In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus lays out radical even alarming standards for life (Matt Chap 5 NKJ).
Significance of Salt and Light
"You are the salt of the earth." Salt seasons and flavors. Salt heals. Spoiled and rancid salt is to be thrown out. So with clarity and significance, followers of Jesus are to live their witness in the world.
"You are the light of the world." Light illumines. The lights of a city can be seen from afar. Have you ever seen them from a jetliner in the darkness at night? Lights can be pleasing and beautiful. Lights must be placed high and strategically to shine throughout the house or room. Not hidden. "Let your light so shine before men," Jesus adds, "that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." The deeds of the follower proclaim and are seen to affect the world.
Fulfillment of the Scriptures
Jesus came to fulfill the hundreds of Messianic prophecies in the scriptures. Every word is truth. Men are not to break the biblical commands of God, but to live and teach them accurately. In fact, the phony, self-serving examples of proud religious potentates must be well exceeded even to enter the eternal kingdom of heaven.
Anger is Murder.
Anger without a proper cause uses thoughts, words, and deeds to destroy another person. This is so strong, Jesus calls it murder, and its punishment is hell. Even name calling a person "fool" warrants serious judgment. The old forgotten adage wisely dictates, "Never say anything bad about anyone." Therefore, Jesus says, do not offer God your prayers until you have made peace with your neighbor, your fellow worker, or your spouse!
Adultery of the Heart
God made men and women as beautiful creations to relate lovingly with each other giving God glory. But to slight his protective commands or even to thoughtfully entertain so doing is sin with lust and condemned as adultery. God wants relationships marked by purity of heart to cause honor and respect for one other. To so violate God's honor and glory is deserving of eternal hell.
Marriage for a Lifetime
God created marriage, but man made divorce. God condemns divorce as adultery except for the most serious justification. Remember, adultery was punishable by death. The Hebrew term here means constant and repeating sexual immorality as being a justification. With a better than 50% divorce rate in modern society, it is more apparent that irresponsible sin, anger, and lack of forgiveness may be causing unnecessary devastations of the marriage relationship. Most unfortunately, divorce causes lasting serious hurt and repercussions to each partner, the children, friends, and the costs of society, not likely worth the divorce.
Yes, Yes, and No, No!
"Above all else to thine own self be true. And then it follows as sure as the day follows night, that you cannot be false to any man." My Dad taught me Shakespeare's line when I was a boy. Those were the days when a man's word was accepted as his bond more than a signed piece of paper. Today, I have suffered, betrayed from jobs, by fellow workers and even bosses who have no sense of honor or know the importance of truth. These words of Jesus, so important, are no longer written in too many hearts. Lying is widespread. As Jesus said, "But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No.' For whatever is more than these is from the evil one." Satanic!
Turn the Cheek.
Sometimes I wish my Dad had never taught me this. It's not easy! "Do not defend yourself; let others speak for you." But I do know this, when others mistreat you and falsely accuse you, God becomes your Vindicator. And the outcome of the perpetrator will be far worse than anything he or she would imagine. That is why we can actually surrender such situations; God becomes our Vindicator.
Love Even Your Enemies.
"But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.... Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect." So there's so much more to living as a follower of Christ. Letting go of things means turning difficult situations over to God. And there is nothing so overpowering as the love or the wrath of the God of the Universe. When we step back by faith, God turns and says, "Now, I'll take care of this for you" (Sermon on the Mount, Matt. Chap. 5, NKJ).
Bill Hunt dedicated his marriage to discovering God's 100 million miracles in life. As a Christian Writer, administrator, and career educator, he writes true miracle stories and Christian teachings on FaithWriters and CornerRetreat.blogspot.com.
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