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MATTHEW CHAPTERS 5 & 6

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Mat 5-1,2 -- No Entries

 

Mat 5,3-12

(55k) Paradox >> Opposites that are Inverse of Each Other – There is a surprising number of unbelievers in the world who have a special problem with verse 5, "Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth." They claim that it cannot be possible. It is common to hear this verse as a defense for their unbelief, but they only put their ignorance on display, saying that it is not the gentle who will inherit the earth but those who are aggressive and take the earth by force. They could provide a thousand examples of men going to war and conquering countries and lands, and in that sense they dominate the earth. From war to war this is the story of man taking what he wants. Worldly people think God’s kingdom should operate by these same principles, but when we try to explain to them that His kingdom operates by different principles they just mock us. If we try to tell them something that does not jive with their world, they cannot accept what we say; they don't have to think about it; they automatically reject it. 1Jn 4-5,6 says, “They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” If they lived in Jesus’ day and met Him, they would have rejected Him too, because He is the one who taught these things: the last is first; the first is last, humble yourself that you may be exalted, and all the other teachings that are contrary to this world. Basically, the Kingdom of God is the reciprocal of this world, not just the inverse but backwards and inside-out. The world is negative; therefore, the Kingdom of God is positive; the world is upside-down; therefore, the Kingdom of God is right-side-up. This is how God’s truth seems to secular and worldly-minded people. See also: Meek shall inherit the earth; 56k

(56k) Paradox >> Opposites >> Least are greatest >> Smallest in the eyes of men are big to God – Most worldly people don’t believe in Mat 5-5; they scoff at the idea that the meek shall inherit the earth; they are more convinced in the ways of the world than they are in the ways of God. They say, 'It might work that way in heaven, but not down here.' This is where the greatest are the greatest and the least are the least, where the principles of survival of the fittest are at work.’ Nations go to war with other nations and the strong take everything from the weak, putting their fellow man in slavery, but Jesus had the perspective of heaven and taught that a day was coming for the people of God who showed a little patience and forbearance will be constituents of the First Resurrection and will receive bodies that cannot die along with an indestructible kingdom. Beginning at the Millennium, God will show mankind how they could have governed themselves all these thousands of years, proving that their ways were wrong and that the ways of God are right. He will devote the first thousand years of His kingdom to proving peace could have been perpetually achieved instead of war being the rule of thumb. See also: Meek shall inherit the earth; 221b

(194i) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >> Yielding >> Yield to God’s right to direct your way

(221b) Kingdom of God >> The elusive Kingdom of Heaven >> Kingdom hidden behind the veil from the world >> God hides from man’s ignorance >> God hides from those who are looking for Him – The rich, young ruler hung his head and walked away after Jesus advised him to liquidate his assets and give the proceeds to the poor, but in Zaccheus’ case, who was also wealthy, he was confirmed by the Lord after promising to repent of his evil ways. Jesus said in Mat 19,24-26, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God,” and He also said in Lk 6-26, “Woe to you when all men speak well of you,” and He concluded in regard to salvation that with God all things are possible. Therefore, who will populate Heaven? It will be those whom James described in Jm 2-5, “Did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?” Jesus described them as those who were poor in spirit, those who feel insufficient. They sense that something is fundamentally lacking in their lives that hits at the very core of their person, a place that if they found their quarry would redefine their very essence, and what they seek is not of this world. The world has many versions of reality yet none of them suffices the one who is looking for God, and they know He only can give what they need. There may be others who have been on this road before them who have come into possession of what the seek, but it is not theirs to give. We must personally receive truth from God in order to possess it. These are the ones who will populate heaven, who realize they are deficient in the eyes of God and need to be completed by Him. See also: Meek shall inherit the earth; Mat 5-3; 56m

(224j) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Description of heaven >> The people of heaven >> Those in heaven are blessed indeed -- These verses illustrate the Kingdom of Heaven by describing the people who live there, who are blessed indeed. Try to imagine the people who have had to live in the most enervating circumstances, and then see their faces when they enter the Kingdom of Heaven. It must warm God's heart to see His children find their home after living and dying through so many restless moments. Those who so-called have it all in this life, Jesus would say, “Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full” (Mat 6,1-18). He advised us to ‘sell everything and give to the poor and come follow Him’ (Mat 19-21). It sounds like a form of self-deprecation, only He teaches us to do it for the cause of the gospel. If we have no accession to mourn, Jesus would tell us to change our lives so we do have cause to mourn. We must become servants and lower ourselves until it is painful, that we may better serve others.

Mat 5,3-5

(34d) Gift of God >> Believer owns everything >> New creation belongs to us -- These verses go with verse 10

Mat 5-3

(23f) Sin >> Poverty (Oppression) >> Rich are those who are poor in their own minds -- What did Jesus mean by "the poor in spirit?" Jesus came to give us life in abundance, yet He said that you must be poor in spirit to be blessed. The poor in spirit know they are empty inside and know they don't have the answers to their quarry lying within themselves, while those who do feel rich in themselves don't acknowledge their inner-poverty and believe they are self-sufficient. The result is, they are unable to receive the things of God. What God offers and how to receive it is based on the realization of our need of God to be whole.

(56m) Paradox >> Opposites >> The poor in spirit are rich in faith – In a similar way that psychopaths fill the seats of CEOs in the corporate world and government offices in the political world by their aggressive personalities, so wealthy people are typically less than poor in spirit. They would be richer in faith if they cared what God thought of them, and isn't that the poor in spirit? Some have come to the conclusion that being poor in spirit means they have low self-esteem, but what it really means is they don’t esteem themselves more highly than they ought, but think so as to have sound judgment (Rom 12-3). They actually have some kind of balance to their self-opinion. Most people fancy themselves way too much, and they become rich in themselves and thus unable to receive from God. If they could see themselves as God sees them, they would realize their need of Him. This is what it takes to have faith in God, but to be egocentric, egotistical and narcissistic is the antithesis of God. See also: Meek shall inherit the earth; Mat 5-5; 36j

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Mat 5-4

(188h) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Sorrow >> Grieving over your own loss >> Grieving over your sinful nature -- Christians have one more layer of sorrow assigned to them that the unbelievers do not have. We feel sorry for our sin and morn over it, while the unbelievers usually only feel sorry for getting caught in their sin. Although we should be happy to get rid of some of our bad habits and sinful ways, those things no matter how loathsome were no less an intricate part of our lives. It feels more like we are severing a member of our bodies when we renew our minds and behaviors that hinder us from following Christ more succinctly. 

(228b) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> God working in you >> Comforted >> God comforts you in times of adversity >> He comforts you in your grief – Jesus was implying two things: those who mourn in this life will be comforted in the life to come, and He was saying blessed are those who are capable of mourning. ‘Blessed are those who are able to think about someone other than themselves, for they shall be comforted.’ Those who are able to grieve over other people’s circumstances, this is compassion, and of course compassion fulfills its purpose by doing something about their grief. They take the next step and actually help the person in need. Blessed are those who consider the circumstances of others more important than their own, for they shall be comforted in the life to come. Blessed are those who haven’t been given this life on a silver platter, who must work and struggle, who have a hard life because of their faith in Jesus, for they shall be comforted.

Mat 5-5

(36j) Gift of God >> Inheritance >> We are heirs through sanctification -- There are some who have no knowledge of God, who would actually use this verse to prove the Bible wrong and say that it is not the gentle and the meek who inherit the world but those who are worldly, violent, greedy and materialistic. Those who have this fault in their thinking are forgetting one major fact of the gospel, that we who believe in Jesus and die in faith will go to heaven and one day return to the earth with Christ in a resurrected body where He will set up His millennial kingdom. Later He will create a new heavens and a new earth, and we will reign with Christ forever on the earth to expand His kingdom to the far reaches of the universe, while sinners surrender beneath our feet. Yes, we will inherit the earth. See also: Meek shall inherit the earth; Mat 5,3-12; 55k

(128d) Gentleness (Key verse)

(128e) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Gentleness >> Be gentle in all your ways >> Put gentleness in your character

Mat 5-6

(76h) Desires (Key verse)

(77a) Thy kingdom come >> Hunger for the essence of God >> Hunger for His righteousness -- Jesus had a slightly hidden meaning that expands the truth a little beyond the words He used (which was a common practice of His). In this case the deeper truth lies, not in what He said, but in what He didn't say. The implication is that any way we try to satisfy our desires will not result in being truly satisfied. He said it in such a way so as to make us think there is no other solution to hunger.

Mat 5-7

(34n) Gift of God >> Be generous like your Father >> Love your enemies -- This verse goes with verses 38-48

Mat 5-8

(104e) Pure In Heart (Key verse)

(104f) Thy kingdom come >> Pure in heart shall see God >> Shall see the Father >> Being in the presence of God -- What did Jesus mean by this? the pure in heart shall see visions? Not necessarily. Blessed are the pure in heart, for God will open the eyes of their spiritual need of Christ, and they will see the truth.

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Mat 5-9

(33b) Gift of God >> God is our Father >> Believers are His sons and daughters -- This verse goes with verses 44&45

(126b) Peacemakers (Key verse)

(126c) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Peace >> Peacemakers >> Peacemakers are a blessing – It is critical as Christians that we adopt the attributes of Christ’s nature. He spoke in ways that emphasized this fact, saying in Mat 5-45, “…in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.” He made it sound as though we are not the sons of God until we adopt His attributes. We come to God as wretched, lost souls, but once we are born of God with His nature dwelling in us, He can begin to mold us into His image. Jesus wasn’t saying that our performance must increase before we can be His children; rather, we develop the attributes of God because we are His children. Having the Holy Spirit dwelling in us literally defines us as the children of God. Paul said that if we become peacemakers, the peace of God will be with us (2Cor 13-11), but being peacemakers and possessing the peace of God are two different things. People who attempt to be peacemakers but do not have the peace of God dwelling in them often fail at the prospect of living in peace. The peace of God is one of the fruits of the Spirit and is extremely subtle; there are no billboards pinned to our foreheads saying we possess His peace, yet just about everybody knows when we do. We cannot establish peace in our lives if we have not made peace with God. Peace is often ill-defined, because we don't understand its basic nature. The best way to comprehend peace is to look at its opposite, “And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name” (Rev 14-11). For hell to have this description highlights the importance of having God’s peace; it is like having a piece of heaven.

Mat 5,10-12

(242l) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Persecuting the kingdom >> Responding to persecution -- We are free to be persecuted for the Kingdom of God because we have inherited eternal life through faith, and now we can afford to experience a little pain for the sake of all the blessings that is headed our way in our glorious future. The biggest cause of persecution is the fact that the children of God prick the conscience of the heathen. It is one thing to prick the conscience of those who repent and turn to the Lord for salvation. They will shake our hand and feel obligated to us for life, but the one who has no intension of repenting, yet don’t want to live with an evil conscience work very hard at keeping their conscience from condemning them, either by trying to live a halfway descent life or by lying to themselves about their sin and God’s looming judgment. 

Mat 5-10

(34d) Gift of God >> Believer owns everything >> New creation belongs to us – This verse goes with verses 3-5. Although we may own all things, we also share in the struggle and the sorrow that goes along with owning something very valuable. To believe in something as great as Jesus Christ and His Father's kingdom is worth the humiliation of living among people who don't. Perhaps we will influence those who would like to squelch our zeal that they too may someday believe God because of us.

Mat 5-11,12

(32i) Gift of God >> Father will honor you if you die to self >> Honor His word in you -- These verses go with verses 43-45. The only reason we are willing to suffer the will of God is that we know the truth. If we are ignorant of His ways, we won’t know to be obedient, nor would we choose to live in line with His will. It is the word of God that teaches us to live for Him, also that there is reward awaiting us.

(156da) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of salvation >> Loving your fellow man is evidence of salvation >> Love your enemies -- These verses go with verses 43-48. We don't depend on our persecutors to prove that we are sons and daughters of the Most High; we depend on God to save us. Moreover, we can pray for our enemies and our enemies may not change, but if we don’t pray for them, it becomes obvious that we are not His children. Jesus commanded us to bless our enemies so we don’t curse them, and Jesus doesn’t want us attempting to operate in the realm of Satan. Every way we disobey God is evidence that we are not His children, and every way we obey Him is evidence that we are His children. The choice set before us to produce evidence of our faith. Many in the Church today teach that we can consistently produce the opposite fruit of God’s Kingdom and still be its citizens, but this is not the teaching of Scripture.

