The Study of Perfection and Revenge

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 11/30/2021 8:00am

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

43-47 “You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the supple moves of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.

48 “In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”

-Matthew 5:43-48 The Message

Verse 43: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’

Verse 44: But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

Verse 45: so that you may prove yourselves to be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

Verses 43-44 studies: By telling us not to be revengeful, this is why Jesus tells us ways to prevent taking the law into our hands. By loving and praying for our enemies, we can overcome evil with good.

The Pharisees interpreted Leviticus 19:18 as teaching that they should love only those who love in return. Psalm 139:19-22 and 140:9-11 as meaning to hate their enemies. Jesus reminds us to love our enemies. If you love your enemies and treat them well, you will indeed show that Jesus is Lord of your life. This is possible only to those who give themselves entirely to God because only he can deliver people from natural selfishness. Trust the Holy Spirit to help us show love to those for whom we may not feel love.

Verse 46: For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Even the tax collectors, do they not do the same?

Verse 47: And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Even the Gentiles, do they not do the same?

Verse 48: Therefore, you shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Verse 48 study: How can we be perfect?

  1. In character: We can’t be flawless in this life, but we can be like Christ.
  2.  In holiness: We should separate ourselves from the world’s sinful values. We are to be devoted to God’s desires rather than our own and carry out his love and mercy into the world.
  3. In maturity: We can’t achieve Christlike character and holy living simultaneously, but we should grow towards wholeness and maturity. We expect different behavior from a baby, child, teenager, and adult. Likewise, God expects different behavior from us, depending on our stage of spiritual development.
  4. In love: We can seek to love others as completely as God loves us.

We can be perfect if our behavior is appropriate in our maturity level, perfect with much room to grow. Our tendency to sin must never deter us from striving to be more like Christ. Christ calls for his disciples to excel, rise above mediocrity, and mature in every level becoming in him. Those who work to become perfect will be perfect one day, even as Christ is perfect (1 John 3:2-3).

Father, being perfect is something I will never admit to. Practicing it is another conversation. In this lesson, it is encouraged to practice being perfect in your name. The tools are here, and we should be able to perform. Let us use this study for growth and more love the world need. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Studying Loving Your Enemies

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Monday, November 29, 2021

Love Your Enemies

38-42 “Here’s another old saying that deserves a second look: ‘Eye for eye, tooth for a tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere? So here’s what I propose: ‘Don’t hit back at all.’ If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, gift wrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.

-Matthew 5:38-42 The Message

Verse 38: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’

Verse 38 study: With everything else God does, he has a purpose behind this law; it’s an expression of mercy. The law was given to judges and said, “in effect,” Make the punishment fit the crime. This is not a guide to personal revenge (Exodus 21:23-25; Leviticus 24:19-20; Deuteronomy 19:21). The laws were given to limit vengeance and help the court distribute too strict or too lenient punishment. Unfortunately, some people still use this phrase to justify their vendettas against others. They also try to excuse their acts of revenge by saying, “I was doing to him what he done to me.”

Verse 39: But I say to you, do not show opposition against an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other toward him also.

Verse 40: If anyone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him also have your cloak.

Verse 41: Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.

Verse 42: Give to him who asks of you and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.

Verses 38-42 studies: Betrayal is real, and when we are betrayed, the first thing we think is, we must get even. Jesus said, “we should do good to those who wronged us.” Our desire is not to keep score but to love and forgive. It is not natural; it is supernatural. Only God can give us the strength to love like he does. So instead of planning revenge, pray for those who hurt you.

Verses 39-44 studies: In those days, these statements were offensive to the Jews. Any Messiah who would turn the other cheek was not a military leader; they wanted to revolt against Rome. Since they were under Roman oppression, they wanted revenge against their enemies, who they hated. Jesus did suggest a new radical response to injustice. Instead of demanding rights, give them up freely. According to Jesus, it is more important to give justice and mercy than to receive it.

