Friday, November 18, 2011

Salt, Light and Firm Foundations...

From Matthew 5 through Matthew 7, we have some of the greatest teachings ever given. We call it, "The Sermon on the Mount". And in these few short chapters, at the beginning of His ministry, Jesus turns upside down the conventional wisdom of the day and opens to us the heart of the Father and His desire for our lives.

He starts with the beatitudes and extols the virtue of being poor in spirit, mourning, gentle, hungry and thirsty for righteousness, merciful, etc. All of the things that the natural world and our natural inclinations would deem weak, Jesus celebrates and promotes as characteristics near and dear to the heart of God.

He challenges his followers to understand that they are salt and light to the world. They should add the flavor of God and shine His light to a fallen world. He says they do this for the simple fact that people might see God through us and give Him the glory.

He then spends a bulk of the message showing how He, Jesus, is the fulfillment of the law. That the conventional wisdom was to follow the letter of the law whereas He was challenging us to follow the spirit of the law. Jesus says it is easy not to murder, not to commit adultery, not to lie. But the deeper question is not in the absence of committing a banned act but in the intent of our own hearts.

He also teaches us His model prayer, how to truly fast, how to view our possessions and even the cure for anxiety (what a great need for our world today).

He closes this amazing message by talking about building on a solid foundation. The foolish man builds on the sand whereas the sensible man builds his house on the rock.

Every part of the Bible is God breathed, God inspired so we need to tread carefully when we single out one or two particular portions. However, I find myself continually coming back to the Sermon on the Mount and thinking, "If I could live life as Jesus describes here..."

And He taught His disciples to pray...

"Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven..."

What would or maybe what should God's Kingdom on earth look like? Pretty close to these two chapters I would venture to say...

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