MATTHEW 5:23_Therefore, if thy bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberst that thy brother has ought against thee;
The word altar is translated as God’s Table. This is the sacred table where sacrifices were offered to God. The sacrifices were to be the best you had. God knew if what you offered as a gift was your best, or something you really didn’t want anyway.
Your gift will never be an animal sacrifice. It will be some type of self-sacrifice, because that is always the best you can give. If you come to give your all, dedicating your life as a Jesus follower, you need to be sure there is nothing blocking your dedication.
The Holy Spirit is a wonderful gift . When Jesus ascended back to His heavenly home, He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell inside you. If you come to Jesus to give your life, but hold on to an old grudge or unsettled argument, you can count on the Holy Spirit to bring it to your remembrance. He won’t allow you to sweep it under the rug. If you do, then you bring damaged goods, not your best. Give God all you have to give – He’ll give you much more in return.
This is not about you being good enough. Don’t leave me yet.
Heavenly Father, I want to know how to give You all of myself, teach me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is the altar—He wants all of me!
MATTHEW 5:8_for they shall see God.
Just like the negative things we dwell on are embedded in the heart, Jesus’ teachings cleanse the heart. When your heart is purified; you will see God.
You see God when you fill your heart with the truths of His principles found in His Word.
You see God when you make sacrifices in your life in order to help someone weaker or needier than you.
You see God when you stand for truth even in the face of ridicule, scorn, and lies.
You see God when you make choices for righteousness and purity over self-satisfying indulgence.
You see God because your heart has been purified by agreeing with His truths over the world’s lies. You have made decisions in your heart to walk that road, follow that path, take up that cross, and become a disciple of Jesus.
You will never purify your heart by agreeing with the world’s standards. This means looking at images of impurity, speaking words of impurity, engaging in acts of impurity, reading novels filled with impurity, watching entertainment full of impurity, or listening to music about impurity.
You are not going to see God on any of those roads.
Heavenly Father, Forgive me for the times I have chosen impurity over purity and the times I have agreed with lies because I didn’t want to walk the road of truth. Help me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ’s truths are the road to purity—He will lead me!
MATTHEW 5:7_Blessed are the merciful…
When you read or hear the word mercy, what comes to mind? Probably something like pity? Or perhaps, compassion? Both can be closely related to mercy. Do you feel anything a little deeper? Associate the word sacrifice with mercy. See mercy as a righteous, innocent, loving God dying for an unrighteous, guilty, unloving sinner. Amazing!
Let’s put it in closer perspective. Think about bad things you do, or say, or even just think toward another person. Now think of yourself inside of a burning, crumbling house. You have passed out from smoke inhalation and are not able to save yourself. This same person you have treated so badly is walking by and sees the fire, but can’t find you. That person rushes inside risking life to save you. That’s mercy!
Do you want mercy? Mercy, yes! We all want pity at some time, and compassion all the time. What turns those into mercy is you don’t deserve to receive either of them. Guess who was the most merciful person to ever walk the earth? You got it – Jesus!
Jesus did more than risk life for you – He died so you can live forever!
Merciful Jesus, Thank You for bestowing mercy on me when I don’t deserve it. Help me have mercy on the people You bring into my life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ has mercy on me—He can help me be merciful
MATTHEW 5:5_Blessed are the meek…
Meek. It’s just not a word used much these days. Perhaps that’s why it is so misinterpreted. Merriam-Webster’s definition of meek is mild or humble. For whatever reason, we tend to think of mild and humble as weak and puny. We think of a meek person as one who lacks courage. A person who is timid or shy. A person who runs away from any kind of controversy. We think of a meek person as one who succumbs to fear.
Au contraire mes amis!! (Look up your French).
The Lord Jesus Christ was the meekest person who ever walked the earth, second was Moses (Numbers 12:3 KJV). He was neither timid nor shy. Jesus faced multitudes daily. They swarmed Him like the paparazzi! We can be sure He wanted some me-time, but Jesus was not about me. Jesus was about setting people free, regardless of the cost to personal life.
Mark 6:34 (KJV), “And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.“
Now that’s some meekness – at its best!
Precious Jesus, I praise Your meekness. Please teach me meekness. I desire to love others more than myself. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is meekness—He will teach me to be!
MATTHEW 6:30_which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven…
The grass Jesus refers to is a pasture. The grass in the pasture has a purpose – more than one. It gives life by feeding the livestock that graze – for as long as its growing season.
If you have a pasture and are growing grasses such as alfalfa, clover, ryegrass, fescue, or wheatgrass, then you have something beyond the growing season – hay. When the grass is tall enough, pull it to find the seed head. You know it’s ready to cut. You don’t want the seed to reach the top. When the grass is cut and baled, it is ready to put up for winter feeding. Hay provides nourishment for livestock during the months the grass is not growing.
If you grow wheat in your pasture, the left over stalks can be cut for straw. Straw furnishes good bedding material for livestock in barns. Straw can also be bundled and used to start fires.
Have you noticed a common theme in the purposes of the grass? Grass gives up itself to nurture life for something else. When Jesus says, “which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven,” the grass doesn’t sound too useful. But, the grass has a purpose in life and death.
Did it fulfill life before death?
Holy God, I want to fulfill my purpose in life! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ wants me to fulfill my life purpose—He helps me!