Read Matthew 4
Jesus tempted of the devil (Matt. 4:1-11). Christians are heirs of the Kingdom of God. The Sermon on the Mount describes the character of the children of God (5:13 — 6:34), which is the result of: (1) the new-birth nature of God they receive when they trust Christ as Savior and Lord of their lives; (2) the True Spiritual Food: Every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (4:4; Deut. 8:3). How to pray and fast (6:5-18).
The self-seeking world supposes that physical satisfaction, personal recognition and successful achievement are three indispensable characteristics of contentment.
Many books tell us how to attain "material" success, but few set forth what it means to be emptied of self-confidence, self-importance, and self-righteousness. Our Lord reveals how false and deceptive the philosophy of the world is, and He leads us to recognize that in ourselves we have nothing, we are nothing, and we can do nothing. Jesus gave us the key to spiritual success when He said: Without Me ye can do nothing (John 15:5).
Those who are poor in spirit (Matt. 5:3) are not easily offended, and they are very careful not to offend others. They acknowledge their sins. They never take credit for achievements, but praise the Lord for His enabling. If, while we profess to be Christians, we are merely devoted to seeking our own goals in life, then how great is that darkness (6:23)!
The centurion who desperately desired Jesus to heal his servant said: I am not worthy that Thou shouldest come under my roof (8:8). The Syrophenician woman was content to be numbered with the dogs to see her daughter healed (Mark 7:26-30). Jesus leads us to recognize our poverty of spirit without Him (John 6:63). It was often said by Him, I do nothing of Myself (8:28). It is because of His sacrifice that now we can say: I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me (Phil. 4:13). Poverty of spirit is a consciousness of our emptiness without Christ. Jesus said: Blessed are the poor in spirit. . . . the merciful. . . . the peacemakers. . . . for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven (Matt. 5:3-10). The word Blessed means happy, satisfied, content.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (Phil. 2:5-8).
Thought for Today:
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong (II Cor. 12:10).
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.
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 take money worthless; 6:22 single free from deceit; 6:23 evil selfish, sinful; 6:24 mammon material things.
Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Hank Johnson (GA) • Country: Bahamas (284,000) in the northern portion of the West Indies • Major languages: English and some Creole • Religious freedom • 72% Protestant; 26% Roman Catholic; 1% Afro-American spiritist • Prayer Suggestion: Exalt the Lord, for He is holy (Ps. 99:9).
Memory Verse for the Week: