your heart breaking from your own sin, and the cruelties of the world, and you want to do something to make the world a better place – you’re on the right track!
God of Mercy, Please help me learn the Bible with my heart, not my head. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is the heart of the Law—He wants it in my heart!
MATTHEW 5:19_he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven…
The importance of the word least continues, but changes from a description of the Law to a description of a person.
When you take into consideration all the laws, the least one is indeed – least! Yet Jesus makes it important enough that to break the least law and teach others to follow your lead, causes you to be least in the kingdom of heaven.
Think of this in New Testament terms to see a better view: How heartbreaking it would be if you were part of what encompasses the Bride of Christ, and called least by the Groom. You don’t want the word least to refer in any kind of way to your relationship with Jesus!
Who could keep from breaking even a small law out of so many? No one.
There’s hope! Don’t give up yet!
Lord Jesus, Thank You for giving me hope. Thank You that if I follow You, I have no need to ever give up. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is my hope—I won’t give up!
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!
MATTHEW 5:14_Ye are the light of the world.
Would you ever want to be referred to as the light of the world? That might not sound too bad. May be more appealing than being called salt. Just be sure you don’t confuse this light with the limelight.
The light Jesus wants you to be is not the limelight. That does not mean He never wants you to experience success. Jesus not only wants you to experience success, He wants to give it to you! But success from Jesus must be in His time and in His way.
Jesus wants your light to shine for His glory, not your own. God knows the tremendous danger involved with living in the limelight. He doesn’t want you to go through that kind of heartbreak. Jesus keeps you safe when your light shines for Him. When it shines for you, you’re on dangerous ground.
Think of this light as a flashlight. It shines on a path to protect walkers from stumbling blocks. It shines inside or under dark places to help a seeker find something they’ve lost. It flashes on and off to signal someone from a distance who is trying to find their way to safety.
This is the light Jesus has called you to be. One which lights a path to Him. One which helps prodigals find their way home.
Savior, Please keep my light shining for You, and not myself. Your light will lead me to help others find their way to You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ’s light leads to truth—Truth leads to freedom!
MATTHEW 5:11_and persecute you…
Christian persecution is certainly nothing new, and as long as there are disciples. persecution will continue. All lives, whether Christian or not, suffer hardships, heartbreak, emotional and physical pain. The difference in the Christian life is blessings.
The Christian has the promise of eternity in heaven.
The Christian has Jesus’ promise to be blessed when persecuted for His sake.
The Christian has overcoming power to withstand persecution … that makes rather than breaks. Psalm 46:1 (KJV), “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” It is the Christian who experiences this promise.
None of those promises mean the Christian is not suffering during the persecution. If that were the case – they would not be experiencing persecution.
The heart of the Christian learns to love unconditionally. This kind of heart does not boast of persecution in order to gain martyr status. The supernatural work of the Holy Spirit inside a human heart is incredible. The reason it is incredible is because when the Spirit entered this heart – it was desperately wicked!
A new heart is willing to forgive and learn to love its persecutor. A new heart begins to look like Jesus.
You can’t top that!
Loving God, Please give me a heart like Jesus. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ loved His persecutors—May I gain that heart!