Matthew Chapter 5 was so full of Jesus's teaching, and now, here in Chapter 6, there is even more of it! And one can not possibly read any of this, without being totally changed from the inside out! It's as if every verse is like looking into a mirror and seeing the very worst part of yourself!
I mean, get this - right at the beginning of Matthew Chapter 6 Jesus says "Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you." Matthew 6:1-4
Basically, Jesus is calling us out and telling us to stop acting like hypocrites! He does not even want us waving our ministry flags telling everyone how great our ministries are! He says that when we give to the needy we are NOT supposed to let everyone know what we give or how we give! In fact, the assumption is that we WILL give! That's not even the question! He doesn't say, "If you give to the poor." He says, "When you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing." Another words, if you are a follower of Christ, then you WILL give! And WHEN you give, do not pay attention to what you give or who you give or why you give - just give!
My God. This is such an eye opener for me! We live in a world where "social services" and "ministry resources" are marketed, volunteered and funded! In fact, I can't think of a ministry that is not broadcasted on social media, or marketed to say "Look at US and Look at what we do!" Every ministry I know does this - and the goal is always to attain more so that the ministry can do more.
And then I think of our Upper Room. I think of the women who humbly give of their time, treasure and love to care for a lady who was bed-bound for what seemed like forever. I think of my friend who makes lunches for the homeless, without asking for anything from anyone. I think of the times when someone needs a shoulder to cry on, or a hand to hold. I think of the guy who fixes a kitchen sink or mows a neighbor's lawn. I think these must be the terms of endearment that Jesus speaks of when someone just helps because - when the right hand does not know or care what the left hand is doing.
And Jesus said, "when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
My God. Continue to show me the error of my ways. Help me to stay away from "Ministry Flags" and all the evil baggage that comes with them. Humility is everything Lord. Humility is everything!
It appears the Holy Spirit has given me seven different poetic sermons to illuminate the scripture found in Matthew Chapter 5. The first was called “8 Blessings” and it was based on a sermon that Jesus gave on a Mount that spoke about the blessings of God. The second was called “Salt” and it was about Christians adding flavor to a lukewarm world. The third was called, “Awake O Sleeper” and it was based on the importance of shining God's light into a dark and dreary world. The fourth was called “Its the Law” and it highlights why Jesus came! He said, "Do not misunderstand why I have come. I have not come to abolish the Law of Moses or the writings of the Prophets. I have come to fulfill them." The fifth was called “Anger” and it spoke to how quickly anger can turn to danger and create murder, before we even know it! And the sixth was about the marriage vow, and it spoke to the importance of an oath - to a potential spouse and, more importantly, to God himself.
Now, here I am, at the end of Chapter 5; and Jesus is teaching about the problem with revenge, and why, as His disciples, we MUST show love to our enemies.
“You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” But I say do not resist an evil person. If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also; if you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat too; if a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it 2 miles; give to those who ask and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.”
Truly, loving our enemies is the opposite of what our flesh really wants to do. It takes every once of self-control to push our pride down and not want to take things into our own hands. We will often come up with excuses like "righteous anger" to justify our positions. But Jesus. He says, “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
Do you not see why Jesus had to come?
Can you imagine forgiving a Nazi, who has killed thousands and thousands of men, women and children?
Can you imagine forgiving a rapist who has stolen the very essence of a person's being?
Can you imagine loving a person who sells little children?
Or extending grace to someone who has beaten his wife, or another person?
Can you imagine forgiving an Islamist who hates your God?
Can you imagine any of these people being considered a friend?
What exactly is Jesus trying to say?
Is he honestly telling us to love and to forgive?
Do we really have to pray for those who persecute us?
God, is this how we prove that we are your children?
Help us to learn how to love and forgive.
If ever there was an institution on earth that reflected the very nature of who God is, it would be the institution of marriage and the children who are born from it.
The apostle Paul wrote this to the Church in Ephesus,
"Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.” Ephesians 5:25-33
You see, Paul compares the love that husbands should have for their wives to the love that Christ has for the Church – also known as the Bride of Christ. A love that is patient and kind, not jealous or boastful or proud or rude; a love that does not demand its own way, is not irritable or keeps record of being wronged. This kind of love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance. This kind of love rejoices in the truth of who God is.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
An honest relationship loves despite faults and failures. An honest husband sanctifies his wife with unfailing love and faithfulness, just as the Holy Spirit sanctifies us. Jesus made himself a living sacrifice so that His blood could wash our sins away. In the same way, a husband sacrifices his pride for his wife and his children. He is never domineering or demanding. He is loving. He shepherds and leads by example and teaches his family what it means to be a loving servant.
In Matthew 5, verse 33 to 37, Jesus said,
“You have also heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you make to the Lord.” But I say, do not make any vows! Do not say, ‘By heaven!’ because heaven is God’s throne. And do not say, ‘By the earth!’ because the earth is his footstool. And do not say, ‘By Jerusalem!’ for Jerusalem is the city of the great King. Do not even say, ‘By my head!’ for you can’t turn one hair white or black. Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.”
You see, a marriage vow is abiding. It’s a promise to stay committed despite what your feelings present. A vow in the eyes of the Lord is like a promise that comes out of your mouth. It’s an oath that you keep despite what you feel or what you think. There is never an excuse to cheat.
Which is why in Matthew Chapter 5, verse 27 to 30, Jesus said,
“You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery. But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. So if your eye - even your good eye - causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your hand - even your stronger hand - causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.”
I mean, just take a minute to stop and think about the marriage traditions many people in America participate in. The bachelor party is the ultimate celebration of the groom and his nearest and dearest groomsmen. Typically these parties don’t involve sitting around, reading scripture and encouraging one another. Instead they involve getting drunk and watch women remove their clothes.
So before a marriage vow is ever taken, the eye of the beholder has already become tainted. And we wonder why most marriages end in divorce. It’s because the marriage was corrupted before it even started.
But not all is lost. Our Lord is gracious! He is faithful even when we are not. He forgives us and He changes us. He can take all that was lost, all that was corrupt and He can purify us. He can take a tainted heart and turn it inside out, cleansing us and making us right in His sight.
Eventually we come to the end of ourselves, and we have to decide. Do we accept the blood of Christ? This is the marriage vow that Christ extends to every person. We all have the option to accept his pure love, or to turn and walk away from Him.
In Matthew Chapter 5 verses 21 to 26, Jesus teaches his disciples and the crowds about the emotion of anger, and the consequences of it.
“You have heard that our ancestors we’re told “You must not murder. If you commit murder then you are subject to judgment,” but I say if you are angry with someone then you are subject to judgment; if you even call someone a fool, an idiot, then you are in danger of being brought before the court, and if you curse someone you are in danger of the fires of hell.”
Three concepts struck me by His words:
The first is that anger is an emotion that we can have when we are offended.
The second concept is this - the way we respond is far more important than the feeling we get.
And the third concept that hit me the most in this verse is this -
God’s justice is far more important than ours.
Let me break this down even more. First, let’s look at the emotion of anger.
I once heard that anger is danger without the “D” - in other words, we must be careful to dilute our anger before it becomes too much and creates a dangerous consequence for us.
Anger is often rooted in bitterness, which is often tied to some kind of resentment or lack of forgiveness.
Anger often comes when you have been let down. It’s usually the result of unmet expectations which often leads to disappointment and resentment.
Anger often covers up underlying sadness, and aggression may be the result of underlying depression. So it’s important to take a deeper look.
Anger can be directed at yourself or someone else, and it often results in some kind of verbal or physical attack such as thoughts like “I’m not good enough” or “I’m gonna kill you if you treat me like that!”
Anger often triggers a primal response, and our body responds without too much thought. Anger turns off our prefrontal cortex and our amygdala activates a “flight or fight” response, and before we know it, we behave as if we are under “life or death.”
