MATTHEW 5:1_he went up into a mountain: and when he was set…
Have you ever heard, “On your mark, get set, go?” In this verse Jesus reaches His mark, which is up on a mountain. You must reach your mark before you can begin the race, and you must have prepared yourself before you reach the mark. Once the mark is reached you get set—ready to begin the work.
Baptism was a part of Jesus’ preparation for His mark. Another was testing and endurance. Jesus endured a wilderness experience away from home, family, and friends. He suffered.
He suffered physically because He chose to fast during this time—to deny the body in order to strengthen the spirit.
He suffered temptation of the flesh to break the fast—in order to satisfy the physical over the spiritual.
He suffered a power struggle—to test God’s Word rather than believe it. He suffered the struggle of fame—to seek the praise of men over the praise of God.
You will face tests and sufferings throughout life. Suffering can break you or make you. The making or breaking is a decision, and the decision is yours.
Holy Great God, Help me endure my struggles in life. Let Your Word teach me wisdom that I may reach the mark and be set for Your go. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ suffered—He will help me be strong in suffering!
MATTHEW 6:31_Therefore take no thought…
Remember when the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness for a time of testing? There was nothing easy about it. Jesus was called to fast, and the devil tempted Him to break the fast and eat. If you recall, Jesus used the same weapon against the devil that we should use – the words of truth. In this instance Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 8:3 (KJV), “… man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.”
If your family is going through some kind of a struggle, the devil’s temptation is for you to worry. Nobody ever said it is easy not to worry when you are struggling. Use this time to shout out the Joshua chapter 1 cheer: “Be strong and of a good courage.”This is the time to defy thoughts of worry about where your next meal is coming from, or some other need. This is a time to quote the entire verse of Joshua 1:9 (KJV), “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” You’re not in this alone. Whithersoever covers everywhere. Thou goest doesn’t necessarily mean a certain place. It could mean where you are in the circumstances of your life.
You don’t have strength to just not worry – overpower worry with the truth of Scripture.
Mighty Warrior, You know my circumstances and are with me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is a warrior for me—wherever I am in life!
MATTHEW 6:25_Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
Raiment is translated as clothing or apparel or garments. Meat in this verse represents any kind of food.
When you die, you won’t be packing a sack lunch. Food stays here – heavenly food will be provided for your heavenly body. Jesus’ first temptation in the wilderness was to eat when He had been called to fast. Do you recall what He said to the devil? Matthew 4:4 (KJV), “But he answered and said, ‘It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’’ This calls for the spirit to be stronger than the body. You can practice strength building for your spirit just as your body.
When you die you won’t be packing a suitcase either. The clothes stay here. You will have clothes on your body in a coffin, but the body in the coffin isn’t going anywhere either.
Again, heavenly clothes will be provided for the heavenly body. Heavenly bodies will not be dependent upon anything from the earth.
Your heavenly clothes may be full of light. How cool would that be?
Whatever you wear in heaven, I promise there will be no fashion police!
God in Heaven, Thank You my spirit can withstand difficult times. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ strengthens the spirit—He will strengthen mine!
MATTHEW 6:18_That thou appear not unto men to fast…
We have discussed how after His baptism, Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into a time of great self-denial. Matthew 4:1-4 (KJV), “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. 3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, ‘If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.’ 4 But he [Jesus] answered and said, ‘It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.'”
There were no people in this wilderness experience. Jesus did not have anyone to show-off His great piety for God. The devil came up with another form of temptation, since his, “See how good I am,” scheme would not work. The devil tempts Jesus to break the fast and eat. Jesus overcame the temptation because He knew the truth – “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
Jesus understood the purpose for His fast. He was led to fast in preparation for His earthly ministry. Jesus knew He needed this set-apart time.
You may think the cross was the only sacrifice Jesus made for you – but there is so much more.
Lord God, Praise You for all the sacrifices You made for me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ gave all of Himself—He did it to love me!