(226h) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Rewards of heaven >> Levels of reward >> God rewards us to the degree of our faithfulness

(245g) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Literal manifestations >> Manifestation of God’s righteous judgment >> Manifestation of God’s justice – God wants us to treat our enemies in the same way that we treat our friends, just like the rain does not discriminate between the evil and the good. If a farmer doesn’t get rain and his neighbor does, that is a coincidence, for God does not judge the evil and the good by who gets rain and who doesn’t, but an age is coming when God will direct the rain to the righteous and away from the wicked during the Millennium (see: Amos 4-7 and Zechariah 14-17,18). However, in the current days that we are living God does not withhold rain from the wicked, so nor should we withhold our blessing from them. We are living in the age of grace, when God allows the circumstances of life to test us, and He watches to see our response and will reward us accordingly. This life is such that everyone has an opportunity to suffer and prove our loyalty to Him.

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Mat 5-13 

(70k) Authority >> Believer’s authority >> We are the salt of the earth (Preservative) -- One of the purposes of the Church is to preserve the earth. Our ultimate purpose is to keep the world from destroying itself before the appointed time. The manner in which we accomplish this is by preserving some of the primary intangibles of life, such as morals and a code of ethics. Since the world is destined to reject Christ, it is also destined to eventually commit suicide. We can only delay the inevitable long enough to stay on God's predestined timeline and fulfill His purposes. Salt is not a food, but we use it in our food to bring out the flavor. We don’t like the taste of salt; in fact, we could ruin a good meal by over salting it, but if we use the right amount, we can better taste our food. This works because salt is an electrolyte that establishes a better connection between our taste buds and our food, similar to copper conducting electricity through a wire. Salt is separate from our food, though we keep it ready at the table, and so is the Christian separate from the world, though we flavor it, making the world palatable. See also: Salt of the earth; 92g

(92g) Thy kingdom come >> The narrow way >> What kind of trail is this? >> Gate is small and few are those who find it – When we get saved, we become the salt of the earth; we live for Jesus; we come to know Him; we walk according to His will; we produce the fruit of the kingdom, but the person who falls away from the faith Jesus asked, “How can He be made salty again?” He is good for nothing anymore “except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men,” and the gospel gets trampled along with the person. Talk to unsaved people and they will say that Bible thumpers and the like who come preaching the gospel are the most tasteless of all people. Nevertheless, Jesus said that true Christians are the salt of the earth, meaning they add flavor to the world. In fact, He is saying we are the ONLY people who add flavor to the world. Consequently, the ratio of food to salt on our dinner plate underscores the passage He spoke a couple chapters later. “The gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Mat 7-13,14). If unbelievers represent food on our plate, and Christians proportionately represent the salt, it illustrates just how few people are being saved. See also: Salt of the earth; 184i

(184i) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Abusing the grace of God >> Spending His grace on your pleasures >> Adding leaven to His grace -- Salt can actually loose its saltiness, and thus loose its preserving qualities through time and overuse. The Bible says that each of us has received a measure of faith, or salt, and that we must protect it from overuse or abuse. Although faith itself has a preserving quality, we are obligated to doing everything we can to preserve and protect that which preserves and protects us, and not to expose it to every whimsical, fleshly desire. See also: Salt of the earth; 190da

(190da) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Masochism (Self-made martyr) >> Spiritual suicide – There is a resemblance between the complacent Christian and the suicidal person; they both have one thing in common, tastelessness. The Christian who does not bear the fruit of the Spirit but lives according to the standards and principles of the world, instead of by the principles of God’s Kingdom, is in a state of freefall and is committing spiritual suicide, soon to hit the ground with a fatal thud. Instead of giving him a proper burial, people will trample him underfoot, along with his gospel. When we look at suicide victims, virtually every one of them suffered from the same condition, tastelessness regarding their own lives. They try to get away from themselves by committing suicide. Therefore, helping a suicidal person is a matter of adding a little flavor to his life through the fruit of the Spirit, and once he gets a taste of what God is serving, he will develop a taste for the Kingdom of God and become a Christian source of flavor to others. See also: Salt of the earth; 217e

(217e) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> God’s will over man >> God gives up on you >> After you are no longer able to repent -- Just as salt that has lost its saltiness cannot be regenerated, so after faith has lost its faithfulness, how will it be made faithful again? Jesus said that when a Christian loses his savor, he cannot get it back. It is hard to retrieve faith once we lose it. God expels tasteless Christians like we expel tasteless food, according to Rev 3-15,16, “I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.” Instead of being tasteless, the Laodiceans had a temperature problem in regard to zeal. People generally like food that is either cold or hot, but seldom like it lukewarm. We like the contrast in temperatures in our mouth, which we interpret as an aspect of taste. The person who is tasteless is actually expelled by God. This speaks of the warnings in Hebrews where it says, “It is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame” (Heb 6-6), scary stuff. See also: Salt of the earth; 226a

(222c) Kingdom of God >> The elusive Kingdom of Heaven >> Do not give what is holy to dogs >> God does not entrust his treasures to dogs >> Do not invest yourself in dogs

(226a) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Parables >> Parables about salt – What is the savor that Christians provide? The pagans tell us how we taste; what do they say? If they say that our Christianity is tasteless, how can we argue with them? It would be like a waiter at a restaurant serving a meal, and the patron complains that the food is tasteless. Should the waiter argue that the food tastes good? Jesus affirms that Christians are the salt of the earth. Paul talked about the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy peace, patience, kindness, etc. These are tasteful fruits to virtually every palate. Even an unbeliever enjoys the love of God from a sincere Christian, but if the flesh manufactures it, he is just being nice. The point that Jesus was making was that this savor was not produced by individual Christians but by the Church as a whole having an overall positive influence on the world, all the while being separate from the world, even as salt is an essential ingredient in almost all foods but itself is not a food. While all the terrible things are happening in the world, the Church seeks to add flavor. Instead of taking, the Church wants to give; instead of being exploitive, the Church strives to heal and bless, and through this process the gospel is conveyed. The “Christian” who comes preaching the gospel of the kingdom without demonstrating the fruit of that kingdom, does more to insult his hearers than to lead them to Christ. His message is obnoxious. All they hear is the offense of the gospel and not the promises and blessing intended for this life and the next. The person who produces the fruit of the Spirit is the true soul winner, but the one who tries various shortcuts is tasteless. See also: Salt of the earth; Mat 5-13; 70k

(232d) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the kingdom >> Count the cost >> If Jesus cost too much, then you aren’t worth much

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Mat 5,14-16

(112f) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Light >> Obeying the truth in broad daylight >> Church’s deeds in the light

(226a) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Parables >> Parables about lamps

Mat 5-16

(128b) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Goodness >> Doing good in the presence of God -- The difference between letting your good works shine before men and parading your righteousness for others to see is that one glorifies God while the other glorifies self. One edifies and encourages the lowly, while the other is boorish and crass. 

Mat 5,17-20

(90k) Thy kingdom come >> Keeping the law >> Unless you keep the law you will not see heaven ...and so the debate between faith and works (the law) continues. Where is the balance between them? Some teach that the law has been abolished through faith, but what does the law teach? 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.' Is the love of God no longer an aspect of the new covenant? On the contrary, there is no better way than the law to sum up the Holy Spirit's ministry in our lives! Therefore, abolishing the law would be like abolishing the love of God, preposterous. The law is like a dirt road growing grass and weeds in it, leading to the king's palace. It has been replaced by a highway that leads to the same place. We don't use the law to attain our goals, we use the Spirit through faith to accomplish the same goal of the law, which is love. Jesus posed, "If your righteousness does not exceed that of the scribes and the Pharisees, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven;" this means that fulfilling the law is evidence that we are walking in the Spirit by faith in Jesus Christ, which is how the Bible teaches we get to heaven. See also: Your righteousness; Mat 5-17; 41b

Mat 5,17-19

(141c) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Old Testament bears witness to the new >> It bears witness to Jesus >> Prophesy about Jesus’ ministry >> Jesus as the Son of God

Mat 5-17

(41b) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Be like Jesus >> Jesus is without sin >> He fulfilled the law -- Jesus fulfilled the law to the letter, and not just the prophesies. He never broke a single commandment while He lived in the flesh; that was His greatest miracle. The fact that Jesus was without sin is absolutely central to the gospel. He could not have died for our sin if He Himself was with sin. He could not have even gone back to heaven and rejoined His Father. That is why Satan tempted Him in the wilderness, and did everything in his power to cause Him to stumble, like He did with Adam. It was logically and physically feasible for Jesus to have given into sin, but it was spiritually and divinely impossible, simply because He was God in the flesh, and Jesus never fails. See also: Your righteousness; Mat 5-19; 45h

Mat 5-19

(45h) Judgment >> Of believer’s sin >> God will judge us if we don’t heed His word – This statement sounds legalistic; Jesus is teaching us to observe the Law, to keep it and teach others to do the same. Isn’t that the legalistic mindset that Paul so tenaciously opposed? Nevertheless, this was his opinion: “The Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good” (Rom 7-12). Jesus would concur with this, and for this reason we should not violate the Law. How do we reconcile this with the many teachings against legalism that Paul addressed mostly in Galatians and Romans? Also, in the book of Acts chapter 15 the apostles scribbled out a short list of commandments, some of which are no longer relevant: “Abstain from things contaminated by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood” (v20). Note that there was no mention of anything pertaining to the Ten Commandments in this list, because everybody knew not to commit adultery, not to lie, cheat and steal, and not to commit murder, etc. They didn’t have to address the points of the Law, because it was common knowledge of the old covenant, but Paul taught that we don’t use the Law anymore, because the Holy Spirit has replaced it, and he leads us in the opposite direction of violating the Law, rendering it obsolete. It is the Holy Spirit who makes sense of the gospel of Christ, though He is de-emphasized among the members of the trinity in the Church today. No wonder people have such a problem understanding the Bible. See also: Your righteousness; Mat 5,20-22; 94e / Comparing the Law to the fruits of the Spirit; Rom 13,8-10; 74e

(48j) Judgment >> Levels of judgment >> Judged by withdrawing rewards -- When it comes to God judging the sin of the believer, He does not impose any kind of sentence on us like He does on the unbeliever. Rather, He simply withdraws His rewards from us. We all have a trail of good works that God has prepared for us, and He expects us to walk on it, and He rewards us according to how close we follow Him. Perceptibly, the works we fail to do will not see its conjugate reward. The rewards of doing the will of God primarily consist of the brightness of our glory and by the limits of our spiritual understanding (hence, how close we are to Christ). These will forever reflect how we spent our transitory lives on earth, either selfishly or for the will of God. The judgment will be that we will have to face eternity knowing we could have done more for the cause of Christ.

(226g) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Rewards of the Kingdom of Heaven >> Reserved in heaven >> Rewarded in heaven

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Mat 5,20-22

(94e) Thy kingdom come >> Perspective >> God’s Perspective on the Church -- These verses go with verses 27-48. This is basically what James said in chapter 2 of his epistle, “Faith without works is dead” (Vs 14-26). Jesus concurred that if our righteousness does not surpass that of the Scribes and Pharisees we would not see the Kingdom of Heaven. Mat 23-14 says, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows' houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation.” They confiscated their houses because the widows couldn’t pay the temple tax, leaving them begging on the streets, similar to what our government does to its citizens today. If our faith does not inspire us to develop righteousness higher than that, then God will assign us a place in hell with the unbelievers. Without a standard of conduct, how can we prove our faith? Caring for widows, starting with our own mothers, is not asking much from us, but still the question remains: how far must our righteousness surpass that of the Scribes and Pharisees before we are considered candidates of heaven? There is no line or gauge for this, but there is a standard that we must surpass. If we believe in Jesus for eternal life and treat people decently with respect, there is nothing in Scripture that says we can't go to heaven. See also: Your righteousness; Mat 5-20; 5h

Mat 5-20

(5h) Responsibility >> Discipleship tested >> God tests your loyalty >> Your commitment to follow Jesus – Discipleship reduces to this one thing that Jesus said, “Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” Our righteousness does two things: it shows our appreciation to Christ after we have received His grace and mercy; and it communicates to others the gospel of Christ. We cannot convey the gospel without a righteousness of our own, though this righteousness does not save us. See also: Your righteousness; 127j

(127j) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Goodness >> Rewards for doing good >> Doing good is the prerequisite to going to heaven -- People scoff at the concept of righteousness, not seeing where it plays a part in our faith, thinking that any level of righteousness is self-righteousness, but that is not the case. If we are not good Christians, we no Christians at all, but if we trust in our righteousness, then we are legalists and have nullified the grace of God, so where is the balance between these two? There are doctrines and teachings about righteousness in the Church today that resemble a knotted ball of string. We know that many of the scribes and Pharisees were wicked, so Jesus didn’t set the bar very high, but He did command us to love our enemies, and this the Pharisees did not do, suggesting it would be a good place to start. Simply, if we have no righteousness to show for our faith, then we simply don't believe. So yes, there is a place for righteousness in the Christian faith, and in fact the new covenant was given for the very purpose that we should develop and maintain a certain standard of righteousness, and let that standard continue to increase throughout our lives. The cross is for salvation and righteousness is for faith, and without a righteous faith we have no salvation. See also: Your righteousness; Mat 6-3,4; 63d

Mat 5,21-26

(24l) Sin >> Poverty (Forms of fear) >> Unrighteous anger -- Fear and sin are equivalent in that fear is the source of sin. We could probably name half a million things we are afraid of, but there is only one thing that we fear, and that is poverty. We were born and we will die, and between life and death we will scramble to amass as many resources as possible in our battle against poverty. Some succeed valiantly, becoming very rich, while others barely escape the cold pangs of hunger. Still others don't escape at all, but succumb to poverty's cold and hungry dearth. Jesus taught us not to be afraid of lacking what we need for our families, promising to sustain us if we will make serving Him our highest priority. In this verse we see a picture of bitterness rising against our neighbor and taking his life, or just being angry with our brother. Either way it is sin, lashing out at someone for threatening our security. We cannot help our condition, but we can improve our situation by not turning to sin as a means of solving problems.

Mat 5-21,22

(26b) Sin >> Consequences of sin >> Death is hell >> Sin has the sentence of hell – Jesus is telling us these things in disregard of faith in His blood sacrifice, that if He had never paid the penalty for sin, the smallest offense imaginable would be enough in the mind of God to earn us a place in hell. God cannot accept imperfection in His presence, just like Adam committed one sin, and he became a sinner. Now we know the tremendous value of this one sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross, who never committed a sin and died for sinners. Our faith in His cross has redeemed us from sin, and now we can stand before God in a state of perfection that He accomplished for us. Faith in Jesus is enough for God to accept us into His presence and into His heavenly kingdom.

(218j) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> God’s will over man >> Reaping the harvest in eternity

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Mat 5-23,24

(4l) Responsibility >> Advocate God’s cause >> Being accountable to your brother

(9j) Responsibility >> Strengthen one another >> Bear one another’s burdens If there were an ultimate burden, it would have to be unforgiveness. Attempting to help a brother who cannot forgive is a supreme act of mercy in view of the suffering involved in bitterness. To allow someone to sit in a state of discord is negligence with a consequence that God won’t accept our own gifts until we help the person from the pit of resentment. Jesus teats everyone as the most mature person of an altercation.  Also, we are the best candidate to help our brother if we are the object of his anger. Before I can worship God I must first go to my brother and resolve any relationship problems, and then return to the altar and make our offering. Jesus is saying that if we don’t help our weaker brother, then our prayers will not be heard. Jesus is asking how we are supposed to conduct a relationship with God if we are failing on a basic level of relationship with others, and when Jesus said to be perfect, He was saying that if we go and fix what is wrecked, that will make us perfect. See also: Relating to God and man; 81c / Forgiveness; Mat 5-25,26; 161i

(81c) Thy kingdom come >> Prayer >> The priesthood >> Ministering to God – The altar represents our ministry of the Royal Priesthood that we perform as students of God’s word and disciples of prayer. Often we go to God and our relationship with Him is rich, and when we go to Him another day, we run into a brick wall. Our experience in prayer sounds like we are talking to ourselves; there is no sense of presence; He doesn't seem interested in what we have to say. Our relationship with God should be a tremendous motivator to stop sinning and fix all relationships with people so our relationship with God can flourish. If our faith does not motivate us, it is a red flag that there is something fundamentally wrong with our faith. See also: Relating to God and man; 89k

(89k) Thy kingdom come >> God convicts us of sin >> Conviction makes us conscious of sin Jesus painted the picture of presenting our offering at the altar, and this is where we realize what we must do to have genuine faith in God. Prayer opens our eyes to the sins we have committed. If a brick wall suddenly appears the moment we say “Dear Lord…,” this is usually not something we can remove through prayer; rather, we will have to do something about it. If we don’t fix our relationships with people, our relationship with God will suffer, referring to a pattern of disobedience leading to a hardened heart. Erroneously we will develop the idea that we can have faith in God with frayed relationships, but if we want genuine faith, then relationships with people must also be genuine, and we learn this lesson at the altar of prayer. See also: Relating to God and man; 137l

(137l) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Maturity >> Maturing with our brothers >> Maturity is tested by our relationship with others – Why can’t we go to heaven the same day we get saved? Why do we need to keep living in this world? God has a plan in place and is implementing it; He wants us to live the way we will in heaven. He wants us to practice living in heaven before we get there, with all the hindrances in our way to prove that this is what we really want. He wants us to willingly become slaves of righteousness in this life so we won’t feel like slaves in heaven. The obstacles in the way of godliness are to our advantage, in that hardships and difficulties make our efforts to live a godly life more meaningful. It answers the question: what if we had an option to act contrary to those in heaven, would we still choose godliness? If we were never given the opportunity to answer that question, we may always wonder about it. We don’t always choose godliness in this life; often we sin and offend God and man, but then we repent and mend relationships. When we get to heaven, there will not be obstacles and hindrances in our way, but we will know that if there were hindrances, we would still serve the Lord, because that is what we did in this life. Despite the circumstances, we serve the Lord, and that will stay with us forever. We know we love God because we proved it; we are not left to wonder about it. God in His foresight knows that these questions need to be answered now. See also: Relating to God and man; 189b / God's perspective on suffering and evil is in light of eternity; 1Cor 12-26,27; 136b

(189b) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Holy sacrifice >> Holy offering -- According to the ways of God, He requires our sacrifice and then uses it to heal us. Although our sacrifices may bless God and help others, it probably benefits us more than anyone. What is the greater sacrifice, to throw a couple dollars in the till, or to help someone resolve their bitterness. The fact is, if you are mature enough to help someone get through their bitterness toward you, chances are their anger is based on a misunderstanding or on something you unintentionally did, or may have never done at all. People get mad at shadows and let their anger ruin their lives. Sadly, there is often no substance to the complaints that destroy people. See also: Relating to God and man; 224i

(224i) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Description of heaven >> The people of heaven >> Traits of those who make it to heaven – We maintain a good relationship with the Lord by the word of God and prayer and by maintaining good relationships with people. Jesus is showing the difference between a religion and a relationship with God. Religion says, ‘I am going to the altar and don’t care about anybody else.’ Relationship says, ‘I will do whatever it takes to maintain my faith in God.’ Those who love God have a rich experience with Him, so we mend relationships among family, friends and acquaintances, so we can minister to God in the richness of His restored presence. It is definitely worth groveling to our fellow man, especially if it was our sin that caused the break in the first place. It doesn’t matter if the person receives our apology. If he doesn’t, it indicates the condition of his own relationship with God. See also: Relating to God and man; 250f

(235c) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Tithing >> Be faithful in your tithes >> Unfaithfulness nullifies your tithe

(250f) Priorities >> God’s prerequisites >> Sequence of priorities >> Natural then the spiritual (obedience then anointing) -- Do we want to carry the torch of the anointing? Do we want to do something great for God? We must first mend relationship with people before we can proceed to spiritual things. We cannot leapfrog over personal issues and expect God to hand us His power and authority. If we are not mature enough to maintain relationships, then we will fudge the spiritual things too, and people will get hurt. See also: Relating to God and man; Mat 5-25,26; 161i

Mat 5-25,26

(161i) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Satan’s attitude determines our direction >> Carried Away by Condemnation >> Condemnation based on evidence of sin -- Here we see the sequence of events that lead to bitterness and the fallout of its terrorizing consequences. First, we understand that Satan wants us bitter and unforgiving, so he masterminds a hostile environment in the world to make it seem normal to be bitter. Once we build up resentment for someone it takes over our mind and carries us away to a milieu of dungeons wherein we are tormented day and night, or we could just learn to forgive and be free. See also: Relating to God and man; Mat 5,27-48; 94e / Forgiveness; Mat 5-29,30; 190b

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Mat 5,27-48

(94e) Thy kingdom come >> Perspective >> God’s Perspective on the Church -- These verses go with verses 21&22. The beatitudes are where we learn the true heart of Jesus and how He lived in the flesh. It is also where our own sinful nature is strongly admonished; it is where we see the long way to go before we approach becoming like Jesus in our behavior. After all, how can we live like Him in a world full of need and greed? That is the point -- We keep forgetting that Jesus is with us and will supply all our needs. If we partially fulfill His word, then no one will benefit; but if we live for Him every day, people will come to realize that we are with God and God is with us. There will be those who will persecute us, but if we live well, others will respect us and want the secret to our success. We will be at the heart of a spiritual war simply by loving our enemies through faith in Jesus without even saying a word. Then imagine what will happen when we open our mouth and release the word of God! See also: Relating to God and man; Mat 5-23,24; 9j

Mat 5-27,28

(22i) Sin >> Lust (craving pleasure) >> Lust of the eyes – The one who is enslaved to lust is very discontented, frustrated and unhappy. Lust is death warmed over by death (Jm 1-14,15). Temptation is one thing, but paying attention to it is another, reanimating it like a zombie that comes after us, seeking our life that we received from God. Temptation turns to lust, producing death, and once lust is conceived, it gives birth to sin; the process is set in motion with no way to stop it. That is why Jesus said not to even look at her. We think sin is like a beautiful butterfly that floats on the air currents without a care in the world. That is the promise of sin, but it never delivers. Lust is like the chrysalis that the caterpillar builds imprisoning itself, knowing that a transformation internally is occurring but knowing nothing about how it works. Both James and the Lord concur that once the larva has formed, it is only a matter of time before the adult stage of the insect will emerge, not as a beautiful butterfly but as a stinging locus that consumes the fruit of our labors and destroys us in the end. Jesus is outlining the transformative process of temptation from lust to sin. The only control we have is to avoid paying attention to it, or sin will become irresistible. See also: Lust; 74b

(74b) Thy kingdom come >> The heart >> God wants a relationship with your heart – Jesus is revealing the true nature of our relationship with God by giving us an example of the opposite. He taught that meditating on thoughts of adultery is equivalent to the act itself. Therefore, the opposite must also be true in regard to faith. As we meditate on the Scriptures, our thoughts about God are more than just wishful thinking; they are the very substance of His kingdom. Literal as He takes our adulterous thoughts, so He takes our desire for righteousness. Renewing our minds through prayer in the Scriptures, meditating on the thoughts of God, sensing the elation of His presence, our experiences with God are just as real as the man who meditates on thoughts of adultery. As we grow in the things of God and in the power of the age to come, these are more than emotions; they are the very pillars of God’s kingdom being built in our lives. If God takes our thoughts of adultery literally, then He takes our meditations on Him just as literally. To the extent that we feel God’s Kingdom established in our heart is the extent that God is literally establishing His kingdom in us. It is more than a feeling (as Boston put it). We can have a special time with God in our prayer closet or a praise and worship session at church with a body of believers and truly sense the presence of God; if our thoughts of adultery are the same as the act of adultery, then our thoughts and feelings about God are just as real. See also: Lust; 134j

(74j) Thy kingdom come >> Heart of man is sinful >> Sin is conceived in the heart

(134j) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Sins of the body >> Immorality >> Adultery >> Physical adultery – The old covenant was based on laws and ordinances, whereas the new covenant is based on the Holy Spirit who dwells in us and knows the thoughts and intensions of the heart (Heb 4-12). This can be divided into two considerations. In the new covenant case, when looking upon a woman to lust for her, the sin has already been committed; it is not a question anymore as to whether the man has sinned. In the old covenant case, the man goes through with his lustful thoughts and has an adulterous affair. We have the wishing on the one hand and the doing on the other. Jesus is saying that the doing is the result of the wishing, that if we hadn’t wished for an adulterous affair, it wouldn’t have happened. Jesus is getting to the root of sin, suggesting that the new covenant is the root of the old covenant. If we mow down the weeds in our garden, it will spread the seeds evenly throughout the garden while leaving the roots intact; they will just grow again and spread more seeds. What we must do is get on our knees with a digger and root out the weeds in our garden one by one and cast them in a pail and dispose of them before they propagate and overrun our garden. Our wishes and desires are hindering God’s will in our lives, and if we let them go, they will eventually manifest. Supposing a man had thousands of weedy thoughts over the years, but had only one adulterous affair, suggests that all the weedy thoughts produced the one act of adultery. If we don’t do anything to keep our passions and desires in check, inevitably they will manifest. See also: Lust; 22i

