Post by wanttobewithGod on Feb 25, 2008 7:02:48 GMT -5
This is four chapters, but I didn't think we should leave off the last chapter of the Sermon on the Mount just for the sake of one less chapter!
Share your thoughts anytime, of course....but I am aiming for this to be from maybe Tuesday, February 26 to Friday, February 29. I am thinking, most times, to do about 3 chapters every day or so...but there is SO much good information in these next chapters, I feel we could concentrate on them a bit longer....what do you all think?
Hi M.! Thanks for suggesting this. Hopefully I'll have the time to participate in this! I read these chapters, and there's just SO much in them. I guess one thing that sticks in my mind is when Jesus said:
7:22 - Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 7:23 - And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
I was just thinking, it seems to me that these people are the type who are busy glorifying themselves. Kind of like..."Look at all the good I've done!" But the one thing they don't do, is mention what Jesus has done for them. I think it would be good to be always mindful of what God has done for us, and to always remember those spiritual gifts He's given us. And maybe when we see Jesus, we can just say "Thank you.".
Post by wanttobewithGod on Feb 26, 2008 23:45:24 GMT -5
Thanks much for your thoughts, jh62..appreciate you taking the time to share them, and would love to have you drop in lots more! I totally agree with what you shared....you know, I felt like an absolute idiot about something similar to this lately. I wanted to do something kind for a friend, but wasn't sure if I should do it or not for various reasons. When I was speaking to another friend about it, that person said "why not just do it anonymously? That would solve the problem!" You know....*sadly,* that hadn't even occured to me....but *of course* it would have been the solution! I wasn't trying (consciously at least!!!) to get recognition anyway....just to do a favor for someone....but my friend made me think about it...and wonder why I hadn't thought of that in the first place! I always think a lot of people (even though I don't know the specific person, obviously!) who make donations anonymously and things like that....or anyone who does something that is obviously unselfishly motivated for someone else....and who better to use as our example of unselfishness than Jesus! Thanks again for the reminder....
I have been ill, but I am going to read these chapters in a little bit and will post some thoughts in a few hours....Hope everyone is having a great week so far!
and I agree....that's why I wanted to spend a few days here....there is just SO much in these few chapters.....you have to wonder how much the people there really grasped all of that information coming at them all at once...at the time!!
Edited on Wednesday to add: I'm still quite sick. I will be back to this thread soon....likely tomorrow. M.
You know, M., I've been thinking a lot about the same thing you mentioned. I was wondering, how many times do we do something good, just for the sake of doing something good, without expecting a reward? Seems like we always expect at least a "thank you". I'm hoping this is something God will help me out with.
Post by wanttobewithGod on Feb 28, 2008 10:35:47 GMT -5
Thank you, jh62! I am feeling better, just finally today! I was right down in bed on Sunday and it held on pretty hard through yesterday...feel a bit iffy today, but definitely nothing like the rest of the week!
Anyway, yes...another good example. I just started going to Craig's church with him the last couple of months. There is a couple there that really took him under their wing from the first time he went there...they are a bit younger than us. Well, they have a baby...about 2 months old...who had a LOT of problems right after she was born...but she is fine now. I decided we should get them a (belated) happy baby card and this cute little stuffed lamb (wanted to keep it..it was so cute! LOL!) with a little cross on the foot...
Point of the story....we gave it to them about 3 weeks ago. I just told Craig the other day something like "you know, nothing against them...I KNOW they are really nice people (they SO are!) but they never even said thank you, you know?"
Your post SO brought that to mind for me. What did I do it for??? Was it for THEM...or was it for the thank you??? I think most of us just do that out of second nature...manners, etc...but any number of things could have happened....and with a new baby in the house, I'm sure it just slipped their minds! They could of thought they did already and just forgot or any number of things...but it really isn't important is it? Thanks again for pointing this out to me....I definitely need to work on doing things unselfishly and not for any type of recognition for it.
It's good to be reminded of the things we need to work on. M.
Post by wanttobewithGod on Feb 28, 2008 17:12:54 GMT -5
I'm not too worried, myself..... but why don't you just tell us, Ran? (do start another thread if you don't mind though....and I can't say for sure, but I'm not entirely sure that person was mocking you? I'm quite interested to hear it myself.) M.
Post by wanttobewithGod on Feb 29, 2008 15:13:27 GMT -5
I will be making some sort of post on these chapters later tonight...I can't promise it will be too deep or anything but it will be something.
Anyone gonna join me??? Thought??? Come onnnnnnnnn, you know you wanna! ;D M.
