Matthew 8 Part 1–It is About Faith

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After finishing the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus picked back up with his ministry. Immediately He was approached by two unlikely candidates for faith–A leper and a Roman Centurion. The  amazing thing, was that Jesus neither hesitated, nor did He act uncomfortable with these two sets of outcasts from the Jewish people. Lepers were “unclean” and to expose oneself to them made that person unclean.  Jesus did not even hesitate, He healed the leper, told him not to tell anyone that He had done so–but, to go make the proper showing and offering to be free from the curse and stigma he was under. Jesus was interested in the leper’s faith not his social position.

Next, a Roman centurion, considered the evil overlords of the Roman outpost, Israel. The Jewish people despised the Romans generally; and especially the leadership. They were gentiles,after all, and they were the nation that invaded and had taken them over, and they often exploited the Jewish people financially, physically and abused them verbally. So to have a centurion ask politely for the healing of a servant was not only unusual, but it was a test of will.  Jesus was amazed at the centurion’s faith and gladly healed the servant. Jesus was not defined by cultural predispositions! He was blown away at the man’s faith! He wanted to honor it.

In our lives, we need to trust and follow Jesus’ teaching and allow Him to lead our lives. Like Jesus, we need not equate our faith with church attendance, tithing or other ritualistic benchmarks. We need to simply trust and follow His lead, love others and love Him most of all. As with the leper and centurion, Jesus accepts us as we are. He meets our needs without fanfare or expectation of remuneration. We also need to do the same. We are to love folks and realize that like us, most people are a mess.  It is all about faith–faith in God and faith in our daily walk with him.  As he said in the sermon, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to You!” Matthew 6:33

God Bless You

When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. A man with leprosy[a] came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”

Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

The Faith of the Centurion

When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”

Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”

The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west,and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.

Matthew 7-Final–It is More than Hearing, It’s Doing

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Jesus ended the “Sermon on the Mount” by saying what every teacher wants to say–“I have given you some pretty life changing stuff here, thanks for listening, BUT, now go do it!” (Mike Smith paraphrase)  He gave them the illustration of building a house on a solid foundation or on a sand pile–one will last and the other is assured to collapse. Jesus knew that many would walk away saying that what he said was great, but, then they would resume their lives of defeat and hopelessness. As one that loved them as only God could, he hated to see them miss out by simply filing the message away as “good advice”. 

God’s way runs counter to the ways of the world.  As men face each day, there is little to point them toward God. All life’s influences are opposed to the very simple truth that if we will seek God first, He will add the rest. (Matt 6:33) Jesus, knowing this, urged those listening to not only listen to the message, but actually put it into practice. If they would, he explained, then they would build a life of purpose that would stand up to the many trails and temptations that life presents.

Here, 2000 years later, we are faced with the same choice. We can either choose to follow the Lord, heed his advice, and live selfless purpose driven lives; or, we can follow the world’s leading and attempt to live independent of God. If we follow him, when the storms of life hit and rock our world, we will be able to bear up under it-because our foundation is solid. Conversely, apart from God, our lives will inevitably become a pile of sticks, stones and debris–because our lives are then built on the ever-shifting and never lasting culture we call the world. 

One need only look back at the last 20 years to see how much values and morals can shift. There are no absolutes, no perameters, no solid foundation–on which to build a life. Jesus knew then, and still urges us today–don’t only hear this message; live this message!  Help me, Lord, to not only hear your message, but also live it!

God Bless You 

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

Matthew 7 Part 3–The Message is to Focus

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Jesus starts to wrap up the “talk for the ages.” Clearly, He has the attention of the crowd–So, now He delivers the message within the message; the core, the main thing…

The message is to focus–FOCUS! Life in this world is extremely tough, So focus.  Focus on what you need, Jesus called them to focus upon turning to and turning your  needs over to  God! You need not be afraid to ask God for what you need–He is a Dad! Dads that understand loving their kids, give them their needs and desires-neither maliciously or with an agenda! God is so much more loving, selfless and kind! Search for Him, you will find him–knock; He will open up for you! He is God.