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Mat 5-29,30

(47c) Judgment >> Hell is a place of sorrow >> Hell is to be avoided at any cost If you are so committed to repenting that you are willing to poke your eyes out and cut off our hands, then we should be committed enough to repent without having to maim ourselves. Jesus knew that, so was He being literal here? No, He wasn't being literal about maiming ourselves, but He was being literal about committing ourselves to whatever extent it takes to avoid hell. See also: Hell; 190b

(189i) Masochism (Key verse)

(190b) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Masochism (Self-made martyr) >> Taking your sinful nature by force -- Let's face it, even if we cut off our hand, if repentance were not in our heart, we would simply find another way to sin. Even so, Christ wants us to become separate from our old ways. Although Christ did not mean that we should really harm ourselves, our level of commitment against sin should rival the commitment it would take to cut off our limbs, expressed in more practical ways. After all, once we repent God could use our hand for His own purposes, so leave them on. Salvation is a free gift; our sins are forgiven, and there is nothing we need do to get saved, so can we continue in sin and expect God to forgive us? God would say we had the wrong idea about salvation. Since He has saved us from our sins (Mat 1-21), it would be preposterous to still live in it (Rom 6-1,2). Christianity is more than believing in a set of doctrines; we believe in God; we believe in His attributes and in His character, and sin is the antithesis of that. The problem with many people in the Church today is they are not interested in doing God’s will; many live however they feel. Christians today act like wild animals that take His food but want nothing to do with Him; do we receive His blessings and want nothing to do with Him? God wants us to subject our sinful flesh to His will, that we might choose Him over our corrupt desires, harnessing our bodies and putting us to work for his purpose. See also: Hell; 209g / Forgiveness; Mat 5,43-48; 31b

(209g) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Righteous saved with difficulty >> Righteous saved with casualties -- Symbolically, the word "casualties" means our fingers and our eye balls, but literally it means that some will not repent, and their sin will cause them to wander from the faith and lose their souls. To them, Jesus was speaking literal about dismembering their bodies to avoid hell if that is what it takes. Better go fetch the axe. See also: Hell; 232b

(232b) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the kingdom >> Count the cost >> The cost is more than you can imagine so don’t count – If hellfire obliterates its inhabitants, then how could Jesus' statement be true? If hell only involved temporary pain, wouldn’t it be worth living a self-centered life as a sinner, to go through only a few moments of terror before annihilation? The sinner would be thrown into the lake of fire and when he hit the liquid-hot magma, his body would instantly vaporize; that doesn’t seem any worse than living without a hand or an eye. If the consequence of hell is just a flash in the pan, then sinners should use this life as one long heathen-fest and exploit their bodies to extract as much pleasure as possible before their lives are terminated; however, this is not what Jesus is telling us in these verses. Hell is eternal punishment, where its residents remain alive forever, defined as consciously aware of their existence, environment and circumstances. Whatever it takes to avoid hell, that is the level of commitment we should have to seek heaven. See also: Hell; 246c

(246c) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Literal manifestations >> Literally set free from bondage This is one of Jesus' many scary statements that make us fear God. He was saying that bondage to sin can lead to hell. Most people don’t know what to think about hell. Evangelicals and Baptists don’t seem to have a problem with it; they’re saved and going to heaven, so they don’t have to worry about it. The era of fire and brimstone preaching has come and gone, ridiculed to death, so now churches don’t usually preach about hell. There are other groups who look more seriously at hell as a place of eternal torment, being why Jesus said it would be better to go lame or become a Cyclops, than to keep our body parts only to be thrown into hell. He wasn’t spiritualizing it or being figurative; he was speaking literally; it really would be better to temporarily suffer a self-inflicted wound than to suffer forever in hell; there is nothing figurative about that. However, before we harm ourselves, we should consider that if our commitment against sin is serious enough to lop off a hand, we would quit sinning before we severed an appendage. See also: Hell; 47c

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Mat 5-31,32

(3f) Responsibility >> To the Family >> Divorce because of your hardness of heart – Marriage with a good sexual relationship is usually a good marriage, but marriages have been known to dissolve even when the couples have common interests, usually because of personality clashes. Also, people with similar personalities can break up from a conflict of interests. Either way selfishness is at the center of divorce. They say opposites attract, yet couples break-up because of differences; divorce is rampant because the couples are not alike in their souls. The mixture must be just right for the marriage to work from a human standpoint, but in the eyes of God if both become less selfish, almost any marriage will work. It is about setting priorities; first, our intended should have a working relationship with the Lord, then the couple should be compatible. Combine that with a few common interests and a healthy sex life, and these marriages endure for a lifetime.

Mat 5,33-37

(2a) Keep your commitments (Key verse)

(2e) Responsibility >> Keep your commitments >> it is better not to vow at all – God has made an oath in Heb 6,16-20; however, Jesus strongly advised against us making oaths. For man to give an oath is gambling with his weakness and his lack of knowledge; but for God to make an oath is sure to happen. When we swear to do something, it makes us obligated to do it. It is no longer something we should do, but something we must do, but we cannot break an oath we never made. People are not particularly good at keeping promises, and so they invented the paper-promise, the signature, and since we started signing our name, our word has come to mean little to nothing. Now people say things and renege seeming without any repercussions, but their conscience is destroyed. Moreover, there are things that occur in life that make it impossible to fulfill our vows, such as a case in the book of Acts when a band of thugs made an oath to kill Paul before they ate another meal. Meanwhile, Paul caught wind of it and was escorted from His jail cell to an undisclosed location, so the thugs were not able to keep their oath (Act 23,12-25). Do you think they starved to death? Of course they didn’t; they ate and broke their vow. Their life was more important than their word, but their word became worthless, and back then their word was everything. A person can try to excuse himself, saying, 'Circumstances occurred that were beyond my control,' but there is always one thing we can always do, and that is to not vow at all.

(85k) Thy kingdom come >> Words of your mouth >> Better not to say anything >> Words will make you obligated

Mat 5,38-48

(34n) Gift of God >> Be generous like your Father >> Love your enemies -- These verses go with verse 7. Jesus wants us to love not just our friends and family but also our neighbors and even our enemies. Loving our enemies is one of the hardest things a Christian will ever do by faith. Jesus knew how hard this commandment would be on our sinful nature, but He didn’t care. He absolutely expects us to walk in love without letting others determine whether we love them. We are to love everyone no matter what they do. That doesn’t mean we should make ourselves a target for their abuse, though Jesus said in verse 39, “Do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” This is making ourselves available to abuse, but Jesus was trying to communicate that if the guy actually slapped us the second time, it would bring conviction to his heart to finally open his ears and listen to the gospel that we are preaching to them. In other words, it is an evangelism tool; this is how we get people saved through love. Letting the guy slap us communicates to the person that we are willing to endure his abuse for the sake of his eternal salvation. See also: Love your enemies; 43j

(43j) Judgment >> Satan destroyed in the absence of sin >> Perfected in love Loving our brother completes our faith, but loving our enemies is tantamount to being perfect. God is not interested in us having mental ascent; instead, he wants us to show Him that we are His children. God has indeed perfected us through the blood of His Son so that we stand before Him perfect and complete, but then He wants us to demonstrate our standing with Him to prove we are His children (Jm 1,2-4). If we all put these verses into practice, what could Satan do to us? His so-called power over the world would crumble without saying a word. See also: Love your enemies; 124j

(124j) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love your enemies >> Love your enemies because God loves His -- This is the most anti-war rhetoric that in all literature. They might also be the most difficult verses to read and accept as a way of life, yet they confirm how right we are in believing in Jesus. I am proud to be a Christian, because His cause was only good; I am confident that He will never lead me to harm another person, since He never did any harm to anyone. If everyone everywhere together were to put these verses into practice, it would solve every problem in the world. See also: Love your enemies; 192c

(192c) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Result of putting off the old man >> Gain by losing >> Life for life >> Losing your identity to gain God’s identity -- I cannot over-stress the term "Process of substitution." God does not ask us to give up anything that He will not replace. With God we must lose to win, we must give up our lives to receive His life, we must lose our identity to gain His, but at a small price. We must love our enemies as He loved His. See also: Love your enemies; Mat 5,43-48; 31b

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Mat 5,43-48

(31b) Gift of God >> God is our Father >> He favors you as a servant – Jesus is the exact representation of the Father, and He called us to love our enemies because He loved His. God is one to forgive a sin, to overlook an injustice. He is gracious to those who spitefully use Him, and the result was salvation for the world, because we did these things to Him. It may be a hard thing to ask to love our enemies, but we must remember that it is to our salvation that God loves His enemies, for in this way He forgives our trespasses. The love we show those who hate us will complete God’s purpose for pardoning us. Jesus said to do it as His sons and daughters, and if love will be the norm in heaven, then He wants us to pay it forward and behave as we will in His presence. See also: Love your enemies; 122e / Forgiveness; Mat 6-12; 119g

(122e) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Confidence in yourself as you die to sin >> Confident in your salvation – If a person were racist, and someone of a different color did nothing against him, it would be easy to love him, except that he is racist. How much more do the sons of God love their enemies, who are not racists? This is what develops confidence in God. We can do a host of things; we can become relief workers, running behind hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes, helping victims of natural disasters, and still lack confidence in our salivation. However, that is not the case when we love our enemies, because it is unnatural to our sinful nature. Only Christians do this; the world does not teach us to love our enemies. Rather, the world teaches to be nice. Being nice and loving our enemies are two different things. Being nice is a humanistic form of love, based on principles and definitions that we determine for ourselves, but to love our enemies, if someone takes our shirt, we must let him have our coat also. Jesus was the least materialistic person on earth, though he owns everything in heaven. He owns the universe, but in this life He showed no interest in material things, which can only mean that He feels the same way in heaven. He doesn’t take pride in His possessions, though He may remind us occasionally that He is our creator. He takes pride in His character, in the fact that He loves His enemies. See also: Love your enemies; 124k

(124k) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love your enemies >> Love your enemies that you may not become like them The truth of this passage is undeniable, for the sun really does shine indiscriminately on everyone, and it rains based on weather patterns, not based on the people who live there. Loving our enemies is one of the greatest works of our faith, because it demonstrates that we are the children of God more than anything else we could do. Ungrateful and evil men are those who blame God for the darkness and evil that is in them and in the world, yet Jesus said that His Father is kind to them. God takes credit for every good thing in a sinner’s life as though giving directly to him: a warm spring day, a balmy summer afternoon, a grilled steak and a glass of ice-cold water.... See also: Love your enemies; 246j

(156da) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of salvation >> Loving your fellow man is evidence of salvation >> Love your enemies -- These verses go with verses 11,12

(246j) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Demonstration of God’s kingdom >> God demonstrates His glory >> Outward demonstration of an inward work – We have the opportunity of a lifetime to demonstrate God’s love and kindness, because in heaven we won’t have enemies. Imagine being in heaven having never been given this life, bragging that we would love our fellow man regardless of the circumstances. It would all be conjecture since we could never prove it, but now we can. Jesus said that His Father causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good and He sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. The rain does not discriminate between the righteous and the wicked, though the Old Testament prophecies indicate that God will literally rain on the righteous and not the wicked during the Millennium (Zechariah 14-17). However, during our current era of randomness the natural forces are not capable of making decisions about where to rain. Look at the apostle Paul; he was a persecutor and a violent aggressor against the Church when Christ called him into service. Just as God naturally loves His enemies by sending the sun and the rain on them, so He wants us to joyfully love our enemies, to be indiscriminant as the rain, even as God drenches the earth with essential water. Therefore, if God commands us to prove we are His children in this life, it suggests that God intends to manifest His kingdom in the natural realm. Heaven is not just a spiritual place, but also a physical place. For this reason He wants us to manifest our faith in the physical realm, because God is the kind of person to think that if it doesn’t manifest in the natural realm, then it isn’t worth a plug nickel. Had God designed us a spiritual kingdom with no potential to manifest in a physical sense, it would be good for nothing, and if God intends to give us such a life, then we should be preparing for it now, behaving like His children, loving our enemies. If showing a simple gesture of greeting a stranger would make a difference in the world, how powerful a testimony is loving our enemies? See also: Love your enemies; Mat 5,43-45; 88a

Mat 5,43-45

(32i) Gift of God >> Father will honor you if you die to self >> Honor His word in you -- These verses go with verses 11&12

(45k) Judgment >> Spiritual warfare >> Subjecting your flesh >> Satan VS the saints >> Defeating Satan in weakness of sinful flesh – People spread rumors in the community as a way of persecuting the Church; that is what they did to Jesus trying to make Him into a monster, and after 3˝ years the only evidence they had against Him was the statement He made about the temple being torn down and rebuilt in three days, and the Good Confession He made as the Son of God in their kangaroo court. Even then the only way they could get Him crucified was to cause a riot and threaten to bring down the whole city if they didn’t get their way. If they are pushed to prove their accusations, they can spin the argument however they wish. They tried the same tactics on the Apostle Paul, and he went through the legal system, which demanded proof of their accusations, and since they had none, Paul’s accusers were no-shows in court, which ultimately led to His release only after years of incarceration, where he wrote the majority of his epistles, many of which were added to the New Testament. 