Edited to add:
In case anyone is reading, perhaps we can extend this through Monday? I don't normally want to do that....I would like to cover a chapter or two a day at least, but I'm having some personal difficulties right now...I have read the chapters but haven't gotten any thoughts together to post yet (there is SO much here!!!)...be back VERY soon! M.
In Matthew 4, there is a real powerful message that I have taken to heart. In verses 1-11, we read of the temptation of Jesus by the devil.
The first two verses describe how the devil attacks each of us.
1Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."
Satan will always attack us when we are at our weakest point in our lives. It could be that we have drifted away for whatever reason, but he WILL attack as soon as he sees an opening to do so.
Each time Satan tempted Jesus, the answer that Jesus gave referred to God.
In this chapter, He said the following to Satan:
4Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"
7Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test."
10Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only."
Because of His response to each temptation by relying on God the Father the following happened:
11Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
What I like to remember is that we have been given the means to fight off Satan when he attacks.
We have been promised the Holy Spirit, and He is always with us. This means that we possess the same power to fight off the attack of Satan that Jesus had. We have the power of the Holy Spirit with us always, as long as we are allowing him do do His will through us.
We also have the armor of God for use.
This is described in Ephesians 6
The Armor of God
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.
12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
What is so great about this armor is that we don't have to make it, we don't have to find it. and we don't have to pay for it. It is there for our use, and all we have to do is to pick it up and put it on.
The only offensive part of this armor is the sword. And the sword is the word of God. This is the same thing that Jesus used to fight off Satan when tempted by the Devil. Nothing can stand before the word of God, we just have to be willing to use it.
I could continue about the armor, but since this is about Matthew I'll stop there.
Post by wanttobewithGod on Mar 3, 2008 18:26:57 GMT -5
Thanks, Scott, I really appreciated your reply. The first verse you posted was the one that stuck out to me in chapter 4 too. After 40 days and 40 nights...um...YEAH, I would think he WOULD be hungry! ...and how easy would it have been for him to turn the stones to bread...but that wouldn't have been in line with God's will and would have been taking the easy way. That got me to thinking of how often I just take the easy way....and in doing so, I'm not doing what is in line with God's will. It's not that our service to God has to be *difficult* at all....but sometimes it will take at least a tiny bit of effort on our parts! It's easier to just go to sleep at night rather than take the time to read and pray...it's easier to stay in bed on Sunday morning rather than get up, get ready, and go to church...and the list goes on.
What I noticed further in the chapter (NIV Bible) were the words "at once" and "immediately". They spoke to me (again, like in Chapters 1-3) about obedience to God. Jesus told Simon Peter and Andrew to Come and "at once" they left their nets and followed Him. He called James and John and "immediately" they left the boat and their father and followed Him. How often do I outright *ignore* God's voice speaking to me much less obey instantly?? Good lessons for me to think about.
In chapter 5, the "let your light shine" (basically!) verses have always meant a lot to me. In school, I remember doing all I could to hide my differences....I would take my hair down and rebraid it on my way home, etc...well, I am not 2x2 anymore but if we are living a Godly life there are still differences people will notice in us. I think it's just human nature to want to fit in and go along with the crowd...again, the *easy* way. But...God isn't concerned with us taking the easy way or fitting in...He just wants us to love and serve Him. I DO love God...so I hope that I can live my life in a way that is showing people that I love God...and like we talked about in another thread recently....that I'm not just doing some sort of lip service to God. The last chapters talked about bearing fruit. If I'm living my life the right way, people should see something coming from that!
I also like the part in chapter 5 (verses 21-25) that talk about the kind of spirit we should have. We shouldn't hold grudges and remain angry with our "brothers". We shouldn't offer our gifts (prayers?) to God until we are reconciled with others. This just says to me that we should always try to keep a right spirit not just concerning God.....but all of those around us. We all KNOW this I think....but it's much more difficult to actually DO it than to just know it...at least for me!!! The same applies regarding verse 41...if someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles...and the next section talks about loving our enemies. v.44...Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Again, sometimes it feels like a strain just to say my prayers (too tired, too this, too that) much less pray for my enemies!!! I think I need to pray a lot more *overall* so I can learn HOW to pray for my enemies!! ;D I need to remember that Jesus said this...that it's not just something I maybe sorta should kinda try to do....but that JESUS SAID IT. Maybe that will help me..... I just hope my enemies are Christians and will pray for me too.... LOL!
I like chapter 6's message about not doing things for show. I have been guilty of this; I posted earlier in this thread about this ...buying a gift for a friend and not hearing a thank you....and another time...was going to send some money to someone, but didn't know if it was the right thing to do(and a friend said to me, why not just send it anonymously...and that hadn't even occurred to me, sadly!!!) Too often I have done things to win praise from my fellow man.....this chapter was a good reminder to me that it doesn't really matter what my fellow man thinks of me....only what God knows is inside of me and thinks of me.
