MATTHEW 6:7_But when ye pray…
Jesus really does not make prayer an option. He says when you pray, not if you pray. Jesus expects prayer to be a basic part of your life.
Everything Jesus taught is a part of who He is. If you have a goal to gain wisdom, understanding, and knowledge from Jesus’ teaching, you need a relationship. A relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost requires a prayer life. A prayer life requires time.
Set a time of day that works best for you and commit yourself to prayer. Also, set a place that is best for your closet and talk out loud. This does not have to be a literal closet – but there’s nothing wrong with that.
When you are serious about discipleship, you will be serious about prayer. Every time you pray, God is pleased. Along with regular committed prayer time, pray throughout the day. Lift up prayers for your family, friends, church, government leaders, and country – don’t forget to pray for those who hate you.
Philippians 4:6-7 (KJV), “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
God of Peace, Please teach me when to pray. Give me a heart full of thanksgiving as I make my requests to You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is true peace—He will give it to me!
MATTHEW 6:6_and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward them openly.
More rewards. Open rewards. Have you noticed how often God has plans to reward you? It is a definite part of His plan.
The world is cruel, hard, and evil. Praise God that while you live in it He blesses with rewards. Praise God He works supernaturally on your behalf.
What a mighty God!
Along with awaking with God’s likeness, I also desire to receive wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. Proverbs 24:3-4 (KJV),”Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: 4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.”
I want to build my life on wisdom. I want to establish my life in understanding. I want to furnish my life with knowledge. Want to know how to live in the world, but not of it? The Big Three! That means during my lifetime I can grow into a salty-lit-up disciple and not be bound by the world’s sins. By now you know what that means – I can live free. It does not mean I will never sin again. It means I will no longer be controlled by sin. No bondages.
Freedom means I’m not captive to anything but the love of Jesus!
God of Wisdom, Please teach me to build my life on wisdom; establish it with understanding and furnish it with knowledge. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is freedom—I want to live free!
MATTHEW 5:24_first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
Nothing in this life is worth the bondage caused by the spirits of darkness. Spiritual bondage is void of light – a place of deep darkness. It thrives on anger, bitterness, hate, and unforgiveness. Spiritual bondage weakens the soul and brings it into despair. Again, nothing in life is worth allowing your spirit, heart, and soul to be in bondage.
Be reconciled. Come in freedom, and offer your gift. God receives your gift with joy and blesses you. As you grow physically and spiritually, your gift will grow, shining in your countenance and in your life. It will cause you to gain wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. Your light will bless all who cross your path – “all that are in the house.”
God possesses the greatest treasure – love. He bestows love upon you – which flows to other people. The more you love God, the more you’ll find you have the ability to love people. The more you love God, the more you’ll find self-sacrifice becomes a byproduct of your life – because you learn to love others more than yourself.
Do you want your life to be more of Jesus, and less of you?
God of Love, I want who You are to shine in my life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ loves me—He wants me to love His people!
MATTHEW 5:21_Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time…
Jesus begins a series of principles to shed understanding on His fulfillment of the Law. He shares something which up until this sermon only Jesus could do – balance judgment and mercy. Now it is time to teach His salty-lit-up disciples how it’s done!
What was said by them of old time was the Law. The Old Testament covenant God made with Abraham and the laws he gave to Moses (the Ten Commandments, etc.). This was the standard the Hebrews lived by – their rules and regulations. This is how they worshiped, how they gave themselves to being Jews – God’s chosen people.
We Gentiles had no chance for the kingdom life because we were not chosen. Neither did we have the laws to teach us how to worship, serve, and know God. What was said by them of old time was for the Jews alone.
If that was enough, there was no need for a New Testament covenant and Gentiles would be in a heap of trouble! Jesus now becomes salt and light for the Old Testament.
If the Scribes and Pharisees have had trouble relating to Jesus before – watch out. They are about to throw a fit!
Father of All, Thank You for teaching me an understanding of balance. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ teaches balance—He helps me understand!
MATTHEW 5:20_But I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and the Pharisees…
It is easy enough to get to know the hearts of the Scribes and Pharisees – simply read their encounters with Jesus. If anyone on the planet should have known who Jesus was – it was they.
The Scribes and Pharisees knew all the prophesies in the Scriptures. They knew there was to be the coming of a Messiah. They knew all the details, but because they studied with their head and not their heart, they didn’t recognize the Messiah when they met Him face to face! They needed wisdom, understanding, and the right kind of knowledge for that, and they hadn’t gained any – not a smidgen.
The ultimate way to have recognized Jesus was by His love. First, they had to be able to know the love of God. If they spent a lifetime studying the Law, but not been in touch with God enough to know His love, they missed the whole point.
Jesus said they should have recognized Him by His miracles. His miracles were instigated by love, so love and Jesus’ miracles were actually one and the same.
Loving Jesus, Help me recognize the miracle of love You work in my heart. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ’s miracles are love—He will work them in me!