In His Word
"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." – Psalm 119:105

Mar
06

1 - Jesus said2

Six times in the sermon on the mount Jesus said, “You have heard… But I say to you,…” (Matthew 5:22, 28, 32, 34, 39, 44).   In doing so He emphasized His authority over others who had spoken in the past and the scribes among them at the present (7:29).  What I have heard someone else – whether pastor, preacher, priest, pope, etc. – say can lead to both my death and theirs (Galatians 1:8-9), but Jesus said that “if anyone keeps My word he will never see death” (John 8:51).  I’ll stick with what He has said to us.  How about you?

Have a great day in His word!

Mar
05

1 - Jesus said2

Jesus said, “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:20).

The righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees was merely an outward display, and they had incorporated many of their own traditions and exalted them above the righteousness established by God (15:6-9).  Jesus demands more of us.  Our righteousness must come from the heart and be sincere to be pleasing to Him, and it must submit to – without going beyond – all that He has established.  Without it we can have no part with Him in His kingdom.

Have a great day in His word!

Mar
04

1 - Jesus said2

Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.  For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” (Matthew 5:17-18).

Even if Jesus wanted to destroy the Law He was a little late, for the religious leaders had already essentially destroyed it with their traditions (15:3-6).  He came for a greater purpose.  Matthew repeatedly pointed out events in the life of Jesus that fulfilled what had been spoken in the Law and the Prophets (1:22; 2:15, 17, 23; 4:14; 12:17; 13:35; 21:4; 26:54, 56; 27:9, 35).  Jesus had such a respect for the Law that He was committed to fulfilling even “the smallest letter or stroke” of it.  He quoted from it to answer nearly every situation with His enemies.

Jesus spoke of a time when “all is accomplished” concerning the Law, and that time came with His death.  “He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” (Colossians 2:14).  “Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.” (Romans 10:4).  Praise be to His name!

Have a great day in His word!

Mar
03

1 - Jesus said2

After saying we are the salt of the earth, Jesus continued by saying, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.” (Matthew 5:14-15).

You can’t miss seeing a city on a hill.  Jesus said that the world should not be able to miss seeing us as His disciples, being lights in the world of darkness.  When we become Christians, we become lights to the world.  The early Christians had such an influence on the world that some people said they “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6).  Yet some Christians are silent when they should speak or hold back when they should act.  This behavior makes as much sense as lighting a lamp and then putting it under a basket.  This is such an important point that Jesus stated it on multiple occasions (Luke 8:16; 11:33).  A lamp is lit to give light to a house, and Christ lit us to give light to the world, which is why He went on to say, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16).  We don’t shine our lights to bring attention to ourselves, but instead let our light shine to bring glory to God.

Remember, as a Christian “you are the light of the world,” so let your light shine to His glory.

Have a great day in His word!

Mar
02

1 - Jesus said2

After stating the beatitudes in the sermon on the mount, Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.” (Matthew 5:13).  Why would Jesus tell us we are salt?  Isn’t salt bad for you?  Maybe in some ways, but life cannot exist without it.  Salt also seasons, preserves, cleanses, and creates thirst.  We need to be working toward accomplishing these things in a spiritual way in people’s lives.

Jesus also said it is possible to lose our taste, our influence on the world.  This can happen if we become too much like the world (1 John 2:15) or have too little contact with the world (John 17:18).

Be the salt Jesus called you to be.  “Have salt in yourselves,…” (Mark 9:50).

Have a great day in His word!

Feb
27

1 - Jesus said2

When we think of beatitudes, we normally think of those in Matthew 5 in the sermon on the mount that we have just considered, but they are not the only beatitudes mentioned by Jesus.  We find another one a few chapters later, in Matthew 11:6, where Jesus said, “And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.”  To better understand this beatitude, we need to understand the context.

John was in prison and had been there for some time (4:12).  Based on what he had said about Jesus before being put in prison (3:10-12), he must have expected Jesus to put an ax to the root of Herod’s evil.  Yet he continued to sit in prison, with no justice being brought to him for his unjust imprisonment.  Finally John sent two of his disciples to Jesus to ask Him, “Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?” (:3).  As part of His answer to them, Jesus said, “And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.”

Are we ever like John?  Does Jesus at times not live up to our expectations?  If so, then we need to do as Jesus told John to do and look at the evidence He has given us of who He is.  As Solomon said in the book of Proverbs, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Prov 3:5-6).  Don’t allow God not living up to all of your expectations cause your faith in Him to falter.  Trust in Him with all your heart, and He will never lead you astray.

Have a great day in His word!

Feb
25

1 - Jesus said2

For the last beatitude in the sermon on the mount Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:10).  He elaborated on this beatitude by adding, “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (:11-12).

How can we feel blessed about people insulting and persecuting and saying evil things about us?  Consider how the apostles were able to feel blessed by such an occasion.  They were flogged and ordered not to speak in the name of Jesus and were released (Acts 5:40).  What did they do?  “So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name.” (:41).  When we realize that our persecution acknowledges our stand for the Lord, then we should realize the honor that it is.

Those who are persecuted are blessed because “theirs is the kingdom of heaven” – great is their reward in heaven.  Those who suffer for the heavenly cause are those who will be heavenly citizens, and that is truly a blessing indeed!

Have a great day in His word!

Feb
24

1 - Jesus said2

Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9).  Later in the chapter He said that being a peacemaker with others comes before being a worshipper of God (:23-24).  Paul wrote, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” (Romans 12:18).  Read about Abigail in 1 Samuel 25 to find a great example of how to go about being a peacemaker.

Why will peacemakers be called sons of God?  Because they will be just like their Father!  See Leviticus 26:6, Psalm 147:14, Jeremiah 33:9, and Ezekiel 34:25 for instances of His peacemaking, and then imitate Him.  “So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.” (Romans 14:19).

Have a great day in His word!

Feb
23

1 - Jesus said2

Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8).  The pure in heart are innocent in their thoughts and single-minded in their focus.  This is why James wrote to “purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:8).  To be pure in heart is to be like Jesus.  “And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” (1 John 3:3).  “Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? And who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart,…” (Psalm 24:3-4a).  Only the pure will be able to see and stand before the pure God.

Have a great day in His word!

Feb
20

1 - Jesus said2

Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” (Matthew 5:7).  This is the first beatitude that deals directly with others.  Being merciful is defined as kindness or good will towards others, joined with a desire to help them; the outward manifestation of pity.  Mercy involves both feeling (emotion) and action.  We do not merely feel mercy, we show it.  When various people asked Jesus to “have mercy” on them, they wanted Him to do something for them.  The parable of the good Samaritan in Luke 10 ends with this conversation: “‘Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?’  And he said, ‘The one who showed mercy toward him.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do the same.’”

When you are merciful toward others, Jesus said you will be blessed and receive mercy yourself.  “The merciful man does good for his own soul” (Proverbs 11:17); so be merciful, and you will be doing good for both others and yourself.

Have a great day in His word!

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