Father, I struggle loving enemies. I’m sure a lot of us do. I pray that this lesson will give us the courage to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and let him give us the strength to love our enemies. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Studying Oaths and Vows

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 11/28/2021 8:00am

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Empty Promises

33-37 “And don’t say anything you don’t mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it, or saying, ‘God be with you,’ and not meaning it. You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.

-Matthew 5:33-37 The Message

Verse 33: “Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.’

Verse 33 study: The teaching is about breaking promises, and in this verse, he emphasizes telling the truth. Since people were breaking promises and using sacred language, Jesus had to teach about it. Keeping oaths and promises is one thing, but building trust and human relationships to commit are even more critical. The bible condemns making vows or taking oaths casually, giving your word while you know you won’t keep it, or swearing falsely in God’s name (Exodus 20:7; Leviticus 19:12; Numbers 30:1-2, Deuteronomy 19:16-20). Oaths are needed in certain situations only because we live in a sinful society that breeds distrust.

Verse 34: But I say to you, make no oath at all, neither by heaven, for it is the throne of God,

Verse 35: nor by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.

Verse 36: Nor shall you take an oath by your head, for you cannot make a single hair white or black.

Verse 37: But make sure your statement is, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil origin.

Verses 33-37 studies: Oaths and vows are common, but Jesus told his followers not to use them. Their word alone should be enough (James 5:12). Are you known to keep your word? The reality is that truthfulness seems so rare that we feel that we have to end our sentence in, “I promise.” The easiest way to keep your word is being truthful; that way, you won’t have to be pressured to tell the truth when you didn’t keep your word.

Father, there are times where we don’t understand promises. Let this part of his teaching be the way to strengthen relationships with others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Divorce for Lust

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 11/27/2021 8:00am

Saturday, November 27, 2021

31-32 “Remember the Scripture that says, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him do it legally, giving her divorce papers and her legal rights? Too many of you are using that as a cover for selfishness and whim, pretending to be righteous just because you are ‘legal.’ Please, no more pretending. If you divorce your wife, you’re responsible for making her an adulteress (unless she has already made herself that by sexual promiscuity). And if you marry such a divorced adulteress, you’re automatically an adulterer yourself. You can’t use legal cover to mask a moral failure.

-Matthew 5:31-32 The Message

Verse 31: “Now it was said, ‘Whoever sends his wife away is to give her a certificate of divorce;

Verse 32: but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Verses 31-32 studies: Divorce is as hurtful and destructive today as it was in Jesus’ day. God intends for marriage to be a lifetime commitment (Genesis 2:24). When going into marriage, people shouldn’t consider divorce an option for solving problems. It shouldn’t be considered as a way out of a relationship that seems dead. But here is something that needs to be understood. This is why we should study the Bible for context. Most people would read it and go with it and not blink an eye to context. Understanding context is essential when reading anything. Reading brings out context when you let it. In these verses, Jesus was also addressing those who purposefully abused marriage contracts and used divorce to satisfy marrying someone else out of lust. Are your actions helping marriage grow more robust, or are you tearing it apart?

Verse 32 study: Jesus said divorce is not permissible except for unfaithfulness. This doesn’t mean divorce should automatically be “it” when a spouse commits adultery. The word translated “unchasity,” implies a sexually immoral lifestyle, not a confessed and repented act of adultery. Those who learned that their spouse has been unfaithful should try to make every effort to forgive, reconcile and restore their relationship. We should always look for ways to repair a relationship rather than leave it.

Father, divorce is painful. I never experienced it, but you know I have been around it. It literally drains the life out of people after the hard work they put in to only see that it didn’t work both ways or refused for it to work. So I pray for those that are going through a divorce that you will bless the situation. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

The Lover and Mistress

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 11/26/2021 8:00am

Friday, November 26, 2021

Adultery and Divorce

27-28 “You know the next commandment pretty well, too: ‘Don’t go to bed with another’s spouse.’ But don’t think you’ve preserved your virtue simply by staying out of bed. Your heart can be corrupted by lust even quicker than your body. Those ogling looks you think nobody notices—they also corrupt.

