Reading

  • Matt. 5:1-12
  • Luke 6:24-26
  • Matt. 5:13-42; Luke 6:27-31
  • Matt. 5:43-48; Luke 6:32-36
  • Matt. 6:1-34
  • Luke 6:37-42
  • Matt. 7:6-23; Luke 6:43-45
  • Matt. 7:24-27; Luke 6:46-49
  • Matt. 7:28-29

Devotional

After Jesus selected 12 apostles from His disciples, people came from all over the country to listen to Jesus and to be healed of various illnesses and diseases. Afterward, Jesus went up on a mountain near Capernaum and preached His most famous sermon, which is commonly called The Sermon on the Mount or the Mountain Message. There are so many important teachings contained within this message that it is unfair to only devote one day's devotional to them, but that is our task, so I will simply list many of the lessons Jesus taught without their supporting detail.

Jesus began the sermon by pronouncing a series of blessings and woes to those in various situations:

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
(Matt. 5:3-11 NIV)

24 “But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.
25
Woe to you who are well fed now,
for you will go hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep.
26 Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you,
for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.
(Luke 6:24-26 NIV)

Jesus taught that His disciples are the good people among the earth, and that if we fail to continue doing good, then who will show others the way? A person who is angry with another needs to be very careful, and one who calls someone a fool will be in danger of hell fire. Before we offer a gift in worship to GOD we need to ensure that we first settle any wrongs or hard feelings with our fellow man.

A man is not to divorce his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, nor is he to marry a woman who has been divorced. Jesus taught not to swear by GOD or heaven or anything else because we can't control any of those things. Instead, simply keep your word. When you say you'll do something, do it; when you say you won't do something; don't do it. Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute (that is, mistreat) you. Everyone loves those who love them, but GOD loves even the wicked and we are to imitate Him.

Don't do your good deeds—your giving, praying, and fasting—as for the purpose of being seen by men, but by GOD. Avoid making a scene when you do something good; instead, do it secretly and GOD will reward you openly. GOD doesn't respect long prayers more than short ones, and there is no need to repeat the same words over and over. If we want GOD to forgive our sins, we must forgive those who sin against us. Otherwise, GOD will not forgive our sins.

Focus on laying up treasures in heaven because they will last, whereas treasures on earth are temporary. In other words, your focus should be on doing good deeds that GOD will reward you for later. If you focus on serving yourself and acquiring earthly wealth and possessions, they don't last nor are they assured to be there when you want or need them. A person can only serve one master. You can't serve both GOD and money.

There is no point in worrying. Worrying about the future won't help you change anything one bit. GOD knows what you need, so don't worry about having food or clothes. Instead, seek first GOD's reign and rule in your heart and your necessities will be taken care of by GOD.

Don't judge other people because whatever standard you use to judge others, GOD will use the same standard to judge you. Before you go accusing someone or pointing out something that's wrong with them, be sure you aren't first guilty of the same thing or worse. First fix what's wrong with you and then help your brother fix what's wrong with them.

If you ask, seek and knock diligently, GOD will give it to you. If we human fathers know how to give good gifts to our children, how much more does the righteous and holy GOD of heaven know how to give good things to us?

The road that leads to hell is both popular and easy, and the road that leads to heaven is unpopular and difficult to travel, but the end is worth it. Only a few people find the gate leading to eternal life.

Be careful for people who appear outwardly to be righteous or spiritually-minded, but really are not. You'll know whether a person is genuine by the fruit that they produce in their life. Jesus said that it is those who recognize Him as LORD and obey GOD's commandments who would enter the kingdom of heaven. There would be a lot of people who would ask Jesus in judgment, "What about me, Lord? I did all these wonderful things in your name..." and Jesus said He would disown them because they failed to obey His commandments, calling them evildoers. The one who keeps GOD's word is like a wise man who built his home upon the rock. But the one who hears and doesn't obey is like one who built his house upon the sand—when the storms come, that house will be destroyed with a great crash.

The crowd was amazed when Jesus finished teaching, because His style of teaching was as one who had authority and not like the religious leaders they were accustomed to.

Tim Harris
Author: Tim Harris

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