Matt. 6:19-7:12 (cont’d)-Jesus elaborates on how the BeAtitudes have practical application in our daily lives. These spiritual attitudes, spiritual qualities, will determine:
:1-5-How we judge other people. Two principles are given here…one, we must be prepared to allow the same standard that we use to judge other people, to be used on us. And two, before we judge other people, we should first make certain that our own life is innocent. If it is not, then that could cloud our judgment.
:6-How we make our moral and ethical decisions. Do not allow people who do not accept and live by the BeAtitudes to determine how you live.
:7-11-How we pray. These verses give us great confidence in prayer and tell us God will give "what is good" to those who ask. Humanly speaking, I will do the best I can to give what is good to my children. How much more God will do for those who ask Him!
:12-How we treat other people. This verse is generally called the Golden Rule…because its teaching is worth its weight in gold. Imagine how life would be if people followed this teaching and actually treated each other in this manner. Jesus says that this is a summary of everything that is taught in the Law and the Prophets concerning interpersonal relationships.
Matt. 7:13-27-These verses reveal the identifying characteristics of those who have "life" (v. 14), and are part of the "kingdom of heaven" (v. 21).
:13-14...they entered the right way (by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior)
:15-20...they produced the right fruit (their lives are lived in a manner that is consistent with what they say they believe)
:21-23...they obeyed the right will (many people know Him by name, but do not know Him in person…they act religious and try to attribute it to Jesus; while they want to be associated with Him for their glory, they are unwilling to submit to Him for His glory. They are unwilling to submit their lives to His will.
:24-27-they built on the right foundation (their relationship with Christ will last no matter what happens…it is secure, not because of who they are or what they do…but because of Who they have trusted in, Jesus).
Matt 7:28-29-The people were amazed at the teaching of Jesus. He didn’t teach like the Pharisees…simply repeating the teachings of their leaders and using intimidation to enforce it. That being, if you don’t do as I say then I have the power to keep you out of the kingdom. No. Jesus had an authority all of His own. His very words had authority. And, His miracles authenticated His authority. In chapters 8-9, Matthew will now provide examples, actual incidents in the ministry of Jesus, that authenticate His authority.
Prayer: Lord, please help me to live by the Golden Rule. Help me first to be submissive to the conviction of Your Holy Spirit concerning my own life. Clearly identify any sin that I am trying to justify or disguise. My nature is such that I seem to be able to see the sin in other people’s lives much easier and quicker than I see the sin in my own life. I need the Holy Spirit to point it out to me…and then, to quicken my spirit so that I will repent of it. Then, Lord, help me to use a just and merciful standard when I judge others. And help my judgment to always be intended to show them how to be reconciled to You…not just to convict them.