MATTHEW 5:44_But I say unto you, love your enemies…
As we have seen over and again, there is an order in which Jesus presents His teachings. If we can get our minds wrapped around the cheek turning, cloak giving, second mile going, and giving away – learning how to love our enemies will come much easier.
The first four guidelines lead us into the self-sacrificing mode. The giving more than receiving mode. The putting others before ourselves mode.
Now we are ready to see how powerful love really can be. After all, if we can love our enemies – we can love anybody!
Why do we even want to love our enemy? Because Jesus said to.
Why did He say to? Because Jesus desires all people to be loved.
We are called to be salt and light to everyone – especially the unloved. There is a reason Jesus called disciples in the first place – to teach them how to live free. They teach and make more disciples. Disciples share the truth with the world through the Bible. Jesus chooses to share His love through disciples.
Get salty! Light up!
Lord of All, I want to be Your disciple through whom You love people. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ chooses disciples—I want to be one!
MATTHEW 5:13_Ye are the salt of the earth but…
How would you feel if someone referred to you as a salt-of-the-earth kind of person? Would you feel complimented or insulted? If Jesus made the reference be sure it was a compliment, and a very high one at that!
Why would Jesus want you to be like salt? Have you ever heard of salting food to preserve it? The water moisture in food can attract and grow mold and bacteria. Salt dries out the moisture thus salt is a good food preservative. Salt is a natural preservative – nothing artificial. I realize there is much controversy about all kinds of foods, salt being one of them, but if it’s a natural food just stay with the lesson of moderation in all things.
Remember, you consist of three parts, body, soul (mind, will, emotions), and spirit. Whenever one part is neglected, your overall health can be damaged. The Bible gives healthy advice for all your parts. They all connect. What damages the soul can make the spirit sick. What damages the spirit can make the body sick. If you’ve ever heard of holistic healing, that’s what it is.
In this particular teaching Jesus is addressing the spirit.
Mighty God, Help me be a spiritual preservative to all the people You bring in my path. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is a preservative for my spirit—I want to be salt!
MATTHEW 5:11_and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
A new light is shed on persecution. This is not persecution because you think you’re right and your persecutor is wrong. This is persecution because you believe Jesus is right! This is about being falsely persecuted. This is about having all kinds of evil lies spread about you because your enemies hate Jesus and His teachings … and His disciples.
Who was lied about more than Jesus? From the time of His conception to His ascension into heaven He was maliciously verbally attacked.
Jesus was accused of breaking the Sabbath, when actually He was the Sabbath.
Jesus was accused of blasphemy by claiming to be the Son of God, when actually He was God in the flesh.
Jesus was accused of being out of His mind, when actually He possessed the very mind of God.
Jesus was accused of demonic possession, when actually He freed captives and put demons to flight.
Jesus was accused of inciting riots to overthrow the Romans, when actually He taught His disciples to pay taxes to Caesar and obey their authorities.
The One who promises the blessing is the One who understands everything about persecution.
Heavenly Father, I praise You for all You suffered in order to teach me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ was falsely accused—He bore it all for my sake!
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!