There is just WAY too much in these chapters to mention every single thing...and some of them (a lot in this sermon!) are really self explanatory anyway, so I will just mention that I really appreciated the reminder, too, that we MUST forgive others....or God will not be willing to forgive us and also at the end of chapter 6, that we shouldn't worry. Worrying is another thing that is just SO human...I do it all the time! but...we are supposed to be aware that if we are serving God, He will provide for us.
As far as chapter 7 goes, seeing the plank in our own eye (NIV..in some it says mote I think) seems to be one of the most often quoted verses of the Bible and for good reason, imo! It is far too easy to look at others and say look at THAT, look at HER without realizing our own faults. I do it all the time. I wonder what a better place this world would be if we all practiced that old "those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones" rule!!!
The Ask, Seek, Knock section is another one we're all familiar with, and it's one of my favorites too. Same goes for building on the rock and not on the sand. I have often wondered if I have had a lot of "storms" in my life because I haven't followed the path God laid out for me. Sometimes I still wonder that. I guess the only real way to know is to obey God's will and see if things improve! Like the middle of chapter 7 says (ok, summarized! ;D) we can do good works all day long...but if we're not doing God's WILL...on the day of judgement He will tell us "I never knew you." I know I wouldn't want to hear that.
So much of this Sermon is so familiar to all of us that it probably was hardly worth commenting on.....but it was great for me to read it again. Like I said above, I really have to remind myself that these are *Jesus' actual words!* and not just something I should aspire to....they must be followed.
Chapter 4. Jesus` temptations in the wilderness. So much can be written about this, for example Jesus as a parallel to the Sons of Israel's 40yrs in the wilderness. They failed but Jesus prevailed. They where called the sons of God, Jesus The Son of God. Also Satan knows scripture inside out, twisted it and used it as an attack. This shows that it's not knowing scripture that makes you spiritual, its understanding scripture. And more importantly, applying it to our lives.
I heard a good description of this lately. Tree's and drain pipes. Both have water running through them, but where one is a mere conduit for the water, the other feeds lives grows and mature from the water inside it. Also to note here is that Jesus` attack was the Word of God. He quotes the book of Deuteronomy back at Satan three times. Paul, in his famous Armour of God analogy in Ephesians 6, said that in the spiritual warfare the Word of God is our Sword, our weapon. Here, through Jesus' full grasp of scripture, he defeats Satan. He resisted and the Devil fled.
The famous sermon on the mount. So much can be gleaned and learned from this discourse that it's difficult to know where to begin. As with all of the bible understanding the Jewish culture of the day clarifies and enhances our understanding of this ancient text and squarely focus' it's context. What is this sermon and why is Jesus saying these things. A cursory read through and there is no problem at all. Jesus is talking about the Christian way of life. The Christians constitution if you like. But that can't be so because Jesus is using the Mosaic Law here and that would mean the Law's of Moses would still apply to our life today, including stoning disrespectful children!
What Jesus is actually doing is explaining the true meaning of the Law as opposed to the rabbinic Pharisaic interpretations, they who ruled the religious life of the people with an iron grip. A key verse is 5:20. The law to them was a series of `external` rules and regulations. For example if you don't sleep with your neighbours wife than you haven't committed adultery, you haven't sinned. External. Jesus said that lusting after your neighbours wife is committing adultery in your heart.
True righteousness is righteousness that rests and lives within your heart and not a series of cold spiritless duties. You can see this clearly today in the life of some `believers` and some churches. Many times Jesus speaks of this. He describes the Pharisees later as whitewashed tombs that within have dead mens bones. A clean religious exterior that hides the corpse within. Religion has/had become habitual and mechanical. Habits and rituals that have continued long after the love within had died. Why? Because its not true righteousness if its not within your heart. Interior/exterior.
They also twist the Laws. An `eye for and eye` was part of the Law, but as Jesus points out this isn't some excuse for personal vengeance. The ...`eye for an eye & tooth for a tooth`... law was a judicial law that applied to the courtroom. The Pharisees, scribes and rabbis are using this law as a legitimate means for revenge, ignoring ...`revenge is mine says The LORD`... in the process. Jesus says do the opposite. Why? Because if you have righteousness IN YOUR HEART then you will naturally understand the Law. What does scripture say about the Law elsewhere? The Law was for mercy. So much could be written on that alone.
This is such a rich passage of scripture that I feel I have barely scratched the surface. Pages and pages could be written on this, but for the sake of keeping this readable I will finish this here. Thanks for reading.
benar: Perhaps you clicked on the Coronavirus thread...
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