The only way we can live out the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) is by appropriating the new life of God, which we receive as we come to faith in Jesus Christ and as we learn to ask God for the right inclinations and the power we must have to pursue them. Continue reading ““Prayer to The Father and The Golden Rule””
The chief reason we are so preoccupied with our possessions and with acquiring more of them is that we worry about the future and do not trust God to care for us. This is why Jesus discusses worry. “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. … For the Gentiles [pagans; non-Christians] seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you as well” (Matthew 6.25-34). Continue reading ““Judging Others and Three Reasons Not To Worry””
Up to this point in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus has spoken almost entirely about the spiritual character of those who would be His disciples and of the relationship they must have with God. But Christianity is not just a vertical relationship between us and God. It also has horizontal dimensions because we are material as well as spiritual creatures and live in a space-time, physical universe populated by other people.
Halfway through the Disciples [Lord’s] Prayer in Matthew 6, we come to the fourth petition, “Give us this day our daily bread.” We turn from prayer for the advancement of God’s name, God’s kingdom, and God’s will to prayer for our personal needs: (1) life’s necessities, (2) forgiveness of sins, and (3) deliverance from temptation and the devil. Continue reading ““Food, Forgiveness, Evil and Fasting””
“This, then, is how you should pray:” ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today 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 the evil one. Continue reading ““The Lord’s [Disciple’s] Prayer””
There is a wonderful wholeness as well as a compelling organization to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, and we come to appreciate it more and more as we move carefully through Christ’s teaching. Continue reading ““The Practice of True Religion””