29-30 “Let’s not pretend this is easier than it really is. If you want to live a morally pure life, here’s what you have to do: You have to blind your right eye the moment you catch it in a lustful leer. You have to choose to live one-eyed or else be dumped on a moral trash pile. And you have to chop off your right hand the moment you notice it raised threateningly. Better a bloody stump than your entire being discarded for good in the dump.

-Matthew 5:27-30 The Message

Verse 27: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery;

Verse 28: but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Verses 27-28 studies: The Old Testament talks about having sex with someone other than their spouse. It is wrong (Exodus 20:14). Jesus said that the desire to have sex with someone other than your spouse is called mental adultery, which is a sin. Jesus makes it a point to say that if the act is wrong, the intention is wrong. To be faithful with your spouse is also with your mind to not break the trust of your marriage. Jesus is not condemning natural interest in the opposite sex or even healthy sexual desire, but the deliberate and repeated filling of one’s mind with fantasies that would be evil if acted out.

Some believe if lustful thoughts are sinful, why not act out what is sinful then? However, acting it out is harmful in a few ways:

  1. Causes people to excuse sin rather than to stop sinning.
  2. It destroys marriages.
  3. It is a deliberate rebellion against God’s Word.
  4. It always hurt someone else in addition to the sinner.

Sinful actions are more dangerous than sinful desire. Which is why the desires shouldn’t be acted out. Also, sinful desire is damaging to the righteous. If this goes unchecked, wrong desires will result in wrong actions and turn people away from God.

Verse 29: Now, if your right eye is causing you to sin, tear it out and throw it away from you, for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

Verse 30: And if your right hand is causing you to sin, cut it off and throw it away from you, for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

Verses 29-30 studies: when Jesus said, “get rid of your eye, get rid of your hand,” it was a figure of speech. It didn’t mean to remove your eye and hand because a blind person can also lust. If that is the only choice, it would be better to go into heaven with one eye and one hand than to go to hell with both. Sometimes we tolerate sins in our lives; they can destroy us when it doesn’t go unchecked. It’s better to experience the pain of removal, meaning getting rid of a bad habit or something we treasure, than to allow the sin to bring judgment and condemnation. Examine your life for anything that causes you to sin; take every necessary action to remove it.

Father, I hear it and see it every day with affairs either in the movies or tv shows. I even listen to it from people that are around me. I have engaged in it for a short period while I was singly having an affair with a married woman. I regret it every day of my life, and I wish I could take it back, but I can’t. I pray that anyone reading this can examine their thoughts before acting because I didn’t. It hurts when you don’t. Allow us to stay ahead and wise to those who choose not to be. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Anger and Murder

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 11/25/2021 8:00am

Thursday, November 25, 2021


21-22 “You’re familiar with the command to the ancients, ‘Do not murder.’ I’m telling you that anyone so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder. Carelessly call a brother’ idiot!’ and you just might find yourself hauled into court. Thoughtlessly yell ‘stupid!’ at a sister, and you are on the brink of hellfire. The simple moral fact is that words kill.

23-24 “This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God.

25-26 “Or say you’re out on the street and an old enemy accosts you. Don’t lose a minute. Make the first move; make things right with him. After all, if you leave the first move to him, knowing his track record, you’re likely to end up in court, maybe even jail. If that happens, you won’t get out without a stiff fine.

-Matthew 5:21-26 The Message

Personal Relationships

Verse 21: “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not murder,’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be answerable to the court.’

Verse 22: But I say to you that everyone angry with his brother shall be answerable to the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be answerable to the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.

Verses 21-22 studies: Here is some context that Jesus was giving out. When he said, “I say to you,” he wasn’t doing away with the law or adding his own beliefs. He is giving a fuller understanding of why God made the law in the first place. Here is an example. In Exodus 20:13, Moses said, “You shall not murder.” Jesus’ teachings tell us we shouldn’t become angry enough to kill or to murder. At this point, if we feel this, we have already committed murder in our hearts. Now, the Pharisees read this law, and they didn’t commit murder; they felt righteous. But, they still felt angry enough with Jesus to plot his death, which by the way, they didn’t do the dirty work themselves. Often, we miss the intent of God’s Word after reading his rules for living without understanding the purpose of why he made the rules. When do you keep God’s laws but close your eyes to his intent?