(88a) Thy kingdom come >> Faith produces works >> Relationship between faith and works >> Works establish your faith – Loving our enemies develops confidence that we are indeed the children of God, which in turn encourages us to love our enemies all the more, which will help us to further realize that we are the children of God. This snowball effect will cause the world to stand up and take notice. It is a known fact that the Church has always increased spiritually and numerically in times of persecution and martyrdom. If there is a snowball effect that builds faith as we love our enemies, then there is also a snowball effect that erodes our faith if we don’t love our enemies. Just like persecution and martyrdom affects the world for good, causing salvation, so refusing to love our enemies will have a negative effect on the world, influencing people to reject the gospel of Christ. So do we have a choice to love our enemies? Not really! See also: Love your enemies; Mat 5-44,45; 33b

(207la) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Salvation verses >> The kindness of God >> God is kind to sinners >> He calls sinners to repentance – Jesus didn’t use all kinds of superlatives to explain God’s love to us; instead, He died for our sins; that is what we needed. Emotional expressions of love are not from God. To look for something that a person needs and give it to him; that is the love of God. To the degree that the sun is indiscriminate on whomever it shines, models for us to be indiscriminate on whomever we love.

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Mat 5-44,45

(33b) Gift of God >> God is our Father >> Believers are His sons and daughters -- These verses go with verse 9. For the person who seems to have faith but doesn’t have confidence, the best advice for him is to love his enemies, for this promotes confidence in our salvation like nothing else. Note the word that is missing in this verse: “like”. Jesus did not say we might be like sons and daughters of our Father in heaven, but that we would in fact be His sons and daughters. This is our confidence before God that we love our enemies, frankly that we love all people. When Jesus told us to love our enemies, probably the first thing that comes to mind is stark terror, but if we don’t love our enemies, then we are not His children. The second emotion that passes through most of us after reading this verse is serenity, knowing that God doesn’t stop loving us when we sin anymore than the sun stops shining on us when we sin. See also: Love your enemies; Mat 5,38-48; 34n

(35d) Gift of God >> God is willing to Give >> No partiality with God’s generosity -- Just as there is no partiality with God's judgment, so neither is there any partiality with His kindness and generosity. They work the same, only they are opposites. A person can receive good things from God His whole life even without believing in Him, and then die and be judged by God with the same impartiality that he enjoyed on earth. 

(124g) Love Your Enemies (Key verse)

(126j) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Patience >> Have the patience of God

Mat 5-48

(43f) Perfect (mature) (Key verse)

 

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MATTHEW CHAPTER 6

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Mat 6,1-4

(124b) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Acts of love >> Love takes from the rich and gives to the poor >> love is the act of giving to the poor – Jesus exonerates giving to the poor as a chief expression of our righteousness; this is reiterated many times throughout both Old and New Testaments; but if we give with the wrong motive, to be admired for example, we have received our reward in full. All too often there are many opportunities to give to the poor, but in this day and age, it seems everybody has an angle, so when we think we are giving to the poor, we are often giving to a scam artist. Many of these people have potential to hold down a job and work for a living, but they prefer to lie, cheat and steal, and we are supposed to finance their decision. In these days of welfare and food stamps how do we distinguish the poor from alcoholics, drug addicts and professional panhandlers? Shysters pretend to be poor but are just lazy and refuse to work, neglecting their children. It is only the children who are poor and not the parents, so we should help the children, but how do we know the money we give the parents won’t go to their vise of choice? A panhandler who is a drunk is not considered poor. They may be utterly dysfunctional and self-destructive, and their lives may be thus reduced to nothing, but that does not fit the definition of the poor according to the Bible. They need to get saved and deal with their bondage, but when we preach Jesus to them, they almost never respond to the gospel. The “poor” are better defined as those who work hard for a living but can’t make ends meet and respond to the gospel when they hear it. See also: Scam artist; Mat 6-3,4; 235e / Being poor doesn't automatically make you a Christian; Jm 2,5-7; 222d

(174h) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Form of godliness >> Self righteousness >> Appearing righteous before men -- Here is one of those situations where we must rightly divide the word of truth, and when we do, we can better understand the Scriptures. Contrast verse 1 with Mat 5-16, "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." One tells us to let people see our good works and the other cautions us against practicing our righteousness before men. We can get semantic and make our case on the difference, but the heart of the matter is that one is practicing righteousness to glorify God, while the other is doing so to glorify self. Therefore, we should practice our righteousness before men and let our light shine, but do it for God and not for our own vain glory. See also: Self-righteousness; Mat 6-1,2; 159d

Mat 6-1,2

(159d) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Counterfeit godliness >> Counterfeit righteousness – Motives make the difference between a temporal reward and an eternal reward. The Bible as a whole teaches that giving to the poor is one of the most righteous acts we can do, but if we do it with a wrong motive, God will not honor us. What is God’s reward; is it more money that we can give to the poor; then why doesn’t He just give it directly to the poor? Many of the prosperity teachers who have concocted doctrines such as “Give to get” might as well close their Bible and put it back on the shelf. In all our studies if these are our conclusions, we’ve wasted our time. Although it is true that if we give, God will give back all the more, as it says in Lk 6-38, “They will pour into your lap a good measure -pressed down, shaken together, and running over,” He desires to reward us in this life in the direction He is leading us. Jesus taught, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Mat 6,19-21). Nevertheless, people have found ways to turn God’s promises into an opportunity to for the flesh and to amass the unrighteous mammon, and those bending kingdom principles will be victims of Jesus’ warning, “Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full” (Mat 6-2). People are not storing up treasures in heaven these days; rather, everything they do is aimed at benefiting themselves. See also: Self-righteousness; Mat 6-1; 76f

Mat 6-1

(76f) Thy kingdom come >> Wicked motives >> Motives based on self-righteousness – We should use the Scriptures to carefully define the poor and help those who meet that definition, not for our sake but for the poor in hope of receiving an eternal reward. Jesus didn’t condemn the pursuance of eternal rewards, simply because they are acts of faith. To live our lives for the sake of the life to come underscores everything Jesus taught. If we help the poor in hope of receiving an eternal reward, that is not selfish but is being like God, but if we help the poor to be noticed by men, God will assume we don’t want an eternal reward. When we get to heaven, God will pull out our report card and show us our motives, and we won’t be able to deny it. See also: Self-righteousness; Mat 6-5; 169h

(169h) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Seeking the glory of man >> Loving the approval of men rather than the approval of God >> Love to be noticed by men -- This verse goes with verse 5

(227a) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Rewards of heaven >> God rewards us for obeying Him >> God rewards what we do for Him in secret -- This verse goes with verse 4. God is watching us in secret. We don’t get saved and go to heaven right away; we live out the rest of our days in this world by faith, promoting the Kingdom of God. He wants us to walk by faith, because He too lives by faith. Before God created the universe nothing existed, and so when He spoke the stars into heaven, He said it by faith. Everything He does is by faith, and He wants to give us the same opportunity, and one of the aspects of living and walking by faith is cultivating righteousness, and one of the key components of our righteousness is giving to the poor. This should be one of the main tenets of our faith in Jesus; it should be an aspect of our relationship with God and a facet of our ministry to the world.

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Mat 6-3,4 

(63d) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Righteous deception >> Righteous self-deception – Not letting our left hand know what our right hand is doing is mental manipulation with good motives, but sinners use this concept when they sin to deny what they are doing. We should not gloat over our righteousness or consider ourselves holy because of our kindness. These are not the things that justify us before God; a person could say, why does God want us to have our own righteousness? If God is good and if we are His children, then we should reflect His attributes in our behavior and live accordingly. See also: Your righteousness; Mat 6-1 / Mat 6-4; 227a

(235e) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Tithing >> Offerings >> Help your weaker neighbor (alms) – Certain people may be on welfare and food stamps and every known subsidy, yet their children receive none of the benefit, because it all goes to tobacco, drugs and alcohol. They know all the angles. They learn from their friends how to exploit the system and turn benefits into money they can spend on things other than their children. This does not meet the definition of the poor according to the Bible, for the biblical definition of the poor are those who are most susceptible to receiving the gospel, but preach Jesus to these people and see what comes of it. It is very difficult to actually help the poor of the world today, and those who are truly poor are suffering all the more because of the pseudo-poor. One of the best ways to help the poor these days is to get to know them; don’t just give them money; take them to a restaurant and buy them a meal. In the winter if they are wearing tennis shoes and we give them a new pair of insolated boots and extra socks, they might sell them to buy alcohol, and then get drunk and pass out wearing the tennis shoes and get frostbite and their feet amputated (true story). It is very difficult to help the poor these days. Those who work for a living and are trying their best to make ends meet are those most in need of help, but they are usually not the ones asking for help. See also: Scam artist; Mat 6,1-4; 124b

Mat 6-4

(227a) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Rewards of heaven >> God rewards us for obeying Him >> God rewards what we do for Him in secret -- This verse goes with verse 6. This is not to say that God doesn't reward us for the things we do in the sight of men, but there are some good things that are best done in secret, such as prayer. For another example, alms are gifts to the poor, typically understood as the poor outside the Church. This kind of gift giving is best done in secret (leaving a bag of groceries at the back door, etc.), because it makes your giving seem angelic; in fact, it is God working through you to perform the ministry of angels. See also: Your righteousness; Mat 5,17-20; 90k

Mat 6,5-15

(82d) Thy kingdom come >> Three elements of prayer >> Our approach >> How to pray – Over and above God answering our prayers, God will also give us what we need, which always involves faith. When God answers our prayers, it has the effect of rewarding us with faith. We will soon notice that the times we spend in prayer are the greatest times of our lives. They are the times that God changes us in ways that defy description, transforming us into conformity with Himself. Over a period of years, we look back and discover that we are not the same person, and we notice that we have become someone we were not actually trying to emulate. He changes us in ways that are more like Him. God wants us to possess and embrace these changes. Paul talked about the fruits of the Spirit, which are the attributes of God: love, joy, peace, patience, etc. They sound good on paper, but when we are transformed into His image through the word of God and prayer, He doesn’t just place words in our hearts; He places an anointing in us that produces these fruits and develops the attributes of God that enable us the think the thoughts of God, and these thoughts are transformative. See also: Prayer; Mat 6-5; 169h

Mat 6-5

(169h) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Seeking the glory of man >> Loving the approval of men rather than the approval of God >> Love to be noticed by men -- This verse goes with verse 16. Prayer is not something we do to win social status. Few have a problem with this passage; people don’t go around bragging about how much they pray. It must be one of those things that is intuitive, but the Pharisees were guilty of this, so apparently it wasn’t intuitive to them. They were the ultimate hypocrites. Every generation has had its pharisaical hypocrites. Other than them, Jesus seemed to get through to the entire human race about this particular subject, but that does not mean there are no more hypocrites in our day who express their hypocrisy in different ways. Those who stand on street corners and pretend to be spiritual we consider mentally deranged. See also: Self-righteousness; Mat 6,1-4; 174h / Prayer; Mat 6-6; 227a

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Mat 6-6

(82g) Thy kingdom come >> Three elements of prayer >> Where to pray

(227a) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Rewards of heaven >> God rewards us for obeying Him >> God rewards what we do for Him in secret -- This verse goes with verses 16-18. The whole idea of prayer is to talk to God in hope that He will listen. In contrast, the Pharisees sought recognition from men, but Jesus is advising us to seek recognition from God. Someone might ask, ‘Isn’t that selfish to seek recognition from God?’ Jesus would give an emphatic, ‘No!’ He said in Jn 5-44, “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?” Seeking recognition from God is not selfish; in fact, there is no selfish motive for seeking His attention, who will reward us for going into our inner rooms and closing the door and praying to Him who sees in secret. He may not reward us by answering our prayers, yet He will reward us just the same; that is His promise. For God to reward us as He sees fit for seeking His presence is usually more meaningful than the things we asked in prayer. See also: Prayer; Mat 6-7; 238i

Mat 6-7

(238j) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Pursuing the knowledge of the kingdom >> Teachers >> Teachers "remind" their students >> Teaching by rote – Chanting is not an acceptable manner of prayer, because it does not come from the heart; instead, it comes from a book. We open the book to a certain page and chant meaningless repetition; meanwhile, we could be thinking about literally anything else, perhaps our neighbor’s wife or our next business swindle. Many religions chant prayers, and Jesus said that God is not honored by them; even chanting the Lord’s Prayer was not what Jesus had in mind when He taught us how to pray. God prefers that we speak to Him from the heart; He wants us to tell Him how we feel about Him, how we feel about our enemies and how we feel about our sins. If we are mad at God, He wants us to tell Him. He doesn’t have a problem with that if we are seeking Him with all our heart, in that if He can resolve the problems of our heart and correct the relationship, we will have a heart that has been trained by God and can pray and He hear us. If we care enough about God to express ourselves to Him, there is hope, but if we stiff-arm Him with various chants, it shows a lack of sincerity. See also: Prayer; Mat 6-8; 82i

Mat 6-7,8

(173c) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Catholicism >> Scripture that contradicts the catholic faith >> Catholic doctrine versus the Bible -- Chanting in the Catholic Church is integrated into its liturgy as an essential part of its ceremonies. Chanting lyrics can be found in their doctrinal theology, and in their various books of chants. Therefore, because chanting comes from a book and not from the heart, it goes unheard, and because they believe in it, it is witchcraft. God is interested in what we say to Him from the heart, not from a book. God wants us to tell Him what is on your mind; He doesn't care about our religion. 

Mat 6-8

(82i) Thy kingdom come >> Prayer >> Thankfulness >> Giving thanks for His blessings -- This verse goes with verse 11. When it comes to Christianity, God says to His people, ‘You are to be different from the world,’ and He treats us differently. He doesn’t want to just give us what we need; He wants us to ask Him for it. God wants a relationship with us and part of that relationship is thanking Him for our provisions; that way, it keeps us close to Him, because we have many needs. With God it is all about relationship, and biblical prayer is the very foundation of that relationship. He wants the truth of His word to jump off the page and live in our hearts. Those inanimate inkblots He wants to come alive and dwell in our hearts in the form of faith, and this process is accomplished through prayer. See also: Prayer; Mat 6-10; 117g

(92k) Thy kingdom come >> The narrow way connects you to God >> It solidifies your relationship with Him – Someone might ask, ‘If God knows what I need, then why do I need to tell Him?’ Let’s say there are two ships at sea, one is the supply ship and the other is the ship in need of supplies. If one radios to the supply ship and tells them what they need, why do they still need to set up a transfer line between them? The transfer line is the manner in which the ship receives supplies. For the same reason God wants us to ask Him for the things we need, because it sets up a transfer line, making a connection with God by which His provisions are transferred. God is generous and gives to people who don’t even know Him (Mat 5-45); therefore, how much more is He willing to give to His beloved children who love and adore Him? He wants that connection to make a one-to-one correspondence between our needs being met and our relationship with Him. He wants us to share our lives with Him, which the world does not do. The world prefers a lifestyle of evil without divine interference. They want what is in His hand, but they don’t want Him.

Mat 6-9

(100l) Thy kingdom come >> Devotion >> In your ministry to God >> Devoted to worshipping God – The first thing in the Lord’s Prayer is to worship God. Hallowed is another word for “holy.” Therefore, the holiness of God is something that transcends all other aspects of God. His holiness is above His grace and mercy; consequently, the Father sent His Son to die for the sins of the world to appease His holiness, and also to make a way for His grace and mercy to reach us.

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Mat 6-10

(74a) Thy kingdom come (Key verse for entire chapter) Not only is Mat 6-10 the key verse for this chapter, it is key to the entire Bible! This chapter “Thy Kingdom Come” is a list of prerequisites where each topic builds upon the previous one, where the further we go in the chapter, the more significant the topics. Its teaching revolves around walking by the word, believing in God and obeying Him to establish a firm foundation of ministry and service. One of the main lessons we gain from this chapter is that many important things are built upon faithfulness and dependability. According to the Lord’s Prayer we should live in the same way that we will live in heaven. Of course we will never achieve this until we actually get there, yet striving for it is just as important as achieving it. "Thy Kingdom Come" is the longest chapter in Jean's Bible Study, suggesting it is the most important subject of the Bible. The compelling relevance of this chapter explains in painstaking detail the process of walking and communicating with God as we establish His kingdom on the earth. Each step guides the reader into concise obedience, leading to a deep and abiding relationship with God. Spiritual maturity being the means by which we establish God's kingdom on the earth suggests that it is the main theme of the Bible and God's primary vision for the Church with "Unity" as the ultimate goal. The Scriptures verify themselves with hundreds of references attesting to the fact that we are not passive spectators but active participants of His plan and purpose for mankind.

(117g) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Eyes of your spirit >> Vision >> Real-eyes God’s purpose for the Church >> Understand Jesus' vision of the Church – “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” is a summary of God’s vision for mankind. It is a short sentence, integrated into our prayers, giving rise to God’s kingdom coming to this earth as the great hope of Christianity. The God in whom we believe will subvert all other kingdoms and establish His own kingdom in their place. We remind ourselves of this every time we pray the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus obviously wants this endtime prophecy on the frontals of our mind, though some mock the importance of endtime prophecy. Jesus wants us to pray for His coming kingdom second only to worshipping His holy name, and then reiterates His vision of a coming kingdom at the end of the Lord’s Prayer to emphasize its importance (v13), "For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen." See also: Prayer; Mat 6-11; 82i

(245o) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Literal manifestations >> Spirit realm superimposed upon the natural realm >> The natural manifesting into the spiritual -- This verse is key to understanding the entire Bible and Jesus' mission. When God sent His Son to earth to live among us on that first Christmas night, He imposed the Spirit realm on the natural realm, and God literally manifested Himself in the flesh. Now that He has created a spiritual people through His own blood, He wants us to manifest the Kingdom of God through love. God's ultimate goal has always been to create heaven on earth; it was His intension when He made the Garden of Eden, and He will fulfill His intention at the end of the age according to the book of Revelation when He makes all things new. In the mean time He wants His people to head in that direction; since our spiritual destiny is to live in heaven on earth, let's get doing it. 

Mat 6-11

(30a) Gift of God >> God is our advocate >> God knows our needs >> He is our provider – To ask God for His daily provision is to give Him thanks every time we open the refrigerator and drink a slug of juice or reach for the eggs and cheese. We have reason to thank God, because “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (Jm 1-17). Others say, ‘No, no, the farmer did it; somebody picked up His eggs and distributed them throughout the stores, and some were shipped to my corner market and I went there and bought them.’ This whole transport system set up in our country is a blessing from God. No matter what we have, even what we don’t have we give thanks to God, not just because it is the right thing to do, but because He truly deserves it.

(82i) Thy kingdom come >> Prayer >> Thankfulness >> Giving thanks for His blessings -- This verse goes with verse 8. Asking God for our daily bread represents our leash. To the degree that we have a need to eat is the degree to which we should pray. This is reiterated in various ways throughout the Bible; Job said, “I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23-12); and Jesus refused to turn the stone into bread during His temptations in the desert saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God’” (Mat 4-4). To hunger for God more than food, that is what fasting means. If we had to choose between eating and our relationship with God, we would rather starve to death than forsake God; that is what fasting says. Giving thanks before each meal says the same thing, only in celebration of life. the shorter the leash, representing prayer before each meal, the more evidence that God treasures our fellowship. See also: Prayer; Mat 6,5-15; 82d

Mat 6-12,13

(43i) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Perfected by God – We all know that God would never lead us into temptation; in fact James came right out and said it, “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.” So, what did Jesus mean by “Lead us not into temptation”? We know that God will allow us to be tempted. We also know that trials and temptations have a way of perfecting us if we overcome them. Therefore, He was teaching us to pray to avoid the whole process of perfection through trial and error, but to allow God to be our teacher instead. The fact that it is in the Lord’s prayer suggests that this is His preferred way. However, if we will not serve Him or obey Him, then there are always trials and temptations that will do the work for Him. If we are the children of God that we claim, we will be required to overcome. Jesus warned that in this life we will have tribulation (Jn 16-33), so not all our trouble stems from weakness, but also from the sins of others.

Mat 6-12

(119g) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Freedom >> Debt free – We forgive those who sin against us as a reminder of our own forgiveness from God. Therefore, to the degree that we don’t forgive those who offend us is the degree to which we have forgotten the grace and mercy that God has extended to us. So, to forgive our debtors is to be debt-free and demonstrates to God our appreciation for His forgiveness. Jesus said if we refuse to forgive our debtors, God will not forgive us, meaning we will lose our faith and possibly our place in heaven because of bitterness. This is how critical it is that we should demonstrate our faith in Him. It is not enough that we say we love God; He wants us to show Him. We will often fail, and when we do, we repent and continue in faith. Repentance in God’s mind completely covers our sin, but outside of repentance He is mindful of the things we do against Him, for these are the things that sent His Son to the cross. The blood of Christ erases our sin from the mind of God through repentance so that He does not count these things against us. See also: Forgiveness; 120d

(120d) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Forgiveness >> Forgiving your brother >> As God has forgiven you -- The word "As" is a big one in this verse (NAS). In the English language, it is used to mean either "While" or "to the same degree" In this case it is the second usage. That means God forgives us to the same degree that we forgive our fellow man. So if we partially forgive our brother, then He partially forgives us! However, this is not a heaven or hell kind of forgiveness, but one that determines our fate in this life, the heavy burden of guilt only partially lifted, according to our own standard of forgiveness. Remember the healing of the paralytic in Mark chapter 2? Jesus forgave his sins as (while) He healed the man. The paralytic was healed and forgiven according to his faith. In the same way, God lifts our burden of guilt according to our standard of forgiveness and forgives us according to our faith. All things from God are on the basis of faith. See also: Forgiveness; Mat 6,13-18; 255f

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Mat 6,13-18

(255f) Trinity >> Father, Son and Holy Spirit >> The process of imparting the substance of God >> Father discloses the word by the Spirit -- The ultimate revelation and premise of all spiritual knowledge is putting the word of God into practice through prayer. This includes instilling in our hearts the lessons of forgiveness, because without that our prayers will bounce off the ceiling until we learn to forgive those who wrong us. Forgiveness is one of the greatest proofs that we know and believe in God, in that it is one the highest forms of love, and God is love. If we are willing to forgive our neighbor, it conveys that we are forgiven. It is a rare thing to see someone free from the burden of bitterness, but it should be as common as the number of Christians in the world. See also: Forgiveness; Mat 6-14,15; 120e

Mat 6-13

(227g) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> God working in you >> Depending on Jesus to have compassion >> Depending on Jesus to deliver us – Someone might say, ‘Of course God would not lead us into temptation!’ Why then did Jesus tell us to pray that God would not lead us into temptation if He would never do it? Didn’t God lead Job into temptation by allowing Satan to take everything that was precious to him? Initially, it wasn't God’s idea to test Job, but after Satan brought it up, God did not advocate for Job, instead agreed with the devil to test him. God tested Job through Satan to see what was in him, and it proved that Job was faithful and loved God with all his heart. It proved this not only to God but also to the devil, and it was for this reason that God agreed to test Job. There is a relationship between God and the devil that we don't completely understand. All we know for sure is that God is interested in proving the devil wrong about his choice to do evil. It is so important to God that He will allow suffering and evil in our lives and give us grace to endure it just to prove that we are not like the devil. This message was communicated to Satan with great suffering on Job’s part, but it was worth it to God, and ultimately Job benefited from it in this life, and in the life to come he will be all the more glorified through victory over his temptations. Why then wouldn’t God lead us into temptation if there are so many benefits? Jesus told us to pray daily that God advocate for our welfare, rather than allow evil to come upon us, though we stand to benefit either way. When Satan says, ‘Hey God, I want to test your disciples,’ our previous prayers may lead God to deny his request. This way we have an easier and better life, and we can prove to God in other ways that we love Him, in ways outlined in the Lord's Prayer: worship His name, live as we will in heaven, give thanks for his provision and forgive those who offend us. Those who have been tested are blessed in ways that an easy life cannot give, and they develop wisdom and intimacy with God that an easy life cannot acquire. Whether we are blessed or tested we win, so long as we remain faithful. See also: God allows suffering and evil to test us like He tested Job; Mk 15,10-32; 25g

Mat 6-14,15

(120a) Forgiveness (Key verse)

(120e) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Forgiveness >> Forgiving your brother >> Don’t forgive your brother and God won’t forgive you – Of all the things Jesus said in the Lord’s Prayer, reiterating forgiveness was most befitting, because it is most difficult. People do things to us that are sometimes incomprehensible. When the world offends us, we understand it better than when a brother offends us. Worldly, unregenerate people are greedy and self-serving, they care nothing for anybody but sacrifice whomever to get what they want. However, when a brother offends us, it is always harder to forgive because it hurts more. It is discouraging to our faith to have a fellow believer take advantage of us. Whether they are Christians or non-Christians we are obligated to forgive, but He didn’t say to forgive and forget. We don’t have to trust those who sin against us; in fact, we would be advised not to trust them. Someone might say that it would not be genuine forgiveness if the relationship were not restored, but this is simply not true; forgiveness is not meant for the other person; it is meant for the one who forgives. We should let the Lord lead us whether we should attempt to restore the relationship through the offender's repentance. There are other times when trying to restore a person is futile and even foolish. See also: Forgiveness; Mat 5-23,24; 9j

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Mat 6-14

(156da) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of salvation >> Loving your fellow man is evidence of salvation >> Love your enemies – If one is a Christian in name only, we cannot win him to the Lord. There is no one harder to win to Christ than the person who already thinks he’s saved. Doesn’t a person know when he believes and when he doesn’t? Not always! That is like saying there are people who think they are in pain when in fact they’re not.’ They ought to know if they are in pain. This is the mindset of Christendom in regard to belief. They say, ‘I ought to know if I believe… I ought to know if my arm hurts... I ought to know if I am happy.’ However, the Bible equates belief with obedience, so we may think we believe, but if we don't obey the Lord, then we are just fooling ourselves, and if we are obedient to Christ, then we show evidence of our faith. We all commit sin occasionally while believing in God, which creates a gray area that is neither faith nor unbelief but disobedience, which we should avoid like the plague. The more gray area in our lives, the more doubts we have about God, but the less gray area, the more confidence. See also: Gray area; Mat 6-22,23; 22i / Difference between faith and confidence; 2Tim 2-19; 97j

(208bb) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Salvation verses >> The kindness of God >> You can be saved without ever hearing about Jesus

Mat 6,16-18

(189k) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Masochism (Self-made martyr) >> Fasting >> Fasting is a state of mourning -- There are questions about how to fast and  when, but a better question is: why? What is fasting? We could see it as a simulation of suicide, only not as an analogy of killing yourselves, but of starving the sinful nature (often referred in the Bible as "The old man"). It serves as an illustration as to how we unfasten the fetters of sin. We don't attack it or run from it (usually), but simply neglect it. It carries the message that just as you are willing to deprive your body of food, so you are putting the old man on notice that you are withholding the sin it craves. Fasting is a way of mourning over our sin; it demonstrates that we are actively seeking repentance for the bondage that keeps us from serving God in a better way.  

(227a) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Rewards of heaven >> God rewards us for obeying Him >> God rewards what we do for Him in secret -- These verses go with verse 1

Mat 6-16

(169h) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Seeking the glory of man >> Loving the approval of men rather than the approval of God >> Love to be noticed by men -- This verse goes with verse 1

Mat 6-17

(113i) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> The anointing >> Anoint with oil

Mat 6,19-21

(7l) Responsibility >> Use time wisely >> Get ready >> Use this time to gather – This life has been given us as a time to gather. He advocated seeking the treasures of heaven; why then do people repudiate heavenly rewards? God commands us to have our own righteousness, a standard of conduct that produces good works in His name, distinct from God's righteousness that we access through faith. The Bible teaches that our good works prove our faith, and at the same time we gather rewards for a kingdom that we will enjoy forever. Remember the Israelites in the wilderness for forty years who gathered the manna every morning to nourish their bodies throughout the day, which was their food that sustained them. We are to do the same and gather rewards on a daily basis for the Kingdom of Heaven. We are living in the last days, and it is more likely we will see the return of Christ than any generation before us. There are people called preppers, who busily prepare for the last days, storing up food and ammunition and building a shelter, where they think they will survive for 3 1/2 years, an onslaught that is predicted by the Scriptures and by economists and others, who see a period of sorrows coming in the near future, but Jesus never told us to prepare this way. Instead, He told us to store up treasures in heaven, which means that when this time of sorrows begins, He intends to provide for His people in much the same way that he provided for his people in the wilderness in the days of Moses. See also: Last days (Wilderness) Place of safety and protection; 1Pet 4,17-19 103k

(21m) Sin >> Greed tries to satisfy man’s need for security >> The love of money -- These verses go with verse 24. Jesus instructed us to give up accumulating money and material goods; it is a poor substitute for the heavenly treasures in the Holy Spirit who alone can occupy our heart to make us fully satisfied.  

(74g) Thy kingdom come >> Heart is central value system >> Man’s treasure chest

(165e) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Do not partake of the world >> Do not desire the treasures of the world

(226g) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Rewards of the Kingdom of Heaven >> Reserved in heaven >> Rewarded in heaven

(236h) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Invest your treasures into the kingdom >> Invest everything you value -- Invest everything you value into the kingdom so you don't get tempted to use it for evil. 

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Mat 6,22-24 

(134c) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Mediator between the natural and the spiritual realms >> Your body manifests whatever is in your heart -- The eye is the window of the soul in that we can see out and others can see in. Our body will be full of light or darkness depending on our works being either good or evil. If we fill our eyes full of good, good will emanate from us. What we put in is what will come out. 

Mat 6-22,23

(22i) Sin >> Lust (craving pleasure) >> Lust of the eyes – We must account for the light that is in us, keeping the light in the domain of light and darkness in the domain of darkness and not mix the two, so we can dispel the darkness within us, instead of gathering the gloom and overshadowing the light and turning everything into varying shades of gray. Jesus speaks of all these things in relation to the eye. Our eyes tell everything about us if we have discernment to see. A man with no conscience thinks he has done no wrong, but then how would he know, since he has no conscience? This gives him a sense of self-righteousness, which is relatively easy to spot. Therefore, show me a self-righteous person and I will show you a lack of conscience. The eye that is clear is one that keeps watch over his soul that no evil befall him, whereas the eye that is smudged is the one who seeks to elude detection. To avoid eye contact would give him away for sure, and so his only option is to cloud them. Having cloudy eyes, then, is a sign of deception. See also: Gray area; 186i

(58m) Paradox >> Two implied meanings >> False light is self-deception / False light is religion

(186i) Works of the devil >> The result of lawlessness >> Man’s role in becoming a reprobate >> Having a perverted sense of justice – Jesus is elevating the nature of sin, describing the totality of evil, saying even the light that is in man is darkness. We ought to be careful what we call righteousness and what we deem good, as Isaiah 5-20 says, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” Cursed is the one who cannot discriminate between good and evil. If they view righteousness as evil, then how evil is their evil? The ability to discriminate between good and evil is actually difficult for some, being the description of a psychopath, suggesting that Jesus viewed the whole world with psychopathic tendencies, who have no real sense of goodness in them. This is why psychopaths blend into society so well, because the rest of mankind is not much better, and what makes it worse, psychopaths view our sense of goodness and righteousness as subjective, ‘so who is right,’ they say, and, ‘how can we judge them if our righteousness is merely a matter of opinion?’ This is why we have the word of God. The further society strays from the Bible, the less they can judge what is true and what is good and evil. We gasp at the things psychopaths have done and are able to live with themselves, illuminating their incomprehensible darkness, but our light is not much brighter in the eyes of Jesus. Those of us who strive for the righteousness of God understand what is darkness and what is light, and we fear God and resist false light, and we strive to rise above darkness. Light and truth are related, so when Jesus talks about the light that is in us, He is referring to our sense of truth. Now we can go back to the psychopath and reinterpret him, not in terms of his deeds but in terms of his mind and the way he thinks. If what he considers true is actually completely wrong, how wrong is what he knows is wrong? We can pick on psychopaths, but the same applies to us as well. See also: Gray area; Mat 6-23; 54c / Reprobate (Psychopath) devoid of conscience; Lk 9,23-27; 197j

Mat 6-23

(54c) Paradox >> Opposites >> Dark light -- The word "light" in the Bible normally refers to God's truth. In this case though, it is referring to man's version of truth, which can go from various shades of gray to total darkness. The way we live will determine how much light that is in us and how much darkness we interpret as light and thus allow in our hearts. Once the darkness reaches a certain critical threshold, our conscience becomes seared and our ability to distinguish between darkness and light is blurred, and we begin to call darkness light and light darkness. There will always be darkness within us; the question is how great must the darkness become before we recognize it as darkness? See also: Gray area; 74k

(74k) Thy kingdom come >> Heart of man is sinful >> The heart determines which light is in you – Jesus called our heart an eye; if the eye of our heart is bad, our whole body will be full of darkness, referring to our works. He is also addressing what we put in front of our eyes, which will determine the state of our heart, which determines what we do. If we put darkness in us, then darkness will emanate from us, for we imitate what we see. If our eye is clear (conscience), it indicates that we have sought the light and done what we know is right. Paul wrote about the fruit of the light and the unfruitful deeds of darkness (Eph 5,8-14). Jesus is saying that if we consistently look upon evil, doing works of light will no longer be in us. People who have surrendered to darkness are also capable of doing good, but their motives are evil. They may give to charity and those charities may benefit others, but the person giving will not benefit. Jesus talked about light and darkness with no gray area; this is the way God sees us. If we belong to Him and have dedicated our lives to Him, then we are in the light (1Jn 1-5). God sees us in the light of Christ; though we sin, we do it against our will. We have a body of sin and live in a world of sin and have forces against us that make sinning inevitable. Conversely, if our heart is evil and we view ourselves in light of the few good things we have done, Jesus might ask, “How great is our darkness?” See also: Gray area; Mat 6-14; 156da

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Mat 6-24

(21m) Sin >> Greed tries to satisfy man’s need for security >> The love of money -- This verse goes with verses 19-21. Jesus clearly spoke about two masters: God and money; which one will we serve? Money is the root of all evil (1Tim 6-10), and it also happens to be the foundation of every civilization on earth, and for this reason Jesus said that if we try to worship anything other than God, we would ultimately worship man. If the world economy collapsed, civilization would collapse with it, and in fact, that is exactly how the last days will unfold, which will bring about the great tribulation and the fulfillment of endtime prophecy. Like a set of dominoes, a collapsing economy is the first thing to happen, setting off a chain reaction that will not end until the War of Armageddon and the return of Christ, all because man would rather worship money than God. See also: Love of money; 154e / Last days (Mark of the beast associated with the blood of the saints); Mk 13,9-13; 242k

(57d) Paradox >> Opposites >> Friend of the world is an enemy of God

(154e) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> God bears witness against the world >> Witness that the world is godless >> Witness that the world hates God – In the same way that the love of money is the root of all evil, so the love of God is the root of love, which suggests that if we don’t love God, we cannot love our fellow man. If we love our wives or the brethren, it is the result of our foundational love of God. When the first commandment said that we should love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, that doesn’t leave any room for the love of money. If we love the poor person on the street, it is an expression of our love for God. Consequently, those who love the world hate God, and those who love God hate the world. 1Jn 2-15 says, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” When it says, “Do not love the world,” it doesn’t mean we can be fond of it. When we read the Scriptures, we discover that God is not fond of anything; He loves and He hates and nothing in-between. When someone straddles the fence, trying to love God and money, his love of money dilutes his love for God so all he can really offer is a fondness for Him, but we can’t “like” God; He is not our buddy. Man views love and hate on opposite ends of the spectrum, where liking someone is in the middle, but since there is no middle ground in spiritual things, the person who likes God actually hates Him. We either love Him or we hate Him, and if we love Him, then by definition we do not worship any other gods. See also: Love of money; 195a

(165f) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Do not partake of the world >> Do not love the world

(195a) Serving Two Masters (Key verse)

(195a) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Idolatry >> Serving two masters >> You can only love one at a time – There are many people who think they can worship God through a lifestyle they have chosen that God disapproves. Perhaps they are dedicated church attendants, tithing regularly and giving a helping hand whenever needed; meanwhile they are lovers of money, which reduces their church participation to a mere religion. It is not a question of what they love the most, as though one subtracts from the other, leaving a remainder, as though they can love God more than money, and God is supposed to accept that. Rather, Jesus is saying that our love of money directly translates to our hatred of God, or that we despise Him at best, and we cannot worship Him and despise Him at the same time. Jesus didn’t say we offend God when we love something more than Him; He said we give offense when we love something other than Him. See also: Love of money; 249i

(249i) Priorities >> God’ s preeminence >> Wealth >> World’s perception of wealth >> The world's wealth erodes good values >> Being a slave to wealth -- The reason Jesus reminded us that it is not possible to serve two masters is that many people have tried to juggle their love for God with their love of money and invariably drop God. Albeit unintentional, Jesus has already warned us that we will not only abandon Him, we will despise Him before we abandon Him. Since we have been forewarned, deserting Christ for material pursuits is not an accident, but a calculated risk, and the calculation is one hundred percent chance of failure. See also: Love of money; Mat 6,25-34; 120j

Mat 6,25-34

(24a) Anxiety (Key verse)

(24f) Sin >> Poverty (Forms of fear) >> Anxiety >> Worrying about the things you need -- There is a connection between verse 24 and this passage that can  best be seen in verses 31-33, where Jesus advises us not to become anxious for the things we need. There are obviously those who pursue financial gain with the hope of becoming wealthy, but if we pursue the unrighteous mammon just to meet our needs and not for greedy purposes, Jesus still calls it evil, because our pursuit is not from faith. God wants us to do all things by faith, including work at our jobs, so when the economy fails, we will have a backup plan already in place. Jesus promises that if we will rely on Him for our earthly needs He will provide, maybe not as exorbitantly as we would like, but He will be consistent, and that is what counts at suppertime. 

