Sunday, September 28, 2003
We finished up the month-long look at the Sermon on the Mount this morning. I've enjoyed it, getting to dig into a passage that most of us "know" fairly well and somehow bringing something new and challenging out of it. In wrapping up Matthew 6, I focused on keeping our eyes on the kingdom, storing our treasure in heaven, letting our eyes focus on the light of the kingdom, letting our worship and service be for God instead of Money. Then, with that focus, we will realize that there's no need to worry about our needs getting met, because we'll "see" God providing. And there's no need to worry about tomorrow, either, since right now probably has enough to keep us busy. If we make God & His righteousness our priority - keeping our treasure secure with Him, focusing on Him, serving/following Him - then "all these things will be added."
In Chapter 7, I made the transition from "don't worry about your needs today or your troubles tomorrow" into "how do you handle the past?" Jesus talked about passing judgment, how we can remove the plank of judgmentalism and actually be able to "judge" and help someone remove their plank of sin. Forgiveness is so huge - we can ask for it, seek it, and knock on its door, and God is faithful to give us what we've asked for. What if we were to give forgiveness so that we'd get it in return, pressed down, shaken together and running over? What if we were to ask the Father to "forgive them for they know not what they do", instead of pointing the finger at folks when they screw up?
Finally, Jesus wraps up the talk by saying to put these things into practice. Practice these things. Run drills and meditate on the goodness of God, the attributes of kingdom-life, the fundamentals of living as citizens of heaven who are ambassadors to this culture. Like I said, good stuff, and I really appreciated people listening and putting these things into practice in their lives, too.