MATTHEW 5:28_hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
If David had turned away when he saw Bathsheba the story would have a different ending. But he looked long enough for his heart to develop lust. The second look sealed his fate.
Proverbs 23:7 (KJV), “For as he [mankind] thinketh in his heart, so is he …” Everyone obeys their heart. You’ve learned you think with your heart, and what’s inside the heart is who you are. If a man with such a heart as David, could fall so deeply into sin – pay attention to what Jesus teaches.
Because of the power of his position, it was no problem for David to have Bathsheba brought to him for an adulterous affair. That would have been bad enough; the consequences would have plagued him for life. But the adultery led to something deeper – murder.
King David’s powerful position did not save him from severe punishment for his actions. His punishment did not come from man – it came from God.
David did not have enough political power to save himself from God’s judgment!
Lord God, Teach me to be careful what I allow into my heart. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ wants my heart to be pure—He can purify it!
MATTHEW 5:24_Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way…
Leave your gift! Get off that altar and get to the one you’ve wounded or have some unsettled misunderstanding with, or stolen from, or lied to, or spread lies about, or wronged in some way. If years have separated you, get on social media and find them. If they are in hiding from you, contact a family member, and make a peace offering to get to talk with them.
Whatever you do, do it diligently, and take it seriously. You’ve got a gift and an altar, and you can’t get the two together in your present state.
If you’re serious about loving Jesus, then you must be serious about loving people. That’s what the Scribes and Pharisees didn’t get.
I believe I just saw some scales balance!
It is much easier to love Jesus than people. After all, Jesus has never done you any wrong. All He’s ever done is love you. But check out what Jesus says in Matthew 25:40 (KJV), “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
Sounds like Jesus says how you treat people is how you treat Him.
Holy Jesus, I trust You to help me repair any open wounds I have caused. I trust You to help me find my way to the right people. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ loves all people—He will help me love them too!
MATTHEW 5:22_and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
The word raca is an insult – to speak to someone with contempt. It can also mean, worthless or good for nothing. Anger is destructive enough, but when name calling is added – it pierces much deeper.
The word fool can be translated as an empty-headed idiot. How easily we toss those words around. Maybe we’d be more careful if we thought in terms of killing the one we inflict.
Jesus has something harsh to say about calling someone a fool – the danger of hell fire. Mercy! Sounds like very serious business! The one who is called the names is in a much better place than the one doing the calling.
There are serious fits thrown now! Who does Jesus think He is? Only the Scribes and Pharisees control Law teachings. How dare He transform the Law to compare murder with how we treat our fellow man!
I believe Jesus wants us to do some heart checking. We have said what is in our heart will eventually come out of our mouth – we can take that to the bank. It never fails.
There is enough meanness in the world – it doesn’t need to come from Christians.
Great God, I don’t want to be mean or cruel. Please change my heart so it loves like Jesus. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ has a loving heart—He can give me one!
MATTHEW 5:22 _But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment…
Jesus’ explanation of His transformation of the Law begins with but I say unto you. The word but implies a change. The scales have balanced as far as killing and punishment, but if there is more to life than the physical, then there is another way in which to kill someone – anger. Ever felt that pain?
When Jesus refers to your brother, it is not biological, but a fellow human being. Perhaps it particularly means a Christian brother. Anger shown between Christians must be very painful to Jesus. After all, these are the people who claim to be His disciples. The people who are supposed to be salt. The people who are supposed to be light. Even if what they say is right, when it is said in hot tempered anger, it destroys any good which may be done.
Anger wounds the spirit and is very destructive to the soul of the one it has inflicted. Anger is also destructive to the soul of the one doing the inflicting. This is not just losing your temper. This is malicious, mean anger. To destroy fellow humans with mean-tempered, explosive, anger, is in the category of those who kill.
Once again, life is serious business.
Merciful God, Help me not to be an angry person. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ makes us brothers—He wants me to be patient!
MATTHEW 5:19_of these least commandments…
To break the laws of the land carry different sentences. You expect to receive harsher punishment for murder than for misrepresenting your taxes. Both break a law and carry a punishment, but the severity of the crime equals the severity of the punishment. It is not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing.
In this teaching, Jesus refers to breaking one of the least commandments. He leaves no room for a commandment to be too small to escape consequence. So if you think God won’t notice the bubble gum you slipped in your pocket and left the store without paying for it, think again. Remember this teaching is part of Jesus’ verlies – perk up, listen, pay attention! The store may never notice it, but nothing is hid from God.
The Creator calls you to take notice that God’s words matter. Life is serious business. Every thought you think, every word you speak, and every action you take is seen, heard, and known by the God of Heaven. They are also seen and heard by people all around you. They leave some kind of influence.
I Thessalonians 5:22 (KJV), “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” According to the Bible don’t even appear to be outside of God’s commands – whether you actually break them or not.
Holy and Almighty God, I don’t want to break Your commandments, neither do I want to appear as though I have. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ teaches God’s truths—I want to keep them!