Posts Tagged ‘Matthew 05’

“Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” — Apostle Paul (1st Corinthians 11:1)

Christ is the one we are to follow but some don’t, yet, have that connection. Some can’t “see” him and telling them to do so is ineffective.

But they do see us and some follow if not by their actions then certainly by watching our lives unfold — whether we realize it or not.

When Jesus said in his famous “Sermon on the Mount” that we are the light of the world and then added the analogy of a city on a hill (Mtt. 5:14) he meant that more people see a light than those in the light know.

I visited an uncle on his deathbed. We weren’t ever close and had never talked so I thought he knew little about me but when I walked in he said he knew I knew God and he asked me to tell him how to face eternity. He gave his life to Christ that night and sang for joy.

Embrace the calling as Paul did and follow Christ closely — little ones, and not so little, are watching.

— fritz.

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Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. – Jesus (Matthew 19:8)

Jesus’ answer to the Pharisees when goaded about God’s law for divorce rocks our understanding of the Bible, if we will only think about it a minute.

If God made the divorce laws in the Old Testament as a concession like Jesus said, limiting it as much as our fallen hardened hearts could allow, what other laws are, likewise, concessions?

Could it be the Old Testament law of “Eye-For-An-Eye” was also a concession, limiting the amount of damage a person could do to no more than what was done to them, though God’s desire has always been to turn the other cheek?1

Could it be that Old Testament laws of slavery were concessions, limiting the length and severity of servitude, though God’s desire has always been for all to be equal in Christ?2

How about male dominance and gender submission?3 What a world of difference this concept makes when we see Jesus establishing a kingdom of those with tender hearts, committed to God’s desires instead of his concessions.

Think about this a moment and tell me what you think.

Related Post: Concession vs. Intent – March 31, 2011
Related Post: Same God, Different People – March 19, 2011

– fritz
1 – Matthew 5:38-39
2 – Ephesians 6:9
3 – Galatians 3:28

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>Born that way!

Every parent wants their child to be born with all body parts; we look for fingers and toes, eyes and nose. There are other body parts we are born with that are not so immediately visible.

“Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:” – Colossians 3:5

“Members”, literally means “body parts”. It’s the same word Jesus used in his controversial illustration of cutting off hands, eyes, and feet.

“… it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” – Matthew 5:29b

I was born with some, you were born with others – “sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy”1 – These are the body parts, “members”, the Bible says to remove so we can serve God in and with our bodies throughout eternity.

– fritz

1 – Colossians 3:5b The Message Bible

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Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled…

– Matthew 5:3-6

Many read the beatitudes thinking Jesus is recommending these as ideals to strive towards. That being contrary to logic we try redefining them into something more palatable, teaching Jesus really meant recognizing our spiritual poorness, mourning our sins, “controlled strength” (meek), always seeking righteousness.

Dallas Willard has a different take:

“Those poor in spirit are called “blessed” by Jesus, not because they are in a meritorious condition, but because, precisely in spite of and in the midst of their ever so deplorable condition, the rule of the heavens has moved redemptively upon and through them by the grace of Christ.”1

In this view Jesus is not recommending a spiritual goal, but offering wonderful opportunity even to the most disadvantaged!

– fritz

1 The Divine Conspiracy, pg.102, published by HarperCollins, copyright 1998 by Dallas Willard

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>The idea true Christians are to act from purely (1)altruistic motives is popular but NOT Biblical and not realistic, either!

God doesn’t expect it of us. Jesus tells us “why” we are to rejoice when persecuted, give a cup of cold water to the needy, fast and pray in secret, and even love our enemies:

“For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye?” – Matthew 5:46 (KJV)

The Sermon on the Mount mentions “reward” no less than nine (9) times – check it out. And compare that with the Bible’s definition of real faith:

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” – Hebrews 11:6 (KJV)

Many believe in God (even the devil believes) they just don’t think diligently seeking God will give them what they want right now.

The desire for a reward is God-Given! It keeps us seeking, pushing, longing, looking until we find something that satisfies. It’s the itch that only God can scratch, and He’s not afraid to match his “rewards” with anyone.

He’s the giver of “living” water, the maker of better “wine”, the ladder that connects heaven and earth (John 1:51; Genesis 28:12) and His is the adventure that never grows old.

We all want a reward, I’ll admit that and go for it!

– Fritz

1. altruistic – the quality of unselfish concern for the welfare of others

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