RE Verse reading–Matthew 5:17-48 (day three) A great help for reading and interpreting the Sermon on the Mount is to ask yourself, “What kind of world is Jesus describing?” What would it be like if people were moral/good/loving not because they were forced to do so by the Law? What if an inner change made us walk with God in ways that pleased Him? What if no hatred (no malice, no contempt) was the rule rather than no murder? What if purity of eye and imagination was regarded as essential for the protection of marriage? No adultery AND no unrighteous fantasies! What if every divorce was regarded as a sin against God’s creation plan? What if every word was required to be true, not just the ones sworn “on a stack of Bibles”? What if no retaliation was the normal response and love the deepest burden? One good question leads to the next. HOW could this ever happen? The Lord will answer soon. Right now, He wants us to imagine and believe!
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As a parent, I am often trying to teach my children lessons about how life works. They will often obey me, not because they understand/want to, but just to avoid a consequence. How much better would it be if instead of seeing me as a tyrant, they understood my heart…that I truly want the best for them. I want them to understand how the world works so that they can make the best choices.
So many times God’s ways/choices are painted as rules you must follow and not as the path that will lead to Blessing. We often are so ignorant of the schemes of the evil one. We buy His lies that God is somehow withholding from us all the good stuff….we do not understand the spiritual consequences of all that “good stuff.” God’s ways are higher and better and learning to trust Him is such an important aspect of our lives here on earth. He is Good and worthy to be trusted. I had a friendship that was so very valuable to me and I often talk to the Lord about how I want that friendship restored… to be even better… to be all that He designed it to be. Even though it is very possible in the next few days that it will be totally removed from my life, I am actively trusting Him that whatever happens, His ways are better/higher. I do not have to follow Him without being able to talk to Him about it, but in the end He is Captain of this ship… and I will trust and obey. What a great privilege it is to have a Lord and God we can trust.