Next, Focus upon where you are going. He wanted folks to know–His path is the narrow one! It is neither easy; nor is there a great deal of room to maneuver. God wants our hearts and our submission. It is a non-negotiable. He offers to be our Lord AND Savior not Lord or Savior. The journey leads to life, peace and purpose! So, while it may be a narrow path, it leads to an amazing life–for now and eternity.

Finally, focus on who you are following and becoming. He reminded the people that there would be false prophets–they will look good and speak better! But, their fruit will be awful. Just focus; not only on their words, but, also upon their deeds and their mission. If they are not s glorifying God, they are simply like a wolf wearing a wool  sweater! It may look good, but, it does not make them less of a wolf! In the same vein, just because someone acts religious, it does not mean they even know God! they can put on a great front, but Jesus looks at the heart! So should we! 

We must focus–on what we needwhere we are goingwhom we follow and whose we will be! Unless God is the answer to the question, the results will be empty and short lived. This–is the message! This–is the life.

God Bless You

 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

The Narrow and Wide Gates

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

True and False Prophets

15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

True and False Disciples

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Matthew 7 Part 1–No Judging

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When one thinks about it, judging others when we know our own sinful hearts is pretty ridiculous.  We all walk through this world weighted down with the chains and baggage of a lifetime of terrible choices and a lineage of sin filled lives. Even Jesus own lineage contained prostitutes, incestuous fathers, adulterers and murderers. Still, because he came, each person has the opportunity to be free of that baggage, and walk as pure as the Savior, Himself.

Sadly, when we are freed from the bondage of sin and death, often, we become a little smug and a little proud; that the gross leprosy ridden rags, that were our lives, are now clean, pure and white as snow.  Jesus, in helping people to see things from God’s view, wanted the folk to realize how infuriating it was to see someone judge another’s actions–when they, themselves would never stand the scrutiny–if placed upon them. Plainly stated, “If you think you are the person to judge another–please point the flashlight of scrutiny you are using at your own life, see how YOU hold up!

We are called to seek God and follow His lead–let Him sort out the chosen from the wicked. He is singularly qualified for the job, and, is the one that is full of grace and mercy; the very grace and mercy Paul talked about in Romans 5–“God Demonstrated His love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us!”  Jesus calls us to use every ounce of energy to examine our own lives and model His. Help me, Lord to follow You, seek You and allow You to be the judge!

God Bless You  

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Matthew 6 Part 3–Only One Soveriegn

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Jesus was making God’s position on life clear; and in this part of His sermon, Jesus wanted people to understand there could only one sovereign on the throne of a person’s life.  Since Adam and Eve, men have been guilty trying to at the least help God out, or, at most replace Him. The fact that He is not visibly walking along, where men can see him–has  empowered people to think that his power and presence spiritually is not sufficient to command our respect, reverence and trust.  We are often willing to wait for a bit; but, not for the short lifetime for God to transform us into His image.

Throughout the Bible,we read story after story about reasonably decent folks simply trying to share their life throne with God.In every case it has ended in horrific disasters.  We are not equipped to be God–it is a gift, after all, that we are even in the lineage! God wants us to choose to let Him lead. He wants us to choose to store up treasures with eternal value. God wants us to trust Him for all aspects of our lives–what we eat, what we wear and where we live! If we are willing to do that, then the Lord will provide all that we need and protect us to the end of the journey.  It is always God’s desire to protect, prepare and provide the best for us.  We simply have to be patient and trust that He will complete what He started!  Verse 33 says it best–“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things will be added to you!”  

Follow ad Trust Him, it is the only way to truly experience his power and peace!

God Bless You

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy,[c] your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy,[d] your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?

Matthew 6 Part 2–Prayer…Still Not About Us

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It is a bit ironic, admittedly, to think that when we cry out to the Heavenly Father–we are focusing upon Him, and not on us.  Prayer is a sacred and personal communication between men and God and should not be treated as an event or done in a way to impress or prove our worth.  As Jesus continued to preach about the relationship between men and God–he focused on the intimate nature of prayer, Giving, fasting and serving. He knew that common folk really looked to he religious leadership for direction on how to relate to God, and those men made each of those intimate times an event for public consumption.

Jesus reminded the folks that God cared for each of them and wanted them to come to Him with open hearts and minds; and simply realize that they could be transparent with God. As Jesus laid out the structure, He showed them that we need to reverence God, confess our sin, thank God for what He has done–and only then will we be ready to ask for what we need with the right heart.  He also reminded the folks that their lives were about the relationship–not the reward, or praise of men. So, prayer needed to be a real and personal time between the people and God.

In our lives, it is easy to adopt this culture’s “texting” mentality in our prayer lives.  We shoot three sentence prayers to God as we walk through our day–never stopping to get real, intimate, transparent or personal. It saddens God–the idea that we expect the instant gratification of quick answers. We do not appreciate time with God, nor do we wait for God to complete His work in us. Prayer becomes another task we do, only to please God, rather than the time we spend to get to know him, and, allow him to transform us.  We need to approach prayer with the same intimacy we would approach our children. Sit, listen, understand and be real with God! We need to pour out our hearts to Him, and allow Him to open His heart to us!  It is a real thing, prayer, it needs to be our priority, and our most personal time with God.

God Bless You

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babblinglike pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you needbefore you ask him.

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,[a]
    but deliver us from the evil one.[b]

14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Matthew 6 Part 1–It’s Not About You

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Jesus was still driving home the idea that our faith and walk are about becoming like God–not to impress God! The pharisees did religious acts all the time for show. They announced  their humility to the world…with pride! They made sure their giving clanged into the pots, they had a crowd close when the did a kind deed.  If their was not some sort of instant gratification, then it was not worth doing–or so they thought!

Jesus was reminding the folks, that God looks at the heart.  If pats on the back and instant gratification is what one seeks–then more power to them! Because, that is the only reward they will receive. But, if the goal is too be who God wanted them to be, then clearly public acknowledgments of one’s good deeds need to take a back seat.  The way we give, share, study and even pray–need to reflect our heart’s desire! If one’s desire is to honor God and emulate Christ, people’s approval will not be required.

As we look at our personal walks, is our behavior designed more to please men or to please God? And, when we think about pleasing God, do we think religious acts or humble hearts are key?  Jesus reminds us it is the attitude of our hearts that is the key–so, our hearts should focus upon God and His impact on our lives.  If we do, then He will transform and bless us beyond measure.  Help me, Lord, to focus upon You and You only!

God Bless You

Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babblinglike pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you needbefore you ask him

Matthew 5 Part 4–The Hard Stuff

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When we agreed to follow Christ, we agreed to be different–that is hard. In a world that is completely captivated with itself, to be selfless is extremely tough. Jesus continues to preach by helping folks understand God wants to see different. Instead of taking revenge, give grace. Instead of litigating to the end, Give from the beginning. Instead of reacting to authority, revere those God has put into positions of power.  Being different is extremely difficult.  Jesus says give up your rights, lay them on the alter.  That requires great faith and patience.

Here is the bottom-line, God is our protection, provision and our preparation for Heaven. He knows we will be home soon in a place where everyone’s single greatest concern is everyone else–no exception, no hidden agenda. When we arrive, we must be ready to live in a selfless place, and this is the training ground.  It will be amazing living among those that truly love and care for us. no secret enemies or false pretense. To get there, Christ’s chosen need to be selfless here and trust him here. That is the secret of eternal perspective. If we can love and follow him in a place where no one else does–when we are with him, it will be a joy and a breeze.

That is the hard stuff, But God is faithful and He will bless and protect His own, even in a place where the world refuses to. Philippians 4:19!

God Bless You

You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. 40 If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. 41 If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. 42 Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.

43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends,[s] how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Matthew 5 Part 3–The Spirit of Sin

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As Romans 3:23 reminds us, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” But, as Jesus continued to tell the world about God and his message to the people, He wanted to help those listening to understand the distinction between the action of sin, and the spirit of sin. Jesus took some pretty straight forward acts, Murder, adultery, lies, revenge, and helped the crowd to see the spirit of hatred, bitterness, deceit, judgement and pride that waited in the wings to make sure those acts happened.

When we look at the distinction between the heroes and the villains of the Bible, the heroes did some pretty bad stuff–Moses murdered an overseer, David had an adulterous affair with Bathsheba and killed her husband, Peter denied Christ, 3 times…But, as you look at their hearts, their spirits, each had a heart that was devoted to God and Him alone–they did horrible things; but repented and stayed devoted to God.

Conversely, Saul the King simply never submitted to God’s leadership–he did it his way, and destroyed his life and family. Pharaoh never submitted to God’s request and it destroyed Egypt, his army and even lost his own son. The religious leaders that sought the life of Jesus did terrible acts, but worse, they abandoned the very God they supposedly served.  In short, God forgave men’s sin, but, unless they accepted that forgiveness and submitted to God’s leadership, there could be no change.

In our lives, we too struggle with sin.  Despite the resources we have to remind us of our need to humbly follow God; we find ourselves saying and doing things that run counter to God’s will and plan for our lives.  Despite that, God still wants for us to be like the Moses, David and the heroes of the Bible–submit our hearts to him. If we will he will forgive our sin and bless our lives. What God is not willing to do is to bless a person that has no desire to follow him. God looks at men’s hearts–If our hearts are willing to submit to him, God is willing to start each day–new with us! John said it best–“If we confess our sin he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sin and cleanse us of all unrighteousness!” I John 1:9

Don’t be fooled–we can never act our way to salvation, it is a gift that only requires our acceptance and submission.

God Bless You

Anger

21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother[c] will be liable to judgment; whoever insults[d] his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell[e] of fire. 23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.[f]

Lust

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

Divorce

31 “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Oaths

33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ 34 But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.[g]

Retaliation

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic,[h] let him have your cloak as well. 41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

Love Your Enemies

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers,[i] what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Matthew 5 Part 2–Salt and Light

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It was very simple, Jesus told those following him that God Had called them to be salt and light. He told the crowd that the were to be the difference makers. Salt preserves and enhances flavor in life. If it is no longer a preservative or flavor enhancer, it is simply of no use.  In the same way, when the people of God, are not serving God, they are also of no use. Jesus was not calling people worthless, on the contrary, He was telling them that they were the very essence of life. They enhanced and preserved life–but if they refused to follow him, they would neither enhance nor preserve life.

Next, he told them that they were the light of the world.  It is an amazing thing, light–in the darkest of places, even a small light will change everything.  Light, you see will immediately cast out darkness, but darkness cannot now or ever drown out light.  Jesus told the folks–“You are the light of the world” It is your job to drown out darkness, not to allow darkness to overcome you. It is God’s people’s job, to stand up to the dark and push it away. Darkness should never be able to push us out, nor overcome us.

Finally, God did not send Jesus to get rid of the law, instead he sent hi to fulfill it. What men were not able to do–bridge the gap between sin and death by their behavior, Jesus did by dying for men’s sin. The law was designed to point men back to their need for God, but instead it simply exposed men’s inability to trust God, or follow Him on their own. So God, demonstrated His love for men by sending Jesus to do what the law could not–pay the price and redeem that which had been lost.

In short, We are called to be different. We are to be the salt and light–real change makers. Jesus came to give us that ability. In addition, when we understand that His grace is not a free pass from following the law, but instead  is simply the fulfillment of the redemption story, we should be all the more eager to submit and follow Him closely. That, after all, is why he came! 

This week, Let’s be Salt and Light.

God Bless You

 

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

The Fulfillment of the Law

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.