We all know killing is a sin, but anger is a sin because it violates God’s commandment to love. Anger in cases prefers brooding, bitterness against someone. It is a dangerous emotion and can lead to things being out of control and possibly violence. Other things anger can do are emotional hurt, increased mental stress, and spiritual stress. Anger does not help develop any spiritual pleasing to God. Self-control is always good against saying things you really want to say. But Christ also wants us to practice thought-control. Jesus said we’ll be held accountable for our attitudes. Think about the things you wanted to say. Are there times where you were proud of being wise and being quiet?

Verse 23: Therefore, if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there you remember that your brother has something against you,

Verse 24: leave your offering there before the altar and go; first, be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.

Verses 23-24 studies: Any broken relationships can hinder our relationship with God. Whenever we have a problem or grievance with a friend. Resolve the issue as soon as possible. We are hypocrites if we claim we love God but hate others. Our attitudes towards others reflect our relationship with God (1 John 4:20).

Verse 25: Come to good terms with your accuser quickly, while you are with him on the way to court, so that your accuser will not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you will not be thrown into prison.

Verse 26: Truly, I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last quadrans.

Verses 25-26 studies: In Jesus’ day, someone who didn’t pay a debt was thrown into prison until the debt was paid. They would die in prison unless someone came and paid the debt. It is practical advice to resolve our differences with our enemies before anger causes more trouble (Proverbs 25:8-10). You may not get into disagreements that get you into court, but minor conflicts can mend easily. It is about peace in that instance. These verses show the way to a peaceful advisory with our brothers and sisters before we stand in front of God.

Father, I admit that I struggle with trying to mend relationships that I am angry with. I understand I can’t be saying I follow you and not represent you when I have trouble with a relationship. I currently have a few I have not been able to mend yet. I pray that the wisdom you gave me today can help me be more courageous to restore the relationships I have trouble with. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

I pray all of you have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving. God bless.

The Law

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 11/24/2021 8:00am

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Completing God’s Law

17-18 “Don’t suppose for a minute that I have come to demolish the Scriptures—either God’s Law or the Prophets. I’m not here to demolish but to complete. I am going to put it all together, pull it all together in a vast panorama. God’s Law is more real and lasting than the stars in the sky and the ground at your feet. Long after stars burn out and earth wears out, God’s Law will be alive and working.

19-20 “Trivialize even the smallest item in God’s Law, and you will only have trivialized yourself. But take it seriously, show the way for others, and you will find honor in the kingdom. Unless you do far better than the Pharisees in the matters of right living, you won’t know the first thing about entering the kingdom.

-Matthew 5:17-20 The Message

Verse 17: “Do not presume that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.

Verse 17 study: God’s immoral and ceremonial laws were given to help those who love God with their hearts and minds. But in Israel’s history, the law was misquoted and misapplied. The religious leaders turned those laws into a confusing mass of rules. Jesus was talking about the original purpose in God’s laws by bringing people back to the purpose. Jesus did not speak against the law, but he did speak against the abuses of excuses it had been subjected to (John 1:17).

Verse 18: For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke of a letter shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished!

Verse 19: Therefore, whoever nullifies one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever keeps and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Verse 19 study: People in the crowd had a habit of telling people what to do, but they missed the point of God’s laws themselves. Jesus said it is easier to obey God’s law than to explain it. It’s easier to study God’s law and tell others to follow them than put them into practice. So how are you obeying God?

Verse 20: “For I say to you that unless your righteousness far surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Verse 20 study: The Pharisees were exacting and scrupulous in their attempts to follow their laws. How can Jesus call us to greater righteousness than theirs? The weakness of the Pharisees was their content to obey the laws outwardly without allowing God to change their heart or attitudes. Jesus said that the quality of our goodness should be greater than the Pharisees. They looked pious, but they were far from the kingdom of God. God judges our hearts and our deeds. It is in the heart that our real allegiance lies. Be concerned with your attitudes that people don’t see your actions that are seen by all.

