We have been invited into the Kingdom of God and an experiential knowledge of how the Holy Spirit changes our lives. The way of life that we are being invited into is a beautiful way of living, but it requires us to confront our own brokenness. We are confronted with the reality in Matthew 5:17-20 that reminds us that if we, “break one of the least of the commandments” of the law, that we are guilty of all of it. Jesus states that “Unless our righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, we will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”
This weighty reality is in light of the truth of 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 in which the Holy Spirit through Paul reminds us that Jesus, “who knew no sin” became sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him! This incredible scandal of grace is echoed as we dive into Matthew 7:13-14 and see that the way of the Kingdom is a narrow path and there are few who find it while at the same time recognizing that as we enter into the Humility of Christ, we are given the keys to this Kingdom! (Matt. 5:3)
Join us this fall as we ask God to help us to understand the depths of truth that He has extended in Matthew 5-7 (the “Sermon on the Mount”). We will be diving into these passages as a large family and in small groups, seeking God’s heart. We desire to hear God say to us what He says in Isaiah 66:1-2, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Heaven is My throne, And earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest? For all those things My hand has made, And all those things exist’ says the Lord. But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word.”
Father, let us come before you with a poor and contrite spirit, to hear from you this fall. Help us to experience Your Kingdom’s way of life in all of its fullness as Christ’s death makes it abundantly available to us. This beautiful life that is described in Matthew 5-7 requires Your perfection. Help us to submit ourselves to Your process and, as we do, help us to see You molding our lives to Your perfect will.
As we are invited into the Kingdom, we receive tremendous grace to walk in the freedom of His will. And as we experience this freedom, we begin to see our lives looking more and more like Christ’s perfect plan.
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.