Monday Morning: 19 Aug 2019 – Matthew 5:1-16 ~ Jesus’ Teaching: on blessing and visibility

Monday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (A Collect for the Renewal of Life – Monday)

O God, the King eternal, whose light divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning: Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that, having done your will with cheerfulness during the day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – Matthew 5:1-16 (NLT)

The Sermon on the Mount

One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him, and he began to teach them.

The Beatitudes

  • “God blesses those who are poor 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.

“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 same way.

Teaching about Salt and Light

“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.

“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 to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
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Morning Reflection:

Jesus’ Teaching: on blessing and visibility

“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.”

– Matthew 5:3 –

In Chapter 4, Matthew recorded the launch of Jesus’ ministry – from overcoming temptation to announcing the Good News of the Kingdom of God. Jesus preaching, accompanied by miraculous healings, attracted a large following. So Jesus decided to sit them all down and explain what it means to turn away from sin and turn to God – what it means to live as a citizen of the Kingdom of God. Matthew presents Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount (Chapters 5-7) beginning with the Beatitudes.

The Beatitudes describe the character of those who will receive God’s blessing in God’s Kingdom – they are an attitude check for every believer – toward ourselves, toward our sins, toward God, and toward the world.

+ the poor in spirit – are those who recognize their personal unworthiness to stand in God’s presence and who depend utterly on Him for His mercy and grace. Recognition of our own spiritual bankruptcy is the prerequisite for receiving Kingdom joy.

+ those who mourn – do so because they sense their spiritual bankruptcy. It’s an expression of genuine sorrow and humiliation over our sin that leads to repentance and the comfort of God’s forgiveness.

+ those who are humble – are gentle in their dealings with others, and unpretentious in their lifestyle. The humble are heirs of the God’s Kingdom – receiving a promissory portion of their inheritance in this world, and their full inheritance in the world to come.

+ those who hunger and thirst for justice – are those who seek holiness, or godliness, not only for themselves but also for the society in which they live. It involves working and praying for the revival and renewal of society’s sinfulness.

+ those who are merciful – forgive the guilty and have compassion on the needy and the suffering. Mercy involves receiving God’s loving-kindness when we don’t deserve it. Merciful people give to others what they themselves have received from God.

+ those whose hearts are pure – are those who are single-minded in their devotion to God; it includes freedom from hypocrisy. Those with clean hearts can look forward to seeing God in the person of Messiah when He reigns on the earth.

+ those who work for peace – replicate Jesus’ ministry of reconciliation bringing people together with God and one another. It is not simply the absence of war, or cessation of hostilities; it is a reconciliation rooted in the cross of Christ – the Prince of Peace.

+ those who are persecuted for doing right – replicate Jesus’ ministry of suffering. The world does not give up its hates and self-centered living easily. Those who live rightly in God’s eyes become targets of those living for money, sex, and power – those who have rejected God’s rule and reign in their lives.

Questions for consideration:

  • Jesus concludes this portion of the Sermon on the Mount with the instruction to display what we believe – you are light and salt. In light of his teaching on Kingdom blessings, what is God calling you to say or do? Where do you need an attitude check, a change in your thinking or lifestyle. Please explain.
  • Where do you need God’s help to live a blessed life? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer: On living the Beatitudes

Sovereign Lord:  Thank you for the gift of your Son Jesus Christ, who died that I might live – a full, satisfying life, now and forever. Empower me by your life-giving Word and Spirit to reflect his attitudes and, in so doing, receive your blessing.

+ Help me to recognize my spiritual poverty, apart from you I am, or can do, nothing…
+ Help me to mourn my sins, and be comforted by your unfailing love and forgiveness…
+ Help me to live humbly and find strength in weakness and power in vulnerability…
+ Help me to desire truth and justice, not simply for myself but for all people…
+ Help me to be a merciful friend to those who have failed you…
+ Help me to remain focused on Jesus, to be pure in heart, to view life from his perspective…
+ Help me to be a reconciler, to look for the best in others and bring them to Jesus…
+ Help me to be fearless, unafraid of what others think or say about me, that I might rejoice in the honor of standing for your restorative justice and rightness.

Sovereign Lord: Change my attitudes and give me the heart and mind of Christ, for apart from his love, mercy, and grace I can do nothing. I ask this in Jesus’ name who lives and reigns with you, in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God forever. Amen.
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“The Beatitudes” – Hillsong

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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