The Sermon on The Mount – Part Two


Feature Photo: Adam Kring Upsplash.com

The Sermon on The Mount – Part Two

If you missed the introduction to The Sermon on The Mount please tap on this link.

You will reach Part One here.

Matthew 6:1-34

tap on this link for scriptures.

We read in the introduction that Jesus, moved away from the crowd, up the mount and sitting down, taught his Disciples. In other words, this teaching was only for them.

Today I would start by saying, the twelve disciples chosen by Jesus were all Jews and raised under the law of the Jewish Torah. The basis of Jesus’s teaching was not to set aside this law but expand it so as to express the heart of God.

In part one we said the essence of Jesus’s message is the setting of a lifestyle for His Disciples. His message was not aimed at changing laws, but rather a change of heart.

He begins, in Chapter six by saying they must never show off their Godly acts in public. These, He continues, saying, when they give it must be done in secret. A warning is issued here; if they make public their Godly acts, there will be no benefit for them. They must carry out these in secret and God will bless them in secret.

Likewise, in terms of prayer, these must never be a public performance, but in private. Likewise, their prayers must come from their hearts as if they were in intimate conversation with God. (when we are in conversation with one another, we do not double-talk.) The prayer pattern he gave them was only a guideline and not to be prayed repetitively. Praying as such would bring results.

Jesus enlarges the words, “…forgive us our debts..” Saying forgiving others is of critical importance. As they forgave others it would unlock the door of freedom for them.

It was a practice of the day for fasting Jews to look unkempt and painful. Jesus explains; to receive benefit from fasting, they must behave in the reverse.

He goes on by saying they must not be materialistic. Every person that dies takes nothing but relationships with them. Those that live a Godly life build up benefits in the afterlife. Jesus cautions that their heart desires will determine their rewards in the afterlife.

Jesus now reveals the importance of the fact that their eyes are the windows of their soul. (It is a scientific fact that 55% of our emotions are projected via our eyes.) Their heart condition must be Godly, in order to project Godly power from within themselves.

He warns His Disciples that they will not be able to be in an intimate relationship with God and be slaves to materialism. They must choose one or the other, no other options.

Finally, Jesus says, “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ Worry is a powerfully destructive emotion; it blinds the mind to Godly thinking and peace. It blocks the release of miracles and many opportunities.

For those that are committed to living by faith, worry is a primary obstacle. I found in my life; worry was caused by listening to thoughts in my mind. I should rather believe that my Father knows what I need, and will he not provide?

Until next Sunday then.

Blessings

Peter.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’ Button.)

The Sermon on The Mount – Part One


Feature Photo: Adam Kring Upsplash.com

If you missed the introduction to The Sermon on The Mount please tap on this link.

Matthew 5:1-48

tap on this link for scriptures.

Let’s begin with Matthew’s opening statement, “When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain and sat down. His disciples came to Him, and He began to teach them, saying…”

Jesus sees the crowds and goes up the mountain; sitting down with His Disciples, he begins to teach them. Said differently, he was addressing His disciples – the instruction was for them only.

He began to explain to them the characteristics of being a disciple of His, expounding the Beatitudes, the Salt and light of and in the world. These are the founding pillars of one who aspires to live a higher life on this earth.

He moves on to explain, he was not in any way suggesting they abandon the Mosaic Law, but rather to fulfill it, through their higher living example.

Jesus unveils the importance of relationships with their fellow humans; the effects and significance of this relationship, especially making right with others before it is too late.

He speaks about the sanctity of their marriage relationship revealing an aspect that few would realize and where the Law was not specific. In addition to this Jesus elaborates on the issue of divorce, when and when not, it is permissible.

Jesus now demonstrates the futility of making vows and states that their yes’s or no’s must mean just that, and nothing else is required.

He expands on the law of loving one’s neighbor, pointing out that loving those that love you is something everyone does, but the one who loves their enemy, this is the quality of a person who aspires to higher living. The person who is a child of God.  

The final statement Jesus makes in this chapter is, “Be perfect even as your heavenly Father is perfect.” The Greek root word for perfect is ‘Teleios’ meaning ‘mature.’ Another view might be when using the English word perfect, that God is perfect and therefore the standard to follow, is not what the world considers perfect, but that which God sets. The choice is yours.

Because the Holy Spirit has been placed within us, unlike the ancients, we no longer follow a God that is outside us, but rather our God that is inside us.

We glean from this chapter in Matthew 5, that Jesus, in preparing His Disciples for their future life on Earth, established a standard by which they (and us) should all live, that others may see God in us.

Until next Sunday then.

Blessings

Peter.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’ Button.)

Prayerfully for Others


If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’ Button.)

The Apostle Paul tells us that, as believers – born of water and the spirit, we are citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven. Normally a citizen of a certain country will display characteristics of the country from which they come. For instance, as South Africans, if we were to visit Japan we would immediately be seen as different. We would tend to live the lifestyle that we are accustomed to. So, as citizens of the Kingdom of God, should we not then display the characteristics of the Kingdom of heaven while we are here on the earth?

Part of our mission on earth is to represent our real (and permanent) home – the Kingdom of God. We are like small agents, if you like, of the Kingdom. Our ‘head office’ would desire us to represent the Kingdom as best we can all through our day. It really means that we should ‘be about our Father’s business. Yes – we do need to make sure that certain needs are met for our life here, but those efforts should not consume us to the point where we are not able to perform our Kingdom duties.

Continue reading “Prayerfully for Others”

Eyes to See


Weekly encouraging messages from our Pastor Ray…..enjoy and be uplifted.

Eyes to See

Jesus gave us a command in Matt.28:19 to Go and make disciples. Most of us become a little concerned when we read this scripture because we think we’re not good enough to fulfill this role – and in extreme cases some begin to feel condemned. We think we need to become qualified teachers, preachers or Evangelists before we can share the word of God with others – not so.

Continue reading “Eyes to See”

Mission Malawi – Chapter Twenty


26.02.96

The days are flying by and as usual in our walk there are ‘ups and downs’. I know that although it’s like that, I shouldn’t be ‘feeling’ as if I’m on an emotional roller coaster. If I was truly ‘in Christ’, my emotions about the ‘self’ would have died and I would be consistent in my ‘feelings’, not ‘up’ one day and ‘down’ the next. Much has happened this month.

 Chris and Sally have left for S.A. to prepare for their trip to England. It was a miracle to witness their trip coming together, here in Malawi. They were granted a four year visa for England which included a work permit. One week before all this occurred, it seemed as though they would not get into England. Amazing how the Lord had to send them to this British Consulate (Lilongwe) for their papers. We are praying for them as this will be a very difficult journey for them. We have a contact phone number for them and pray that we will hear from them soon.

 Arthur has phoned from S.A. to say that he won’t be returning. I have to admit and confess my sadness over the situation. We pray always for the Lords will to be done in our lives and then when things happen not according to our will, we get upset – Oh Lord, will I ever change? 

 I am really sad that he won’t be returning to us. It’s as if one of the arrows has been removed from my quiver.  The walk that we have been called to is not an easy one. Arthur, my brother – the blessing – the support. We have shared many things – deep things, that we had a special liberty to do when sharing together. Thank you for this season of time Lord, I have learnt much through this special brother that called us “his precious family in Malawi”. May you be with him always, at every turn.

 Wherever Arthur goes, God will use him in the most amazing way. This is God’s Kingdom branching out – many will come to a deep knowledge of Christ through our precious brother.

 My heart is sore but as usual, our Lord has words for me. Oswald Chambers wrote, “It is easier to serve or work for God without a vision and without a call because then you are not bothered by what HE requires”. What wonderful, deep wisdom found in these words. No expectation – no disappointmentPerseverance

 Our relationship with God is a fruit of perseverance. The more we persevere in our physical situations, the deeper God will take us ‘in Him’.  That’s because the more difficult a situation becomes, the more we see of our true hearts – our true nature. It’s in that time that we need to seek the Lord for strength to continue and for Him to change our ways to become more like Him. Yes, this road is very narrow and indeed FEW will find it…. because FEW will be able to persevere.

 8.03.96

All the papers for the trailers and Combi have been sent and approved from S.A. It was miraculous how this has come about.

 I did not feel comfortable with asking brethren in S.A. to help us in this issue, as word has filtered back to us that we are viewed as somewhat of a burden in some quarters. I know where this comes from and realize it is a deliberate attempt by the Devil to cause division. However it is a difficult one to not think about.

 The papers were kindly processed by an old school friend. We really bless this precious friend for the trouble he went to and pray that the Lord will richly bless him for his efforts. Without his willingness, it would have meant a trip back to S.A. The vehicles may now be imported.

 The rent agreement for the house that Chris and Sally were in, comes to an end on the 31st March. We are praying for a place for Andrew and Sue. We believe with all our hearts that the Lord will do something – here we go again (thank you Lord)!!

 Kathy and I have planned a trip to Zimbabwe at the end of this month to see her brother who is leaving for Australia. The Combi temperature warning light is on again and we pray that the Lord will help us solve this problem before we go. The finance for the trip has come and papers are all in order.

 EvangelismWe have been led to arrange an ‘outreach’ meeting at the local market place. This has come about because a young man followed me around for two days and when he wasn’t able to speak to me personally, left a message to say, “The Lord says you must hold an outreach meeting here in Gulliver (the area we live in). Do not attend any other meetings until you have begun planning for this meeting. When you have preached here, God will show you where to go next”.

 Having a great respect for what God does to those who disobey, I decided to put some serious prayer into the situation. It’s not 

really in line with what the Lord showed us to do when we first came here. I must confess to not being exactly keen about the idea of ‘preaching’ in a Malawian market place, but if that’s what the Lord wants, then ….thank you Lord.

 We have a very comprehensive little team of ‘disciples’ who are able to do all the follow up work of teaching and praying in the houses of the new ‘converts’, so that none will be left to perish after hearing the word.

 We will also be able to have the assistance of a ministry, who show The Jesus Film in Chichewa, using a generator.

 The local bible college have freely given advice on outdoor evangelism and altogether it has so far been a wonderful exercise of how the body of Christ can work together.

 Malawians are great evangelists. They love to get up in front of an audience and share the word of God (jackets flapping madly!!). Our young guys, although really excited about this outreach, are aware of the seriousness of the follow up teaching and praying ‘operations’. It’s also good that the whole exercise is local, especially for the people of this area.

 We have contacted all local authorities and churches. I invited the local churches to send teams of mature believers for the purpose of assisting with prayers and counseling. No replies yet. We have stressed that this is an outreach to the lost on behalf of JESUS CHRIST, not a particular denomination. How encouraging it is to sit here writing, hearing the young men practicing their preaching of the gospel, for which the Lord used our team as vessels, to bring to them – thank you Lord. We have begun fasting for this outreach (3 x single day – no food at all, only water – full 24hrs.).

“…time withe Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and ‘Mission Malawi’ is published bi-monthly.
If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’
button).

 

 

A Timeless Tale – Chapter Four


Your Future Body

Our acceptance to a new and better existence after our body on this earth dies, will automatically present us with a new body.

By way of explanation, let us go back to the Garden of Eden.

In chapter one, I mentioned that God created humankind in His image (His lookalike) and his likeness (His character)[1]

In chapter three I mentioned that, through the crucifixion of Jesus, those of us who believed and accepted what He accomplished, would benefit from a rebirth process.

Continue reading “A Timeless Tale – Chapter Four”

Mission Malawi – Chapter Sixteen


Why don’t you start the series from the beginning – click here.

15.10.95
All has been quiet on the ‘wakhuba’ front. We are very tired but still blessed by our hourly watch and praying at night.

Continue reading “Mission Malawi – Chapter Sixteen”

Mission Malawi – Chapter Nine


 

Field Trip

14th – 21st November 1994

The following is a report of a field trip completed by two disciples of the Lord. The purpose of the trip was mostly a teaching experience to see how the Lord can bless those who are willing to give of themselves completely to His will.

It should be carefully noted here that we would be foolish to try and test God.

A trip of this nature should never be undertaken without careful and prayerful consideration. Everything which we do must be born out of the seed of prayer. God will speak to those who are willing to listen and will teach those who are willing to be manageable in His hands. Often, our hearts desires and strong wills, prevent us from hearing the gentle voice of the Spirit.

Continue reading “Mission Malawi – Chapter Nine”

Kingdom Business or Business in the Kingdom?


Today’s business market is extremely competitive. I don’t think there has ever been a time in our history when all aspects of business need to be so well honed in order to merely stay ‘afloat’.

 We believe, by faith, that God can do anything. Can we trust Him to help us take our businesses to a level where He can freely bless us?

Continue reading “Kingdom Business or Business in the Kingdom?”