Jesus mentioned that his listeners are a different kind of righteousness altogether (love and obedience), not the intense version of the Pharisees’ righteousness (legal compliance). Our righteousness must:

  1. Come from what God does in us, not what we can do ourselves.
  2. Be God-centered, not self-centered.
  3. Based on reverence for God, not approval from people.
  4. Go beyond the law to live by the principles behind the law.

Verses 17-20 studies: If Jesus didn’t abolish the law, do the Old Testament laws still apply today? There are three categories of the law in the Old Testament:

  1. The Ceremonial Law is related primarily to Israel’s worship (Leviticus 1:2-3). The main focus was to point to Jesus Christ’s laws. Therefore, they were no longer necessary after Jesus’ death and resurrection. We are not bound by ceremonial laws or principles; we still worship and love the holy God. Jesus was accused of violating ceremonial law by the Pharisees.
  2. The Civil Law applied to daily living in Israel (Deuteronomy 24:10-11). Modern society and culture are different from those times and settings. Not all of them can be pinpointed follow. But, the principle behind the commands are timeless and should guide your and our conduct. Jesus did present those principles by example.
  3. The Moral Law (the Ten Commandments) is a direct command of God, and it requires strong discipline (Exodus 20:13). Moral law reveals nature and the will of God, and it still applies today. Jesus obeys the moral law completely.

Father, the laws that people tend to mess up because they fail to read and study the context of your word is something we can improve upon in the world. I pray we can improve context learning when reading your word. Let us have the patience and wisdom to help those study the word by context and not just by words. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Flavored Lighting

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 11/22/2021 8:00am

Salt and Light

13 “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.

14-16 “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

-Matthew 5:13-16 The Message

Disciples and the World

Verse 13: “You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by people.

Verse 13 study: Seasoning is flavor. If it doesn’t bring out the flavor in your food, it is worthless. Likewise, as Christians, if you don’t bring out yourself to affect the world around you, you are of little value to God. If we are like the world, we are worthless. Blending in with everyone else is not exactly the step in the right direction. Our job is to affect others positively, just as the seasoning in your food brings out the best flavor.

Verse 14: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;

Verse 15: nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but it gives light to all in the house on the lampstand.

Verse 16: Your light must shine before people so that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

Verses 14-16 study: Is it possible to hide a city sitting on top of a hill? When it lights up, you can see it for miles and miles. If we live for Christ, we will glow like lights, reminding others of what Christ is like. But, on the other hand, we may hide our light by:

  1. Being quiet when we should speak.
  2. Going along with the crowd.
  3. Denying the light.
  4. Letting sin dim the light.
  5. Not explaining our light to others.
  6. Ignoring the needs of others.

Be the truth, don’t shut off your light to the rest of the world.

Father, the analogy of seasonings and our spiritual self is authentic here. We will have moments where we stand out, moments that we don’t. Most people are attracted to food because of the flavor in seasoning, and it makes sense for us to be out of our comfort zone to be the light for you. Thank you for being on time. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 11/22/2021 8:00am

Monday, November 22, 2021

6 “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.

7 “You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.

8 “You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

9 “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of competing or fighting. That’s when you discover who you really are and your place in God’s family.

10 “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.

11-12 “Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort, and they are uncomfortable. So you can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

-Matthew 5:6-12 The Message

Verse 6: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.

Verse 7: “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

Verse 8: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Verse 9: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

Verse 10: “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Verse 11: “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.

Verse 12: Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in this same way, they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Verses 3-12 studies: There are four ways to understand Beatitudes.

  1. They are code ethics for the disciples and standard of conduct for all believers.
  2. They contrast Kingdom values (what is eternal) with worldly values (what is temporary). 
  3. They contrast the superficial “faith” of the Pharisees with the real faith Christ wants.
  4. They show how the Old Testament expectations will be fulfilled in the new kingdom.

