Our new sermon series, “Ends of the Earth”, will begin in September. Please join us as we look at the New Testament book of the Acts of the Apostles.
Jesus teaches that worry is unproductive, unnecessary, & unworthy; and that freedom from worry comes from seeking the right treasure and trusting the right Person.
We all seek after some kind of treasure in life. Jesus contrasts seeking 2 different treasures, living with 2 different perspectives, and serving 2 different masters. Which treasure do you seek: that which is unstable & insecure, or that which is eternally secure?
Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray in 3 parts: Orientation of our hearts to know God as father; Devotion to God’s name, reign, and will; and Dependence upon God for all of our physical, spiritual, and moral needs.
Here Jesus describes religious hypocrisy: people whose displays of righteousness are nothing more than putting on a show for others to see – like an actor on stage. He warns against this, and teaches that who you are really & truly before God is who you are when no one is watching.
“Be Perfect”: A crushing standard, a compelling goal, and a certain destination.
It’s easy to love those who love us and are like us. In fact, everyone does that. Jesus calls his followers to a higher standard: that we should love even our enemies – not just those who love us, but even those who hate us, or who we might be inclined to hate and disregard. In doing so, we reflect God’s love, who loves with a generous, undeserved love, and loved us by sending his Son to die for us – not when we were his friends, but when we were his enemies.
The desire to retaliate comes easily. But Jesus tells his followers that, at times, they will need to suffer being wronged. In fact, they ought to go the extra mile in self-sacrifice and generosity, seeking the good of others rather than insisting upon their rights.
The Sermon on the Mount presents us with a lot of challenging teaching as to how we ought to live our lives as Christians. It reminds us that if we are followers of Christ, we should realize the way we come to him is through being poor in spirit. We realize we come to Christ with nothing to offer. The way we get the kingdom is we realize we don’t deserve it. The way we find salvation is that we must receive it with empty hands. We must be morally and spiritually bankrupt. It is only then can we be filled with his grace and mercy. One sign that this spiritual transformation has happened and is happening in a person’s life is in the way they use their words.