King David said, “Be angry, but do not sin.”
I suppose he meant it’s okay to be angry but not act like it.
Paul said, “Don’t sin by letting anger control you; don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry for anger gives a foothold to the devil.”
I guess he meant that we should take a time out and let our anger dissipate before responding to it.
So while anger is a natural emotion, we all have the responsibility to control it.
The consequences of anger can lead to very bad decisions, like saying means things, destroying property or hurting another.
Many relationships have been totally destroyed because people are not able to tame their tongue. Many identities have been totally lost, because a person has given in to self-defeating thoughts.
There comes a time when we all have to decide whose justice system under which we will abide.
We can stand for social justice and choose to be our own king, or we can have a Kingdom mentality and choose to follow what Jesus said.
“If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”
We must remember that God is not only love, but is absolutely just! And He measures us according to His Kingdom laws.
It’s hard for us who live in the flesh, in a world covered by sin to not respond as if we know best.
It’s very hard to swallow our pride especially when someone else has hurt us inside.
But Jesus is very clear on this subject - so clear that he addresses it twice - as written in Matthew Chapter 5. To be a Citizen in His Kingdom, we must learn to trust, to love and to forgive.
It’s antithetical to everything we know, unless of course, He is sanctifying us.
So I leave the Children of God with this - the next time you become angry with yourself or another person, repent and ask God for His forgiveness. He will help you change your attitude as you replace your thoughts with His Words.
And remember this...
“The Holy Spirit helps us to get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words and slander as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead we are to be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another - just as God through Christ has forgiven us.”
The clouds come,
the clouds go;
between sun and snow.
But the Lord -
He remains stable.
People are born,
Lives are lived
between birth and death.
But the Lord -
He remains stable.
Seeds are sown
on moving ground;
We don’t know
who may be found.
But the Lord does -
for He is good.
where there is no light;
But the Son
brings day from night.
The Lord is good.
When all seems lost,
we must pray;
Don’t lose hope,
but build your faith.
For the Lord -
is all that is stable.
my beloved brethren,
in the work of the Lord,
is not in vain
in the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 15:58
Can you imagine living in a nation where everyone is separated by the color of their skin?
Unfortunately, that is what we had...have...
Who would we be, if we sold one another and gained our whole treasure, through something as sick as human oppression?
It appears we are still in the process of answering this question.
Can you imagine taking a land, through violent hands - through the selling of humans and making them slaves?
This is the story of the Americas - the one in the North and the one in the South. Nations built on a delusion of what the authoritarian “bridge builder” said.
You see, we have been led to believe what a pontiff says, a man in a robe we believe to be "Chosen by God." And what he says is what people believe, even if it's outside of what scripture says.
This is what I’ve learned...
First, it was never a “white man” who started our demise. It was a powerful Italian man who pretended to be God. It was a Spanish Queen who got what she wanted, and many African men, who wanted more power.
Once I did the research and stopped believing all the hype, I came to the realization about how "religious" we are.
History reveals that the trans-Atlantic slave trade did not originate from the common white man hating people for the pigment of their skin. No! History shows it was the Pope of the Catholic Church, and the powerful leaders who ruled over the world, who operated under Satanic strongholds, and put a nation of people into bondage.
Pope Nicholas V granted Portugal and Spain the right to invade, plunder and reduce persons of color to perpetual slavery.
What a divisive way to be! To oppress a person based on the color of their skin.
Satan loves for people to follow their flesh, and finds every way dig his claws in.
Satan loves to cause strife. Unfortunately for humans, that does not take much! Humans tend to be narcissistic and self-centered. They like to believe they are superior to each other.
Ironically, racism is antithetical to the blood of Christ - it’s bases oppression on the color of skin rather than looking at the biblical truth that we are all one blood.
What happened to loving our neighbor as we love ourselves? To identifying a person as another imager of God?
King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella were known as Catholic monarchs, and they invested in an explorer named Christopher Columbus. They sent Columbus out into the world to claim a land and make a name for themselves.
The rich men who lived along the West African coast, the ones who owned mineral-rich land that was loaded with abundant gold, were discontented and had to have more!
It is true! I am not lying to you! Look it up yourself! It’s gluttony at its best!
Spain decided to use African people to create wealth - human commodities for free labor. Other nations saw what Spain had done, and they decided they wanted to join in. Leaders from the Netherlands, France, Denmark and England, saw slavery as a way to earn economic and geopolitical power.
EVERYONE joined in the delusion. EVERYONE believed it was okay to de-humanize a person. EVERYONE believed in slavery “under the name of God.”
Over 12.5 million African men, women and children, were forced into slavery, and the sale of their bodies, and the product of their labor, laid the foundation to where we now live.
Unfortunately, the use of forced labor is not uncommon. Africans and Europeans have been trading goods and people across the Mediterranean Sea forever. And look at Egypt who enslaved the Hebrews - all because they had become prosperous Jews.
The truth is almost every nation and every people are guilty of it.
I mean take a long look at child pornography and sex trafficking - people using men, women and children to satisfy their sexually immorality. It's crazy to believe that human slavery could be such a lucrative business. How could another human being want to purchase adults and children?
It is so sad to think that our America, the land of the free, the land of the brave - was founded on human cruelty and delusional intent.
Don’t we get it?
People were oppressed, brutality beaten, forced into labor and murdered - and it was all instigated by royalty and religion! The Anti-Christ spirit is secretly at work. He justifies himself through social positions.
I mean really?
Who believes that ANY human is just?
Who believes that any human can play God, and make these kind of unbiblical decisions?
Seriously? How could people see Pope Nicholas V as just when he was clearly twisting the Word of God!
It still amazes me that people can be so naive, so easily deceived - believing that any human could have supreme authority is just crazy! How could a person believe that a pope or a priest, or a king or a queen, has divine authority when the Bible clearly states they do not!
I guess they don't understand what the Word of God says.
Don't they know that we ALL fall short of the glory of God, and we ALL need forgiveness for our sin because none of us do exactly what God said!
That is why Jesus came. He has always been the plan!
Jesus said, “Do not misunderstand. I did not come to abolish the Law of Moses or the writings of the prophets, but to fulfill them.” Matthew 5:17
Between the Holocaust and the genocide of Jews to the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the dehumanizing of souls, to the slaughtering of nations such as the Native Americans, to the division we see among races and nations - all was done "in the name of God" and all was done for the betterment of "a more humane civilization."
With all of this ridiculousness - its hard to believe that God still loves us! My God, humans are such a mess!
And yet - here we are today, continuing to make the same mistakes. We walk around holding up signs that make us feel proud!
“Black Lives Matters”
“White Lives Matters”
“Asian Lives Matters”
- and so forth and so on!
Literally, we could go and on!
It all really goes against God. Not an ounce of it is rooted in Christ.
How about we replace our PRIDE with the words, “I see you. God loves you. You matter to me.”
How about we say, “I can forgive you because God forgives me.”
Truly I tell you, I am amazed that people still want to segregate themselves based of their color.
With all that has happened, as found in history and in our Bible, it would make more sense to understand the truth of God based on what the Word of God says?
Acts 17:26 says,
“And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings.”
Take a moment to imagine what God must think when we raise our banners high and demand social justice. I wonder how God feels when we blow up places like Planned Parenthood? What would God say about the riots? Would he support or condemn this kind of social justice? What would God say about the organization Black Lives Matters? And how would He feel about us waving our flags?
Would He point and criticize, or would He teach us to trust and obey?
Here's the thing. I love people despite the color of their skin. I choose friends based on the heart within.
Brothers and Sisters In Christ, It is time to stand up and be the Church. The time has come for us to pick up our mat and walk!
The question is - “How do we move forward when we have endured a his and her story of pain, hurt and horror - without creating even more problems?"
My answer is this - it has to start with Christ.
Jesus is the ONLY foundation that can save us from sin and death! He is the ONLY ONE who covers our cracks.
We must get into scripture and see what the Word of God says.
We need to be Bereans. We need to compare the Word of God to Critical Race Theory and the intellectual trends.
The Critical Race Theory (CRT) that circulates many educational systems is based on Marxism and radical revolution. Reformation is not an option because it does not abolish "whiteness." CRT injects systematic guilt into the heart of our nation, and it condemns men, women and children for the color of their skin.
CRT is embedded in the same divination that caused oppression among blacks. CRT believes that white supremacy is inherit in every American thought - despite what the individual thinks. CRT turns us into the masses so that we don't have to focus on ill intent. CRT is based on the color of skin, and defines "whiteness" as inherently bad. CRT is in direct opposition to the teachings of Christ. Perhaps we should consider a scripture to address black and white racism. Oh wait - there is none! Instead, people should teach about love and forgiveness.
The Lord said we are to forgive seventy times seven; sometimes we need to forgive one another, and sometimes we need to forgive ourselves.
Forgiveness is never an easy thing to do. That is why we are called "to endure" while living in this world.
All we have to do is look to the cross. God himself came to in the flesh, as THE sacrificial Lamb to pour out His blood, so that the angel of death will Passover us.
For this - Jesus is to be praised! Yahweh is the One who saves us. And we must always remember that we CAN love one another because God first showed His love us.
Social justice is not a biblical concept. It's based on humanism, utopian socialism and wealth redistribution - despite whether you worked for it or not!
But, this is not to say that we should not help those who are less fortunate than us. The scripture is absolutely clear that we MUST take care of orphans, widows and the poor.
And yet, the scripture says that able-bodied persons are required to work if they are to eat, and God defines this as social responsibility.
The Word of God is very clear!
Scripture says that we are to live socially responsible - everyone working and caring for one another.
Now more than ever, it is important for us to come together and remember - WE ARE ONE BLOOD.
It is time for Christians to stop twisting the truth and making excuses for ourselves! We must learn to endure and do what is difficult. Jesus picked up his cross and laid it all down for us! Now we have the opportunity to do it all for Him.
The Lord gave us His manual - the Book of Instruction that can help us get through this life.
We can do this because we are ONE BLOOD. We must pray for Holy Spirit wisdom. I already know the answer is not found in black and in white, but the answer is found within the heart.
Today's poetic sermon is extremely important. In Matthew Chapter 5, verses 17 to 20, Jesus explains why He came to earth from Heaven. This is a really important concept for followers of Christ to understand - if we are to walk in step with His Holy Spirit.
In Matthew Chapter 5:17-20, Jesus says, “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the Law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until it’s purpose is achieved."
You see, the "law” that Jesus spoke of is not what many of us think. He is not speaking about the system of rules that human governments create to regulate the actions of their people. No, the Law that Jesus speaks of is the Law of Moses - the commandments that God gave to Moses - to teach the Israelites how to live according to God's culture and customs.
Let me tell you a story. After Joseph was sold into slavery by his own brothers who were full of jealousy; and after God took the life of Er and his father Judah had sex with his Er's wife, Tamar - the Lord made a way for his people, saving a remnant through the Land of Egypt, and their Pharaoh. And after several generations, the 12 tribes of Israel multiplied and filled the land with their people. Eventually, there was a new Egyptian king who grew jealous. He said to his people, "Look, the people of Israel now outnumber us and are stronger than us. We must make a plan to keep them from growing." Exodus 1:9
"So the Egyptians made the Israelites their slaves, and wore them down through crushing labor. But the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more the Israelites multiplied and spread, and the more alarmed the Egyptians became. So the Egyptians worked the people of Israel without mercy. They were ruthless in their demands." Exodus 1:11-14 And this is when a king like Herod said, "Throw every newborn Hebrew boy into the Nile River. But you may let the girls live."
Well, God always has a plan, even when we do not understand. "A man and a woman from the tribe of Levi got married and had a son, and they hid him for three months. But when she could no longer hid him, she made a basket and put him on the bank of the Nile River. Soon Pharaoh's daughter came down to bathe and saw the basket along the riverbank. And the baby's sister came and asked if she should find a Hebrew woman to nurse him. Later, when the boy was older, his mother brought him back to Pharaoh's daughter and she named him Moses." Exodus 2
And it's through the Mosaic Covenant that God established the Law with his people. After stirring unrest in Moses, and causing him to give up his wealthy position, God spoke to Moses at the burning bush and directed him to lead his people.
Then the Lord told Moses, "I am Yahweh - the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as El Shaddai - God Almighty - but I did not reveal my name, Yahweh, to them. And I reaffirmed my covenant with them. Under it's terms, I promised to give them the land of Canaan, where they were living as foreigners. you can be sure that I have heard the groans of the people of Israel, who are now slaves to the Egyptians. And I am well aware of my covenant with them." Exodus 6:2-5
And after Moses's brother, Aaron, had his staff turned into a serpent; and after the plagues that were foretold to Pharaoh; and after the First Passover, and the blood of the lamb on the doorposts - Israel received the release of Pharaoh and began their Exodus from Egypt. From here we see the dedication of the First Born, the wilderness detour and the deliverance song. We see the splitting of the Red Sea, bitter water made good to drink and manna from Heaven. We see water from a rock, Israel defeating the Amalekites, and Jethro's wise advice - the very first court system (Exodus 18:13-27).
And then, in the 19th Chapter of Exodus, we see God revealing himself on Mount Sinai. The Lord said to Moses, "I will come to you in a thick cloud so the people themselves can hear me when I speak with you.' "Go down and prepare the people for my arrival. Consecrate them today and tomorrow, and have them wash their clothing. Be sure they are ready on the third day, for on that day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai as all the people watch."
When the Lord gave ten commandments for the covenant community, the people were afraid. But Moses encouraged them and said, "Do not be afraid, for God has come in this way to test you, and so that your fear of him will keep you from sinning." Exodus 20:20 After the ten commandments came many more laws such as proper use of altars, cases of personal injury, protection of property, social responsibility and the fair treatment of slaves.
The Lord went on to say that if the Israelites served Him only, then he would bless them abundantly. But if they made treaties with other countries or their gods, then they would be trapped in idolatry. Moses warned the Israelites that if they did not honor God with wholehearted commitment, then they would not receive the blessings, and instead experience curses plagued with confusion, madness, blindness and panic. Deuteronomy 28
Well, you probably know what I'm going to say. No man has been able to achieve this perfection. No man or woman, Jew or Gentile, slave or free - has been able to offer God their whole hearts through full obedience - and that is why Jesus came.
The only person who has lived on their earth as fully submitted to God is Jesus. The Lamb of God is the only one worthy to open the scroll.
You see, the Old Testament is a reminder of why we need Him. The Old Testament stories foretell the coming of Jesus. And the Law of Moses shows humans how holy God is, and how impure we are. It shows our need for a savior.
The New Testament book represents the eyewitness accounts of those who walked with Jesus, and received His Holy Spirit. They understand that the Law of Moses was God giving us a mirror to show that every human is far from perfect for we all sin, and fall short of the glory of God. They understand the blood of the Lamb, and his unfailing love and faithfulness. They realize that while God guaranteed to the Hebrews the land of Canaan, the gospel message guarantees eternal life and salvation. They know that the Law of Moses forbids false witness, while the gospel of Christ requires that we love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
Jesus said, "Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the Law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until it’s purpose is achieved."
When you dive into scripture, fully digesting it - Holy Spirit helps you to see how the Word of God is woven through it.
Jesus has always been the plan. The unfailing love of God to save his creation. The Lord always keeps a remnant, for one drop of His blood covers a multitude of sin.
And now that I understand the Law that Jesus speaks of, I am able to understand the man of sin described in the second chapter of 2nd Thessalonians.
Paul says, "Dear brothers and sisters, let us clarify some things about the second coming of Christ and how we will be gathered to meet him. Don’t be easily shaken or alarmed by those who say the day the Lord has begun. That day will not come until there is a great rebellion against God and the man of lawlessness (the man of sin) is revealed, the one who brings destruction. He will exalt himself and defy everything that people call God and every objective worship. He will even sit in the Temple of God, claiming that be God himself."
Paul goes on to warn the church of Thessalonia that this lawlessness is already secretly at work and it will remain secret until the one holding him back steps out of the way. Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed. But the Lord Jesus will slay him with his breath.
We know that the man of sin will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power signs and miracles. And he will use every kind of deception to fool those on their way to destruction for they refuse to love and except the truth.
My God! We are so confused! We see US as the center of the universe! We believe that the laws we have made are just! But the truth is - how can humans create any law that is righteousness when they are operating outside Jesus, or revelation from the Holy Spirit? All we have to do is look at the laws that we decide are wrong and right. We have decided that killing preborn children is just, because it's a woman's right to end human creation. We have decided that the government can take taxes and use the money in a way they see fit. We have taken God out of schools, and determined that we should teach all kinds of religions. And more recently, we have taken God out of our courtrooms. Jesus said, "I did not come to abolish the Law of Moses or the words of the prophets but to fulfill them."
"Then I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll and read it. But one of the twenty-four elders said to me, “Stop weeping! Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne, has won the victory. He is worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
"Then I saw a Lamb that looked as if it had been slaughtered, but it was now standing between the throne and the four living beings and among the twenty-four elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which represent the sevenfold Spirit of God that is sent out into every part of the earth. He stepped forward and took the scroll from the right hand of the one sitting on the throne. And when he took the scroll, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they held gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. And they sang a new song with these words:
“You are worthy to take the scroll, and break its seals and open it.
For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation.
And you have caused them to become a Kingdom of priests for our God.
And they will reign on the earth.”
Revelation Chapter 5
“You are the light of the world - like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket, instead a lamp is placed on a stand where it gives light for everyone in the house to see. In the same way let your good deeds shine out for all to see so that everyone will praise your Heavenly Father.”
“So live no longer as the Gentiles (today this would be unbelievers) do for they are hopelessly confused. Their minds are full of darkness and they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. They have no sense of shame. They live for less for pleasures and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.”
We should not be surprised to see a rise in socialized media and entertainment and their lies, nor should we be surprised by the rise in child sacrifice and in teenage suicides.
We should not be surprised by the rise in psychological distress, bitterness, strife and resentment.
We should not be surprised by God being taken out of our schools and the government, nor should we be surprised by the rise in divorce, the breakdown of the family or the changing definition of it.
We should not be surprised by the sexual immorality, promiscuity, homosexuality, pornography, adultery in marriage or obscene fornication - for it's a natural extension of our unfaithfulness - spiritual adultery in the flesh. All is it is our lustful heart doing what it wants instead of remaining loyal and keeping in step with the Word of God.
But thank God, even though we are unfaithful, God is faithful, and He is always waiting and willing to forgive us.
This is why God sent his Son to pour out his blood as the final sacrifice for us. He gives us an opportunity to remove our deadness, and put on the garment of His righteousness.
With purity in heart we can be made whole again. And it's through His glory that He brings His Kingdom of Heaven to earth.
Ephesians 4:20 to 24 says, “Since you have learned the truth that comes from Jesus - throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, the Spirit of God renews your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature created to be like God truly righteous and holy.”
The apostle Paul goes on to say that we must trust and obey; that we must tell our neighbors the truth in love, for we are part of the same body. He says to stop letting our anger control us so that we stop giving a foothold to the devil. He encourages us not to use foul and abusive language, but to let everything we say be good and helpful.
“Imitate God in everything you do because you are his dear children.”