The beatitudes are not multiple-choice; pick what you want and leave. It’s not meant to be taken as a whole. Instead, they describe what we should be like as Christ’s followers.

Each beatitude tells how to be blessed. “Blessedness” means more than happiness, implying the fortunate or enviable state of those in God’s kingdom. The Beatitudes don’t promise laughter, pleasure, or earthly prosperity. Blessed means the experience of hope and joy, independent of outward circumstances, is how Jesus defined blessed. To find hope and joy, follow Jesus no matter the cost.

Naturally, people were asking how do I qualify to be in God’s kingdom. Chapter 4 verse 17 reminds us that Jesus’ announcement is the kingdom was at hand, so that’s why people were asking how do I qualify. Jesus said that God’s kingdom is different from the world and organized differently, making the kingdom of heaven not have priorities like wealth, power, and authority. Kingdom people will have different blessings and benefits. The attitudes are different as well. How about you? Is your attitude is a copy of the world? Is your attitude of the world or your sacrifice of Jesus, your king?

Verses 11-12 studies: Jesus said to rejoice when we are persecuted. Persecution is good because:

  1. It takes our eyes off earthly rewards.
  2. It strips away superficial belief.
  3. It strengthens the faith of those who endure.
  4. Our attitude through it serves as an example to others who follow.

God’s greatest prophets were persecuted, so this can give us comfort. Elijah, Jeremiah, and Daniel were persecuted. Being persecuted shows, we have been faithful, while faithless people wouldn’t notice it. God rewards the faithful by receiving them to the eternal kingdom where there will be no more persecution.

Father, I never heard of the name Beatitudes until I read this passage of scripture. I heard of being blessed but never used the word Beatitudes. Thank you for engaging with me to read your Word to get a better education and let others in on what I am learning. Let us all continue to be educated on our spiritual journey. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Sermon on the Mount

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 11/21/2021 8:00am

Sunday, November 21, 2021

You’re Blessed

5 1-2 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:

3 “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you, there is more of God and his rule.

4 “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

5 “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.

-Matthew 5:1-5 The Message

The Sermon on the Mount; The Beatitudes

5 Verse 1: Now when Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him.

Verse 1 study: We begin the teachings of Jesus starting at chapter 5 and go through chapter 7, and it is called the Sermon on the Mount. It got its name because Jesus gave his sermon on the hillside near Capernaum. This teaching covers what is to believe several days of preaching. In his teaching, Jesus proclaimed his attitude towards the law. He talked about position, authority, and money are not important things in his kingdom. Here is what is important to Jesus; faithful obedience from the heart. The sermon on the mount challenged the proud and legalistic religious leaders of the day. It reminded them of the Old Testament messages like Jesus taught that were heartfelt. Obedience is more important than the legalistic observance.

Verse 2: And He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying,

Verse 3: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Verses 1-2 studies: There were a lot of people who were following Jesus. He was the talk of the town, so everyone wanted to see him. As a result, the disciples were tempted to feel important, proud, and possessive because they were the closest associates to Jesus, the famous man. Not only being with Jesus gave them prestige, but also the opportunity for receiving money and power.

Before Jesus spoke to the crowd, he pulled the disciples aside and told them about the temptations they would face as his associates. Do not expect fame or fortune, but mourning, hunger, and persecution are what Jesus was telling them. Jesus did assure his disciples that they would be awarded, but not in this life. There may be some times that following Jesus will bring popularity. However, if we don’t live by Jesus’ words in his sermon, we will find ourselves using God’s message to promote our personal interests.

Verse 4: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Verse 5: “Blessed are the gentle, for they will inherit the earth.

Verses 3-5 studies: Jesus started his sermon with words that seemed to contradict each other. God’s way of living usually contradicts the world’s.

If you are ready to live for God, you must do things and say things that may seem strange to the world. Be willing to give when others take, love when others hate, help when others abuse. Giving up your own rights to serve others, you will one day receive everything God has in store for you.

In this world today, being famous can come with consequences, good or bad. So I pray today that following you, we can be popular in your name through representation to you and not in our own interest. In Jesus’ name. Amen.