The Sermon on The Mount – Part Three


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The Sermon on The Mount – Part Three

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

You will reach Part Two here.

Matthew 7:1-28

Tap this link for scriptures.

In this final session, Jesus begins by teaching on the issue of the judgment of others. He warns that in terms of how the Disciples judge others, they themselves will be judged by the same measure. In comparatively harsh words, He explains why they are not in a position to judge others. Rather they should concentrate judgment of themselves.

Changing subjects, Jesus goes on to tell His disciples they should be discerning with whom they share these teachings. Unholy people will mock their words, damming them, and finally, use those words to attack the disciples personally.

Jesus now tells them that there are three things they should always do: Ask, if they are in need; they should seek if they are in doubt, and should they wish to enter Him and follow his example, they only have to knock. He assures them, in asking, they will receive what they ask for, in seeking they will find what they are looking for. Lastly, if they knock to enter Him, he will open the door.

He now compares their giving to that of His Father and states his Father’s giving to be the stronger, this is the way that their giving should be.

Wrapping this point up, Jesus states that they should always do unto others as they would have others do to them. He explains that this is the fulfillment of their law.

Now Jesus talks about the way forward, saying, the entrance to the Kingdom of God on earth is only accessible through a narrow gate. This leads to an equally narrow walk. Because the gate is narrow, few find it. Because the way is so narrow, it is a difficult walk. They will observe though, that the world at large enters their lives via a wide gate, easy to find and easy to walk.

He warns His disciples concerning those that would approach them with differing doctrines. He says that whilst they would appear as mild as lambs on the outside, they will be as ferocious as wolves on the inside. The way they should judge this ilk is to look at the fruit they bear in their lives. They well know that grapes don’t grow on thorn bushes and figs are not found on thistles. Neither do good trees bear bad fruit or bad trees bear good fruit. Those that do not bear good fruit are uprooted and destroyed. In short, don’t entertain these, they will ultimately destroy themselves.

Jesus continues; saying that because there will be those that call Him “…Lord, Lord…” does not necessarily mean they will enter into the Kingdom. Only those who do His Father’s will. Even when these protest that they performed miracles in His name, He will say, “I don’t know you, away from me you thugs!”

Jesus concludes by saying that any person who hears His words and acts on them would be compared to a wise person, who builds their house on firm foundations. When violent storms ravaged the earth, the house stood firm. Those, however, who hear His words and do not act on them are like the foolish person, who built their house on sandy foundations. When the storms raged the house collapsed in a huge heap.

The crowds below observed that Jesus did not teach like the teachers of their day, but as a person who had authority.

My prayer is that this series enlivened the Spirit within you and me, resulting in us thanking God for etching these Kingdom principles into our hearts.

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.

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Rushing God’s Season


How are you and I feeling about our current circumstances? After this message, why don’t we take a moment out to take stock of what’s really happening in our lives, at this point in time. How much of it would we like to change – if we had the power to do so? And then again, I wonder how successful we would be in making the correct change.

I think of a young child who sees a packet of sweets and just wants to eat them – and eat them now! The child’s desire is for the sweets and that’s all he or she can think of – knowing how good they will taste. The little one doesn’t yet have the capacity to understand that, as they continue eating the sweets without stopping, they will be doing harm to their bodies and very soon will feel sick, because of not knowing when to stop eating. Feeling nauseous and looking back, the idea of eating the sweets won’t be so appealing after all!

This little example is so similar to how God works with us. In a sense, He sees the immaturity in our lives but has the maturity to know the absolute importance of sticking to the life plan, which He has designed for us.

A Basket Of Fruit.

In the book of Amos, God shares with Amos how He has placed before the Israelites, a basket of fruit – not any fruit – but summer fruit. It creates a picture of a lovely selection of beautifully ripe, juicy, sweet fruit. Everything good and all that they needed.

The people asked, “When will the new moon be over, so that we may sell grain, And the Sabbath, that we may open the wheat market, To make the bushel smaller and the shekel bigger, And to cheat with dishonest scales, So as to buy the helpless for money And the needy for a pair of sandals, And that we may sell the refuse of the wheat?”

The Israelites were in a rush to get on with their lives – so focused on their business’s that they didn’t have time to see their ’basket of fruit’, or understand what God was about to bring upon them, should they not keep their focus on Him.

God was giving them their needs (in other words the fruit) – giving them a season of time – but they couldn’t see anything, other than getting back to business. Just like the child with the sweets…

God has planned our current circumstances – every single detail of them. He knows them intimately well, and even though we may not think so, it is like a basket of ‘summer fruit’ for us.

Yes, given the chance, we probably would change things in our current circumstances – why? – because it would make us feel comfortable – for now. How would the actions of those changes impact our lives in the future Kingdom of heaven? Would they draw us closer to God or lead us away from Him?

The Master architect knows exactly what situations our lives need to experience in order to bring us closer to Him.

Let’s not rush this season of time that God has allowed for you and I – after all – it’s only a season – things will change again. Let’s see our current circumstances as the basket of summer fruit God has placed before us – enjoy and appreciate the taste. Have peace, as we trust the Father in our current season – He is allowing it to change us, for the better. Perhaps we can’t see why He’s allowing the season – but we need to trust, that He knows the little child who won’t know when to stop eating the sweets!

If we have a quick look over our lives, we’ll see how God has arranged it into perfect seasons. We probably grumbled at the time we were deep in the midst of them, but look how amazingly they turned out, for the purpose of drawing us closer to Him….

Once again it’s been a joy for me to have spent this time with you. May The Master bless your current season and many more after…. Until next time –  bless you all.

From: “…time with the Master…”

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.)

My Armour or God’s Armour?


How many times do we feel that we have need to go out and ‘fight the good fight? How many times do we feel that if we don’t go out and fight the good fight, we will be disappointing God? How much of our own strength can we commit to this task when we have so much on our plates?

I have tried many times, rising early, believing that THIS day, I will be a good example of God’s child and stand firm, only to discover, like Peter the disciple, I am truly very weak!

The truth is, in our own strength, we cannot please God and our loving Father is very aware of this fact. The old nature, which we inherited from Adam, is just not equipped to please God.

Our loving Father has already poured out His peace into our hearts, so we should just take hold of it and allow Him to work IN us and THROUGH us, in HIS time. The ‘THROUGH us’ work will be a result of the ‘IN us’ work, just like the fruit of a tree. The tree does not have to concern itself with the fruit making, it’s bearing is a natural process. The quality of the fruit is dependent on the intake of the roots.

So it is with us. Spend time with the Lord in prayer, reading the Word and fellowship with other members of His family, and your ‘fight the good fight’ will be a natural process, not something you have to constantly drive.

What a blessing the scripture says:
Put on all of God’s armour so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil.Armour of God 2

God’s armour…not MY armour. The ‘good fight’ is God’s battle and He encourages us not to try and fight this battle in our strength. Instead, He says…. “submit to me…”. We are His instruments, clay in the potter’s hands…

Gird your loins with truth….. loins are normally associated with giving life – we will only be able to fight the good fight to the level of our own relationship with our Father. The deeper we are in Him, the more effective our fruit to bring new life to those around us – the natural process of fruit bearing. Is it God’s fruit from within, or do we have to force it by the power of our strength?

Put on the breastplate of righteousness…. A breastplate is something that covers a large area of the body and is bright and shiny. The breastplate is seen first when a person approaches. If the breastplate is damaged and dull, it does not create a good impression. A bright shiny breastplate indicates cleanliness and righteousness. Does the fruit of righteousness shine through us as a natural process or do we have to force it by the power of our strength?

Shod your feet with the preparation of the Gospel …. Our Father’s desire is to disciple the nations. Our feet are going to take us to our families, communities and Nations. As we go, we will take the Gospel with us. The Gospel will regenerate minds and lives will begin to change. Is the fruit of the Gospel evident in us a natural process, or do we have to force it by the power of our strength?

Take up the shield of Faith …. A shield of trusting God (faith) will protect us. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where we believe God has the power to resolve a condition, but we cannot seem to trust (or have faith) that He will do so for us in our time of need. It is at this time, that our trust in God is stretched. The more we stretch our trust, the more we will be protected in any given situation. Is our trust in the Lord evident as a natural process or do we have to force it by the power of our strength?

The Helmet of Salvation…A helmet is vital for survival, protecting the brain, the central command station. It is in the brain that the evil one begins his mission to lead us away from God. He plants a tempting thought and we begin to entertain it. If this thought is not put out of our minds, the scripture says it will take us on a path of death. Salvation in our lives is as secure as a helmet on our heads. Jesus died on the cross that we might receive Salvation as a gift (free) – all we must do is…receive it! Within the Salvation process, our minds are renewed. Are we allowing God to work IN us as a natural process in order that He can work THROUGH us, or are we resisting Him in our own strength?

From: “…time with the Master…”

This is a bi-monthly series of spiritual teachings.
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A Timeless Tale – Chapter One


 

What If?

Ancient mariners established a fix on a star, in order to navigate their way.

In order to find direction, we need to fix a starting point.

Then we make corrections, as needed, to that point as we move forward.

Continue reading “A Timeless Tale – Chapter One”

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?”

Unlocking Wealth in Business


Today more than ever there seems to be a widespread feeling that the Spirit of the Lord is showing us that our walk with Him needs to be more practical. Gone are the days where believers hear the word of God and are unable to practically see it outworking in their lives, as fruit of what they have heard. One of the reasons for this is….’My people perish for a lack of knowledge…”

Continue reading “Unlocking Wealth in Business”

A Timeless Tale – Chapter One


This is a continuation of a previous post: ‘God is a Timeless Tale’

Adam & Eve

Chapter One – What If….?

What if we accept that the words we read, in the subsequent chapters, are based on the following?

  • The first five books of ‘The Bible’, namely: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, are the breathed word of God.
  • The rest of the books in Old Testament section of The Bible are variously books of history, poetry, prophecy, romance and so on and whilst contributing to the theme of God’s salvation message, are not however the breathed word of God.
  • The first four books of The New Testament are a historical account of the life of Jesus, The Christ, and His teachings, written by four of His close followers and whilst they are reliable accounts of His life and teachings, are nonetheless, not the breathed word of God.
  • The rest of the books of The New Testament, up to the last book, are a historical account of the life of the followers of Jesus after His resurrection and their interpretations of what Jesus taught. Neither are these books, the breathed word of God.
  • The last book is The Revelation of John, his closest follower, concerning the return of Jesus, the Christ, to the earth and the structure and management of the eternal future of the soul and spirit of humans that lived on earth, is prophecy (the confirmation of prophecy being in its coming about and proving to be the breathed word of God).

If you find the above, a reasonable foundation on which to continue, then I will share with you what I have discovered about the God of the first five books of the Bible.

Continue reading “A Timeless Tale – Chapter One”