(120j) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Contentment >> Content with your standard of living >> Content with the means God gives you -- Anxiety cannot distinguish between need and greed. Either we are anxious about our next meal, mortgage payment, etc., or we are anxious about not having as much money and material goods as our neighbor. Contentment is the best answer. If it were a new pill on the market, it would soon be called a wonder drug, because it is able to fix every problem we have, except that it is a little bitter. The bitterness of contentment is that we have to live with less, but the wonder of contentment is that it makes us happier with less. Jesus doesn’t want us to work and make more money than we really need and push ourselves to the brink of collapse, just to have it slip through out fingers. Enough is enough. We get a vision in our mind about what we want in life about things we think would make us happy, and then we start walking down the path to fulfill our dreams and get about halfway down a dark alley to realize just how unhappy our dreams have made us. In contrast, the Bible teaches us to replace our pursuit of happiness with contentment. This is one of the promises of the Bible: contentment will make us happier than our materialistic pursuits. Contentment is actually a vision from God that He wants us to adopt in order to fulfill the rest of what He envisions for us. We cannot do His will while we are spending all our time and effort chasing the almighty dollar. Jesus is saying that if we live like the birds, He personally will feed us like He feeds the birds. He will personally make sure that we have everything we need if we devote our lives to His cause and vision. See also: Love of money; Mat 6-24; 21m / Contentment; Mat 6,25-33; 29l

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Mat 6,25-33

(29l) Gift of God >> God knows our needs; therefore we don’t have to care – God’s interests are not in material things; how ironic is that, since God is a mighty king of an opulent kingdom. His streets are made of gold and the wall surrounding the great city is made of precious stones. The gate is made from a single pearl. We can see that God in heaven is very extravagant, but in this life He wants to teach us that luxury is immaterial. That is, the finer things in life are spiritual. He wants to teach us that all the materialism in heaven means nothing to Him, that He only lives that way because He can afford it, and if He couldn’t, it wouldn’t matter to Him. Heaven could have been made of dirt roads and shacks, and God’s throne could be just a chair He found in a dump, and it fundamentally wouldn’t change anything about the heavenliness of heaven. Heaven is heavenly, not because of all the glitz and glitter, but because God is there. Jesus came to us and was in the process of making this earth a paradise when man hung Him on a cross. Jesus virtually had nothing to His name but the clothes on His back, though He and His disciples usually had their needs met. Sometimes He had no place to lay his head, but His needs were always met, suggesting that we need to reprioritize our lives by more accurately separating what we need from what we want. There are many things we think we need that if we didn’t have them would not kill us. The disciples had nothing, yet they felt they were in heaven when they were with Jesus, because He made them feel secure. All the money, property and materialism of a rich man is meant to make him feel more secure, yet the disciples felt safer around Jesus than the rich man in his guarded estate, haunted by thoughts of his own death. Jesus made his disciples feel that no matter what happens He is in control. When He was crucified they began to doubt it, but after the resurrection they would never doubt again that He was in absolute control, and for that reason they didn't worry about anything. See also: Contentment; Mat 6-25; 134d

Mat 6-25

(134d) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Composition of our bodies is from the earth >> We are physically subject to this natural realm – Life has more meaning than mounds of materialism. Jesus was trying to wean us off trusting in things. We use them to make us feel better about ourselves. We use them to obtain social status, to make other people feel better about us, so we can be included in their groups and rank among them. He was trying to wean us off these things to see a kingdom He envisioned that was built on different principles. Jesus promises we will always have what we need, so long as we continue following Him. That doesn’t sound like much of a promise to those who want fancy cars and bigger houses, but when we follow Jesus, He doesn’t lead us into materialism; rather, He leads us in places where the gospel is accepted, and many of those places are with the poor. When we go to preach to them, we end up in their situation, but we have God as our provider. See also: Contentment; 249b

(249b) Priorities >> God’ s preeminence >> Wealth >> True perception of wealth >> Do not trust the carnal perception of wealth >> Do not pursue wealth – For some people food means everything to them, and for others their wardrobe is the sum total of their lives, indicating that some people’s priorities are skewed. This makes their whole lives fundamentally wrong, and they need to repent of their unbelief and realize that there is more to life than meets the eye (and the stomach). Jesus in the beatitudes is trying to expand our perspective to see beyond our puny lives. The things that seem important are absolutely trivial, and there are other things that are more important than the things we consider necessary. For example, it is important to look presentable and to wear enough clothes to deter the goose bumps, but Jesus was referring to the number of stars ascribed to the restaurants we frequent and to the label on our clothes: Calvin Klein, Claiborne, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, etc. We know that hand-me-down jeans and a shirt will prepare us for the public and thwart a draft just as well as a $43,000 suit at Brioni Vanquish II, and mac-n-cheese will fill the hollow spot as any $300 plate at Eleven Madison Park in New York. Those who are poor and destitute, who cannot afford hand-me-down pants and a shirt, who have no means to ward off their hunger pangs with a peanut butter sandwich, Jesus says not to worry because our lives are in His hand. Jesus in this verse promised our basic needs met, but making no promises for anything beyond that. He is not in the business of granting our heart's desire but granting His heart's desire, for there is no bottom to man’s greed. Rather, He taught that if we have an eternity to live the good life, we can forgo a few things to accomplish something for Him that is more important than overabundance. See also: Contentment; Mat 6,26-29; 115k

Mat 6,26-30

(151j) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> Witnesses of the father >> Creation is evidence of God >> Living things reflect the nature of God -- Nature offers many lessons about life and its creator. Some things reflect His beauty and elegance like the deer with its opiate, brown eyes, while other things reflect other traits of God, such as tigers that mirror His power and cunning. 

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Mat 6,26-29

(115k) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God through obedience of faith >> Through diligence -- The best analogy for anxiety is "spinning your wheels;" There's a lot of work being done, but nothing is accomplished. God's remedy for anxiety is the mirror image of anxiety, which is contentment. When working with God, we can do things that mere men cannot do. Observe nature and sense its rhythm and notice that everything is in its place, performing what it was designed to do. That is how we should be; but we are usually off doing  more important things, such as engrossing ourselves in materialism as a distraction from what we were born to do. Instead of becoming anxious about accomplishing our own personal goals, do a 180 and find our place in our calling and apply ourselves in that direction and be like the rest of creation that is fulfilling its purpose. Sometimes faith does not have a task but simply exists for God. See also: Contentment; Mat 6-26; 225m

Mat 6-26

(225m) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Parables about generosity of heart -- We want to build great storehouses and place vast resources in them and secure our future, but we fail to see how all our work will affect our lives today, or how a little worm could devour our labors, destroying our sense of security. Notice how happy the song birds are, and the beauty of a field of flowers; how hard do they work? They are simply living, and in so flourishing and happy, even without barns full of food. Relax and trust in God. See also: Contentment; Mat 6,28-30; 225i

Mat 6,28-30

(225i) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Parables about the garden of the kingdom >> Parables about plants – This is Jesus’ promise: if we seek His kingdom and His righteousness, He will concern Himself with our needs. In His mind, if we worry about our needs, He doesn't have to concern Himself with them, but if we concern ourselves with His interests, He will make sure our needs are met by the means and standard He chooses. God will enact His plan and purpose for our lives in a walk that will lead us to all the things we need for our bodies, but those who show no interest in God’s interests, God shows no interest in theirs. The beauty of the obedient Christian who is being led by the Spirit, God will send them on an adventure that not only promises to meet their needs along the way, but promises to do it in a manner that is divine. This is something every born-again Christian desires, though most are unwilling to follow Christ in this way. God promises to furnish all our needs, maybe not extravagantly, yet the path that led us to the clothes we wear, to the car we drive and to the house that shelters us is beautiful, like a field of flowers. What do we want, beautiful clothes or a beautiful life? This is the question Jesus is posing to us in these verses: do we want to live in a mansion or do we want to live in a miracle? See also: Contentment; Mat 6-33; 250h

Mat 6,31-34

(214j) Sovereignty >> God controls time >> God’s time is soon >> God’s time is always now – God is eternal and He thinks in terms of eternity, whereas we are temporal minded, which gets in the way of understanding God. We put too much emphasis on the future, whereas God wants us concerned about eternity. We put too much emphasis on this life, whereas God wants us concerned only about this moment and let tomorrow take care of itself. God lives in the moment, which is the secret to living a full life. He has an infinite number of moments, but we are finite, though we have been promised eternity. Living in the past is spent and living for the future is futile. Jesus wants us concerned only about today and this moment.

Mat 6,31-33

(159g) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Counterfeit godliness >> Wealth is a form of counterfeit godliness – There are many Christians who are totally oblivious to God’s calling in their lives, but they will never discover God’s purpose until they root out idolatry. The one who discovers God’s calling has forsaken all other interests. We know that settling into God’s purpose is the greatest thing we can do, greater than owning a bigger house, driving a faster car, wearing better clothes and going to finer restaurants. God is likely to answer the prayer if we are seeking His will, and there is nothing harder than trying to get God to give us things intended to replace His will. There are many prayers that go unanswered that regularly discourage people from praying at all. God’s first priority is the establishment of his kingdom in the world, and He wants us to adopt this priority.

Mat 6-32

(29j) God Knows Your Needs (Key verse)

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Mat 6-33

(41h) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Be like Jesus >> Seek His righteousness

(77a) Thy kingdom come >> Hunger for the essence of God >> Hunger for His righteousness – In the Lord’s Prayer Jesus said, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” This is what He meant in verse 33. We should pray for our needs, but if we seek God for His righteousness, He will supply our needs as a benefit to seeking His kingdom. That is, if we seek His righteousness, we won’t have to ask God for our needs; He will automatically provide them as we fulfill His vision and calling of us in answer to prayer. He was referring to this when He said, “Do not worry then, saying, 'what will we eat?' or 'what will we drink?' or 'what will we wear for clothing?” He didn’t mean that a person is worrying about his needs in prayer; instead, He meant that they were worrying about them apart from God.

(111k) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Living and active word of God

(231j) Seeking The Kingdom of God (Key verse)

(232k) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seek the essence of his kingdom >> Seeking the righteousness of His kingdom

(250h) Priorities >> God’s prerequisites >> Sequence of priorities >> The first is a precondition for what comes after it (Cause and effect) -- People often get ahead of God when it comes to our needs. He wants us to repent of our carnality and worldly living and make a commitment to loosen our grip on this present world and tighten our grip on things that are eternal. If we seek His kingdom and His righteousness, like Solomon who asked God for wisdom to lead Israel, he received glory like no other king in Israel as a perk. God will also provide our needs as a bonus for making His kingdom a priority in our lives. God said to Solomon, ‘Do you want fame, fortune, glory? He answered with a request for wisdom, and God said to him, ‘Because you asked for wisdom and not for fame, fortune and glory, then wisdom you will have, along with all the other things greater in abundance than any other king in Israel.’ Therefore, why bother asking for peripheral things when all we really need is the wisdom of God? Why ask for clothing when we can seek God for His kingdom and be clothed with His glory? He never promised to give us the biggest house or the fastest car or the finest clothes or the best food, but He did promise to keep our bellies filled, a shirt on our back and shelter over our heads as we adopt His priorities. If we want a bigger house, we should seek God’s kingdom all the more, so He can take our desires from us and replace them with a greater desire for Him. The result will be a bigger house in heaven. See also: Contentment; Mat 6,25-34; 120j

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