I was listening to Pastor Steve Schell today….and he points out that the greatest sermon ever preached, The Sermon on the Mount, does a quick job of turning us into “toast”. Christ is discussing The Law….The Ten Commandments….and he uses the contra position phrase of “but I now say” to point out our utter failure.
Here is part of the list:
Murder…..but I now say……Anger
Adultery……but I now say…….Lust of the Eye
Eye for an eye…..but I now say….Turn the other cheek
Hate your enemy…..but I now say….Love and pray for your enemy
And when you get to the end of the list ….all of us are somewhere on that right hand side….we are all guilty….we are all “toast”….and no one …..not one ….can stand before the Creator of the Universe. Only a fool would think otherwise. We are guilty. We are ashamed. We are not only “toast”….we are “burnt toast.”
But Jesus doesn’t stop there…..because nobody likes “burnt toast”…..he goes on. He teaches us the Lord’s Prayer ….He teaches us forgiveness…..and then he teaches us how to live:
Do Not Worry
Seek First the Kingdom of God
Don’t Judge Others
Ask, Seek, Knock
The Narrow Gate
Watchout for Religious Imposters
Build your House on the Rock, and not on Sand
Jesus taught as one with authority and not as the teachers of the law….and when he got done the crowd followed him. Teachers of the law tell you what not to do….and when you followed the rules you were declared “righteous”, which resulted in pride. Those were the Religious Imposters. Instead, Jesus taught the people where they stood in regards to righteousness, how to correct our trespasses, and how to live our lives. Micah understood that when he said:
“To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God.”
The words are “walk with”…..because it’s a relationship, not a religion…..that’s why the people followed Jesus off the hill. It was a relationship. It was a new day and a new way of living………. It’s called “Born Again”.
SCRIPTURES: Matthew 5, 6 & 7
PRAYER FOCUS: Forgive us as we forgive others.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: The crowds that followed Jesus were around 10,000 to 15,000 people.
~ Written by Gene Bennett