Monthly Archives: February 2014

Matthew 6:1-18 — Why we do what we do

The one thing that Jesus often points to throughout this sermon is our hearts.  And in this passage, he makes it clear that God not only looks at our actions, but our motivations as well. He said, Be careful not … Continue reading

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Matthew 5:43-48 ; Luke 6:27-36 — Perfect in love, perfect in mercy

As Christians, we often come across verse 48 in Matthew 5 where Jesus says, Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. The context of it is very interesting.  Certainly we are to strive for holiness in our lives, … Continue reading

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Matthew 5:38-42; Luke 6:29-30 — But it’s not fair

There is something in all of us, I think, that screams for fairness.  And if something happens that we feel isn’t fair, we scream against it.  But is that the best response? These few verses go against every instinct we … Continue reading

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Matthew 5:33-37 — Honesty

Trust can be hard to come by.  And in this broken world, people find it so hard to trust, we require oaths. “I promise…” “I swear…” But Jesus says here that we are to be people of such integrity that … Continue reading

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Matthew 5:29-30 — Whatever it takes

My favorite sports team is the Pittsburgh Steelers, and back in the 70s, their coach was a man named Chuck Noll.  Noll had a saying, “Whatever it takes.”  In other words, “We do whatever necessary to win the game (within … Continue reading

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Matthew 5:27-32 — Adultery

From murder, Jesus moves on to adultery.  And in doing so, I think he really pushed a sensitive button in those who thought they were so religious. As I’ve said, the Pharisees were very proud of how well they kept … Continue reading

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Matthew 5:23-26 — Making things right

We read in the Beatitudes, “Blessed are the peacemakers.”  Often times, we solely think of this in terms of bringing peace between two outside parties. But there is another situation in which we are called to be peacemakers.  We are … Continue reading

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Matthew 5:21-22 — When we despise people in our hearts

Here we see one of the main problems Jesus had with the religious leaders’ interpretation of the law.  It was strictly a matter of outward compliance, while totally ignoring what was going on in the heart. In this passage, Jesus … Continue reading

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Matthew 5:17-20 — Fulfilling the law

I think it’s significant that Jesus probably said these things after the controversies with the Pharisees over the Sabbath had begun (although you wouldn’t guess this by looking at the book of Matthew alone).  Jesus had probably already done multiple … Continue reading

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Matthew 5:13-16 — Salt and light

It is very interesting to me the context in which Jesus talks about us being salt and light in the world. What was the context?  He had just finished talking about persecution.  That we are blessed if we are persecuted … Continue reading

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Matthew 5:1-12 — A whole new way of thinking

As we look at the Beatitudes one last time, it strikes me that it is an entirely different way of thinking from the way the world thinks. Many think that it is the ultra-religious who are blessed by God.  That … Continue reading

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Matthew 5:10-12; Luke 6: 22-23 — Under fire

Nobody likes to be persecuted.  Nobody likes to be disliked.  In an ideal world, everyone would like you.  But this isn’t an ideal world.  It’s a world that has been corrupted by sin.  And because of that, people’s minds have … Continue reading

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Matthew 5:9 — Reconcilers

If there is one thing that God has called us as Christians to be is reconcilers. Why?  Because Jesus himself was the great reconciler.  When there was a huge gap between God and us because of our sin, Jesus came … Continue reading

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Matthew 5:8 — To see God

There are so many songs that express a desire to see God.  Back when I was a kid, we had a song, Open our eyes Lord, We want to see Jesus. To reach out and touch him. To say that … Continue reading

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Matthew 5:7 — Mercy

I remember having a dream one night about being at some kind of ministry training seminar or something in China of all places (I’ve never been there), and during it, our teacher told us, “You all know your Bibles well, … Continue reading

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Matthew 5:6 — Hungering and thirsting for righteousness

I suppose as you look at this passage, you can read it two ways, both equally valid in my mind. First, Jesus could be talking about having a hunger for holiness in your life.  To want to live a life … Continue reading

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Matthew 5:5 — Submitted to the Father

I have to admit that whenever I read this, I’m always having to look up the word meek.  What exactly does it mean to be meek? I suppose it would be good to say what it doesn’t mean.  It doesn’t … Continue reading

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Matthew 5:4 — Those who mourn

I have probably heard hundreds of messages on the beatitudes and seen numerous commentaries, and most of the time, they interpret this verse as meaning, “Blessed are those who mourn over their sin.” I suppose it fits in well with … Continue reading

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Matthew 5:1-3 — Not for the “spiritual”

We’re skipping back to Matthew 5 at this point, and we’ll be combining the two sermons on the Mount and the Plain, as they have very similar themes. Jesus’ words here are slightly different from those we read in Luke.  … Continue reading

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Luke 6:24-26 — The problem with self-satisfaction

After Jesus talked about God’s blessings on those who were poor, he turned his attention on those who were rich and self-satisfied, saying, But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.  Woe to you … Continue reading

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Luke 6:17-21 — Good news

There seems to be some dispute as to whether the teachings from the Sermon on the Mount recorded in Matthew and the teachings from the Sermon on the Plain in Luke were actually the same message or not.  Some think … Continue reading

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Matthew 10:1-4; Mark 3:7-19, Luke 6:12-16 — Called to be with him, called to go out

In these passages, we see the increasing popularity of Jesus, and perhaps it was because of these increasingly great crowds and their needs that Jesus decided to choose 12 people as his trained disciples. As a man, Jesus was limited … Continue reading

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Matthew 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-20; Luke 5:1-11 — Called to follow

I do have to back up in time a bit.  I just noticed I missed some crucial passages, namely where Jesus first calls the fishermen to follow him.  (I’m sure this won’t be the last time I skip something by … Continue reading

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Matthew 12:9-14; Mark 3:1-6; Luke 6:6-11 — What grieves Jesus

This is one of those stories where each of the gospels gives us a little piece of the puzzle to what happened.  Here’s my take on the whole story taking into account each of the stories. Jesus was in the … Continue reading

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Matthew 12:1-8; Mark 2:23-28; Luke 6:1-5 — Condemning the innocent

We have already seen in John the problems the religious leaders had with Jesus for “breaking” the Sabbath.  Actually, all he did was break the rules that they had added to God’s original commandment to keep the Sabbath. Here again, … Continue reading

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John 5:31-47 — When we seek the praise of man

When you think about Jesus’ life, the thing that would probably surprise you if you never heard the story before is that the religious leaders, the people that should have been the quickest to embrace him, didn’t.  Instead, they rejected … Continue reading

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John 5:19-30 — The one who judges…and gives life

Here we catch a glimpse of the relationship between the Father and the Son.  One thing we cannot say, as some cults do, is that the Father is the Son.  They are clearly distinct from each other, though they are … Continue reading

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John 5:16-18 — Who Jesus is

Who is this Jesus?  That is the question that every single person who encountered him had to face. It’s the question that people to this day must face in encountering Jesus. The Jews came face to face with this question … Continue reading

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