Highlights In Today's Reading:
Jesus begins His inspired-of-God teaching with nine blessings (5:1-12) — notice the similarities to the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). He explains the meaning of the Commandments (5:21-48). Jesus covers all the basic issues in this model prayer to our Father . . . Hallowed be Thy Name (we should never use His Name in vain). Our life's focus should be: Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done (6:9). It is of utmost importance that we never hold any bitterness toward anyone but forgive all offences from our heart. Then, as evidence of relationship to Christ, we are assured that our Creator will forgive our multitude of sins against Him (6:12). Only to the extent that we forgive others will we be forgiven of our sins (Ephesians 4:32); but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (Matthew 6:15).
The self-seeking world supposes that physical satisfaction, personal recognition and successful achievement are three indispensible 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 of eternal value. Jesus gave us the key to spiritual success when He said: Without Me ye can do nothing (John 15:5) of eternal value.
The poor in spirit will not take offense, and they are very careful not to give it. The centurion who desperately desired Jesus to heal his servant said: I am not worthy that Thou shouldest come under my roof (Matthew 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. It was often said by Him, I do nothing of Myself (John 8:28; compare 6:63). It is because of His sacrifice that now we can say: I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me (Philippians 4:13). Poverty of spirit is a consciousness of our emptiness without Christ. Jesus said: Blessed are the merciful. . . . the peacemakers . . . the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3-9). 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 (Philippians 2:5-8).
Thought for Today:
Some teachers today only feed our ego, but our real joy and privilege is to share the mercy and peace of God.
5:13 lost his savour =b> lost its usefulness; 5:18 one jot or one tittle =b> as the dot on the letter "i"; 5:22 say . . . Raca =b> pours contempt; 5:29 offend thee =b> causes you to sin; 5:33 to forswear =b> to swear falsely; 5:46 publicans =b> Jewish tax collectors worldly minded; 6:19 corrupt =b> make money worthless; 6:22 single =b> free from deceit; 6:23 evil =b> selfish, sinful; 6:24 mammon =b> material things.
For Matthew 5:21: See Exodus 20:13. Matthew 5:27: See Exodus 20:14. Matthew 5:31: See Deuteronomy 24:1. Matthew 5:33: See Numbers 30:2. Matthew 5:38: See Exodus 21:24. Matthew 5:43: See Leviticus 19:18.
Pray for Arabic, English, & Spanish International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Tony Martin • Radio Sri Lanka International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Edward Fieramosca • Staff: Rita Guerra • Country: Honduras (6 million) in Central America • Major languages: Spanish and Indian dialects • Religious freedom • 86% Roman Catholic; 10% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to teach you His ways (Psa. 27:11).
Memory Verse for the Week: James 5:10