Posts Tagged ‘Sermon on the Mount’

Love your enemies

February 8, 2015

Matthew-5-44

The Verse of the Day for February 8, 2015 is found in the section of Scripture known as “The Beatitudes”:

Matthew 5:43-45 (New Living Translation)

[Teaching about Love for Enemies] “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.

Below is a blog entry on the Beatitudes that is revised and re-posted here:

Part of the “Sermon on the Mount,” which some scholars maintain is really the “Sermon on the Plain,” the Beatitudes form a series of eight declarations that begin with the word “blessed.” Translated from the Greek word, makarios, “blessed” refers to a state of spiritual well-being and prosperity, expressing deep joy and fulfillment of the soul. The word has been translated, happy, fortunate, favored. A contemporary response when asked about one’s state of being is the expression, “blessed and highly favored.”

The following scripture memory song speaks of the passage from Matthew 5 in this way:

The Beatitudes Are the “Be Attitudes”

The Beatitudes are the “Be Attitudes.”

They help us to see. They help us to be

All that God wants us to be.

We will be blessed and be a blessing in return

When we learn to follow the “Be Attitudes.”

 

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

 

Blessed are you. You shall be blessed.

You shall be blessed when you follow the “Be Attitudes.”

 

The Beatitudes are the “Be Attitudes.”

They help us to see. They help us to be

All that God wants us to be.

We will be blessed and be a blessing in return

When we learn to follow the “Be Attitudes.”

Dr. Martin Luther King speaks of the transforming power of love and makes reference to the passage from the Beatitudes that states “love your enemies.”

A closer look at Matthew 7:12

January 19, 2015

Matthew_7-12

“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12 (NLT)

The Verse of the Day for January 19, 2015 comes from the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus Christ expresses a command that has become known as the “Golden Rule.” This guideline for human behavior can be found in some of the writings of ancient civilizations as well. The blog entry for the Verse of the Day posted a year ago identified some of these parallel expressions: Matthew 7:12: The Golden Rule. Other passages of Scripture also reiterate this same message:

Luke 6:31-36 (NLT)

31 Do to others as you would like them to do to you. 32 “If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! 33 And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! 34 And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return. 35 “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. 36 You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.

In Matthew 22:40 the Lord points out that “The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments”: Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.”

Paul states in Romans 13:8-9 (NLT):

Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law.

For the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.” These—and other such commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Finally, Galatians 5:14 puts it this way:

For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Jesus Christ, in addressing the multitude gathered to hear him, offers a profound one-sentence statement that embraces all human behavior whereby he expresses God’s desire for all humanity.

The Sermon on the Mount begins with Matthew 5 which offers the Beatitudes which are dramatically recited in this video which is a prelude to the Verse of the Day taken from Matthew 7:12

Laying treasures in heaven or on earth

January 9, 2015

Matthew-6-19

The Verse of the Day for January 9, 2015 comes from a familiar section of the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus Christ provides instruction labeled Teaching about Money and Possessions in Matthew 6:19-21 in the New Living Testament:

“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

Listen to a reading of the passage by Nicole Johnson

In a parallel discussion about possessions and money, Jesus Christ offers similar words of wisdom in Luke 12:33-34 (NLT):

33 “Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. 34 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

Colossians 3:1-2 (NLT) also provide instruction as to where believers should direct their thoughts:

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.

Martin Luther has rightly noted, “Whatever man loves, that is his god. For he carries it in his heart; he goes about with it night and day; he sleeps and wakes with it, be it what it may: wealth or self, pleasure or renown.”

In reflecting on these passages related to treasures and in heaven vs. treasures on earth, I thought of some of the lyrics to the old gospel song “This World is not My Home”:

O Lord, you know, I have no friend like you.

My treasures are laid up, somewhere beyond the blue.

The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door

And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.

Bill and Gloria Gaither and company offer their rendition of this treasured gospel classic:

The Beatitudes are the “Be Attitudes”

October 1, 2014

Matthew-5_11-12

The Verse of the Day for October 1, 2014 is found in the section of Scripture known as “The Beatitudes”:

Matthew 5:11-12 (KJV)

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Part of the “Sermon on the Mount,” the Beatitudes form a series of eight declarations that begin with the word “blessed.” Translated from the Greek word, makarios, “blessed” refers to a state of spiritual well-being and prosperity, expressing deep joy and fulfillment of the soul. The word has been translated, happy, fortunate, favored. A contemporary response when asked about one’s state of being is the expression, “blessed and highly favored.”

The following scripture memory song speaks of the passage from Matthew 5 in this way:

The Beatitudes Are the “Be Attitudes”

 

The Beatitudes are the “Be Attitudes.”

They help us to see. They help us to be

All that God wants us to be.

We will be blessed and be a blessing in return

When we learn to follow the “Be Attitudes.”

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Blessed are you. You shall be blessed.

You shall be blessed when you follow the “Be Attitudes.”

The Beatitudes are the “Be Attitudes.”

They help us to see. They help us to be

All that God wants us to be.

We will be blessed and be a blessing in return

When we learn to follow the “Be Attitudes.”

 

The Sermon on the Mount begins with Matthew 5 which offers the Beatitudes which are dramatically recited in this video:

Matthew 7:12: The Golden Rule

January 19, 2014

Matthew_7-12

In the Verse of the Day for January 19, 2014, taken from the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ expresses a command that has become known as the “Golden Rule.”  In a discussion of “Who invented the Golden Rule?” Dangerousintersection.org refers to a site called Palatine Hill, which lists some of the oldest formulations of the Golden Rule in reverse chronological order:

  • Ancient Egypt. – circa 2000 BCE “Do for one who may do for you, That you may cause him thus to do.” – The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant 109-110,
  • Hebrew Bible – circa 700 BCE “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your countrymen. Love your fellow as yourself: I am the LORD.”
  • Zoroastrianism. – circa 600 BCE “That nature only is good when it shall not do unto another whatever is not good for its own self.” – Dadistan-i-Dinik 94:5,
  • Buddhism. – circa 500 BCE “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.” – Udana-Varga 5:18,
  • Confucianism. – circa 500 BCE “What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.” Analects of Confucius 15:24,
  • Socrates. – circa 400 BCE “Do not do to others what would anger you if done to you by others.”

Even though the human heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked and no one can know it (Jeremiah 17:9), there is a corresponding desire to do good and to do the right thing. Paul personalizes this struggle and speaks of the conflict inherent in believers:

Matthew 7:18-22:

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

Jesus Christ offers a one-sentence statement that embraces all human behavior whereby he expresses God’s desire for all humanity in what has become known as “The Golden Rule.”

The Sermon on the Mount begins with Matthew 5 which offers the Beatitudes which are dramatically recited in this video which is a prelude to the verse in Matthew 7: