So, just for grins I thought I’d review Matt 5-7 to see which “hard thing” jumped out to me. I made this list of what was there. I’m not quite sure how I feel about what I found.
Be: poor in spirit, A mourner, Meek, Hunger and thirst for righteousness, Merciful, Pure in heart, A peacemaker, A rejoice-er when persecuted for righteousness, Salt, Light. Be a doer of the Word and a teacher of the Word. Do not be angry but be reconciled to your brother/accuser. Avoid lust by avoiding and disengaging from the things that are a temptation toward lust. Do not divorce as it = adultery unless for sexual immorality. Do not make oaths, instead just say yes or no; Do not resist the one who is evil, but turn the other cheek. If Forced to go one mile, volunteer to go the second mile; Give to one who begs; Do not refuse to lend when asked. Love your enemies; Pray for those who persecute you. Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Give to needy in secret; Pray in secret. Ask for simple things: God’s name to be made holy, God’s kingdom to come to earth, God’s will to be done, Our daily bread, Forgiveness for ourselves = to how we forgive*, Guidance away from temptation, Deliverance from evil. Fast in secret; Treasure the things of heaven not of the earth; Keep your eye healthy; Choose to serve God only – nothing else and nothing “with”. Do not be anxious about your life – food, drink, clothing. Seek Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Do not be anxious about tomorrow
Judge yourself FIRST, then you may be able to help someone else remove their speck. Do not give holy things to those who do not welcome or comprehend them. Ask , Seek and Knock when speaking to your Father in heaven. Treat others how you wish to be treated. Enter by the narrow gate – it is hard but leads to life. Beware – Measure prophets/ teachers by their fruit – True believers are identified by their obedience to God’s will. Build on the Rock, not the sand.
And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.
Don’t know if I am convicted more by the ones that are obvious in me, that anyone who knows me can see. OR, if I should be more terrified by the ones I think I do mostly well. (I’m a little skittish about only getting it right on the surface and really having missed the point altogether.)
There are a few things I down right wish I hadn’t noticed at all. All and all, I am afraid/glad this is going to be a life changing study if I’m really willing to “go there.”
Here is what I see though – all of these things are impossible for me to do. Truth is I don’t think I can be trusted to even consider them alone. The only seemingly productive thought I’ve had is each one requires – no, demands – that I intentionally ask the Holy Spirit to show up.
My heart tells me practicing these things will make me like Jesus. I’m sure it’s true because my flesh is looking for a boat to Tarshish!
“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2