Matthew Challenge Update – Four

 

A few thoughts as follows…

“Poor in spirit”  Chapter 5:3    This sounds puzzling.  Obviously our Lord doers not mean that the person who is spiritually disinterested will be blessed.  My sense has always been that the person in question is deeply longing for a more spiritual life and longing to live in and among others who think in spiritual terms.  Think of it this way:  we are living in this sinful world  in a spiritual ghetto and we really long to be in spiritual paradise.  Cross reference “thirsting for righteousness” in verse 6.

“Do not be anxious about your life….” Matthew 6:25-27  This is hard for us to grasp in an age when  check our annuities and spreadsheets daily!  But the Lord Jesus has just finished saying “You cannot serve both God and money”  [verse 24] and he concludes by saying “Seek first the Kingdom of God…etc.”  So…I think he is saying, as the Old Testament says Proverbs 23:4 (NIV) ” Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint.”  The Christian can plan and should be wise but should not make the accumulation of wealth his/her highest goal.  We must be realistic with our needs and our anticipated upcoming needs But obsessing over our “stuff” will lead us away from trust in God.  The Christian who has never experienced real need when the resources are lacking will never quite experience  God in His “need Meeting” role.

“Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect”  Matthew 5:48. Re-read the preceding verses….43 thru 47.  Jesus is saying we  should be “just like” our Heavenly Father when it comes to being good to those who do not deserve it because that is what HE DOES!  Jesus is not expecting total moral perfection but simply obedience in the matter of kindness to others even if they are not kind to us.  Think of it this way:  “Imitate your Heavenly Father perfectly when it comes to your actions with those who do not bless you!”

 

6 Comments

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6 responses to “Matthew Challenge Update – Four

  1. Thanks for your update. 🙂 Matthew 5:3 NLT — “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.” This, too, helped me better understand that poor in spirit meant those who know they’re lacking and that they need God.

  2. Matthew 6: 25-27 helps me look beyond what’s “expected” by our current culture regarding college money, retirement money, etc., and to know that God wants me to focus on today, and on things other than money. Worrying is easy for me, so I especially love verse 27: “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life.”

  3. I am working on loving my enemies … I know it won’t happen instantly, so I am being patient with myself, but I believe it is truly a blessing to replace negative thoughts with true compassion, love, and gentleness for others.

    • Betty

      If you are not already, begin praying for those you need to love and possibly forgive. Its hard to not care for someone you are continually praying for.

  4. Rob

    Thanks Pastor Alberta I appreciate your insights and that you are trying to show us how to read and understand God’s word for ourselves.

  5. Kevin Alder

    “Perfect like my Heavenly Father” to love so deeply, no matter what a person may do to me, I still am focused on what they need…

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