“Obscene stories, foolish talk and course jokes - these are not for you instead let there be thankfulness to God.” Ephesians 5:4 This means to say goodbye to sarcasm and condescension and replace it with speaking the gospel of Christ.
“For once we were full of darkness but now we have light from the Lord so live is people at the light - for this light within you produce is only what is good and right and true.”
“Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly but understand what the Lord wants you to do.”
“For we are to take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness instead we are to EXPOSE them. It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do IN SECRET, but the evil intentions will be exposed WHEN the light shines on them - for the light makes everything visible. That is why it is said, “Awake O Sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”
Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth but what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again?”
Perhaps the Lord means that without salt we add no flavor to Kingdom of God, much like the church of the Laodiceans who are lukewarm.
This message was given to the Church in Laodicea by the one who is the amen - the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God‘s new creation: “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot or cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!” Revelation 3:14-16
Can you imagine living a life that is totally distasteful to God?
Can you imagine having to face Him when he asks you why you didn’t trust and believe that He’s the father of creation?
Do you think He will consider whether you worked to build His Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven?
Can you imagine being so filled up with your own grandiosity that you don’t even realize your need for Him at all?
He will look at you and say,
“You say I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!” And you don’t realize that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. So I advise you to buy gold from me - gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.”
Spiritual fire is not fun. It can be very painful indeed. But it’s what the Lord does to burn off the dross of our sinful spiritual impurities.
Remember that God uses divine discipline to love and correct His children.
Hebrews 12:7-8 says, “No discipline is enjoyable while it’s happening. In fact, it’s very painful! but afterword there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained by this way.”
We all know not to add salt to a wound, because the truth often hurts and makes one wiggle and squirm. But when the truth is spoken in love, it can create freedom from chains that bind us.
Salt in water is not only good for the soul, but it helps to pull the impurities out. And God uses trials and tribulations to test the reality of our faith, in the same way that we use fire to purify gold and silver.
So as I get ready to end this poem, let us throw off every weight that holds us down. Let us speak out the written word of God, and learn how to speak the truth in love.
Matthew 5 begins with Jesus sitting on a mountain side, surrounded by his disciples and a huge crowd. The setting is much like an outdoor classroom, it’s often referred to as “The Sermon on the Mount”; and it’s a perfect place for Jesus to teach the Word of God that is written in the Book of Life.
The Word of God that existed from the beginning of time, began to preach what was in his heart.
“God blesses those who are poor in spirit and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.”
“God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
“God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.”
“God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.”
“God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”
“God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.”
“God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.”
“God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.”
These are the eight blessings of God, told in Matthew 5:3-10, that will be given to those who believe in the Jesus, the Risen Son of God; and though we walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death,
we shall not weary for our God is with us.
Hard times will surely come while on this earth, for Genesis 3 shows that we are living in the curse; but the time will come when Jesus makes his second return, as the lion and not the lamb. And when that happens He will destroy Satan and burn up all that is dead, and bring His people back to Him.
“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the very same way.”
You see, now that I am a true follower of Christ, I actually sit and listen to words that Jesus said. It’s as if I’m part of the crowd, drawing in and taking in His every Word. The blessings of God are not about the things we get in this world, but they are about the things we will receive when we enter the Kingdom of God. For in this world we are being asked to humble ourselves and to swallow our pride, to show mercy and offer forgiveness to those who hurt us inside. In this world we are being asked to mourn for the lost, and to hunger and thirst for God’s righteousness rather than focusing on what humans often call "critical race theory and social justice." The truth it is only through the the blood of Christ that there is true righteousness; God does not see the color of a person’s skin - He cuts straight to the heart and looks at the soul within.
In every human there is always at least one drop of sin, that is why Jesus had to come and shed His own blood. Without Jesus we are nothing but the walking dead, chaff that will burned in the fire when the end of days come. But when we choose to accept Jesus, as God incarnated, we understand how much he loves his creation of man.
So let us remember that God is with us, and his goodness and mercy will pursue us all the days of our life, and someday, we will forever humbly gaze upon His face.