Highlights In Today's Reading:
Jesus tempted of the Devil (4:1-11). Christians are heirs of the Kingdom of God. The Sermon on the Mount describes the character of the children of God, not through anything they do but because of the new birth nature of God which they receive when Christ becomes Savior and Lord of their lives (5:13-6:34). Don't miss how to pray and fast (6:5-18).
The disciples followed Jesus to an open mountainside and, as King of His Kingdom, Jesus sat down and proclaimed the Sermon on the Mount (chap. 5 — 7), which will guide the conduct and character of His true citizens. Jesus began His sermon by saying: Blessed (Happy) are the poor in spirit (5:3). Poor in spirit describes the humble who desire to be emptied of self-confidence and self-importance. Such persons acknowledge that without the Lord they can do nothing of eternal value. As Jesus said: Without Me ye can do nothing (John 15:5).
Next, Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted (Matt. 5:4). This is not sorrow over the loss of material possessions, physical sufferings, or even the death of loved ones, but over everything that hinders spiritual progress. It is godly sorrow, a sorrow (that) worketh repentance (II Cor. 7:10). Caring deeply that we please our Lord develops in us a teachable spirit. Others are impatient when faced with adverse circumstances — like King Saul (I Sam. 13:8-14), who failed to wait upon the Lord (Is. 40:31). Many set time limits on when God should answer their prayers. But the meek . . . shall inherit the earth (Matt. 5:5). Meekness is unwavering loyalty and unconditional submission to Christ as Lord, regardless of circumstances or opposition. Jesus said: Learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly (humble) in heart (11:29).
Next, we learn that they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness . . . they shall be filled (5:6). Such a hunger is the supreme desire to be obedient to God and to be in fellowship with Him. It means that we desire to know more of His Word in order to become more like Christ. For the Word of God is quick (living) and powerful . . . and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Heb. 4:12). This yearning for His righteousness is man's part; then God assures us that they shall be filled.
The Old and New Testament are both unique for they are the only inspired Word of God. It is His instruction to gain spiritual wisdom, spiritual food, and guidance. We are to desire the sincere milk of The Word, that ye may grow thereby (I Pet. 2:2).
Thought for Today:
But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for Himself (Ps. 4:3).
5:13 his savour =its usefulness; 5:18 one jot or one tittle =is the dot on the letter "i" or the cross of a "t"; 5:22 say . . . Raca =worthless one, pour contempt; 5:29 offend thee =causes you to sin; 5:33 forswear =swear falsely, break an oath; 5:46 publicans =Jewish tax collectors, worldly minded; 6:19 corrupt =make money worthless; 6:22 single =free from deceit; 6:23 evil =selfish, sinful; 6:24 mammon =material things.
For Matt. 4:4: See Deut. 8:3. Matt. 4:6: See Ps. 91: 11-12. Matt. 4:7: See Deut. 6:16. Matt. 4:10: See Deut. 6:13-14. Matt. 4:15-16: See Is. 9:1-2. Matt. 5:21: See Ex. 20:13. Matt. 5:27: See Ex. 20:14. Matt. 5:31: See Deut. 24:1. Matt. 5:33: See Num. 30:2. Matt. 5:38: See Ex. 21:24. Matt. 5:43: See Lev. 19:18.
Pray for English International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Casmir A. Zuranski • Staff: George Kopchak • Government Officials: Rep. Hank Johnson (GA) and Rep. Mark Schauer (MI) • Country: Eritrea (4 million) in eastern Africa • Major languages: English and Tigrinya • Religious persecution • 51% Muslim; 40% Eritrean Orthodox; 4% Catholic; 1.5% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for a greater desire to serve the Lord (Ps. 42:1-2).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 15:4