Thought I’d find some good reads and more for you this week!
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Jesus calls believers the salt of the earth, but we must maintain our salt or we will be lost.
Jesus calls believers the light of the world, and like a city on the hill, your light cannot be hidden. Let your light shine as a testament to God so that others may come to know him.
15a) Salt in the ancient world was mainly used for preserving food since refrigeration did not exist, and it was used to make food taste good. Salt is a necessity to the human body and its functions. It is essential for nerves and muscle function, as well as the regulation of fluids within our bodies. You will see animals lick salt because they need it, too. Salt also heals wounds. Its chemical composition, sodium chloride, forces liquid (and the bacteria in the liquid) out of the body, speeding healing. It has many uses outside of this. Great salt history HERE and HERE
b) There are many thoughts from Bible scholars about being the salt of the earth. Some think we are to preserve the world from evil, to enhance the flavor of the world, or to stop the decay in the world — to stop sin’s power to destroy our lives. Great reads HERE and HERE
16a) At its core, light illuminates. We cannot see anything without light. It opens our minds to what is there.
b) Christians are to illuminate or make visible Christ. Our good works are to shine for all to see. We are to be the light, the TRUTH, in a dark world. In Philippians 2:15, the apostle Paul says, “Believers, you are to shine as light in the world.” To be a beacon to bring others to the light.
17) We cannot bring God’s word to others and banish evil without living out God’s word. Our lives bring others to Christ, not our words. By being humble and showing mercy, as well as seeking God to be better every day, we will bring others to Christ.
I love this! I love the analogies, and I love the history! The best thing you and I can do for others is to be Christ-like. We flavor the earth with our actions and our words, we heal the earth, and we shine God’s truth everywhere we go.
Here’s a cool salt and light bible devotional I found!
Salt is precious, it preserves, and it adds flavor to the world. Christians do the same. Do not lose your saltiness, or you become useless to others. Salt also heals. Your actions and words can heal a broken soul.
Jesus is the ultimate light of the world (John 8:12 and John 9:5). We are now responsible for preventing decay and shining biblical truth in the world. This also means we are to get out in the world in order to shine.
Our light should be visible to others, like a city in the distance. We are to shine brightly for Jesus. The lampstand is intentionally placed there, as should our light be intentionally shined. Our good works will shine bright and bring others to Jesus. Let others see God in you.
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Blessed are the peacemakers who will be called the sons of God. The persecuted will have the kingdom of heaven. You are blessed when you are insulted. Your reward in heaven will be great. The prophets were persecuted, too.
12a) The one in your family who just wants everyone to get along. They are the facilitators of communication and advocates for relationships to be mended.
b) 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 tells us that since we have been reconciled to God through Christ that we can reconcile others to God and reconcile situations and people around us.
13a) People persecute us because we have God and Jesus and know where we are going. They are jealous by nature and therefore want us to be brought down. Those who do good are always targeted by man’s evil nature.
b) I wish I could say a forgiving heart, but it’s often negatively in the beginning. However, I end up praying for them and not letting me bother me because I do know where I’m going.
14) Unsure. Mostly it’s hardships of knowing what to do with my life at this moment and what path to take for him. Since I work from home, I have very little interaction with the outside world.
Spoken to first century Jews, these verses are hard for us to understand. Some may be facing persecution because of their faith, but most of us are not facing persecution by death. Our persecutions are small in comparison. However, when they do occur, know the kingdom of heaven awaits.
You can be a literal peacemaker in your family, or you can bring peace to others through helping them reconcile to God and accept Jesus as Savior.
Some will be persecuted because of their faith and righteousness. Other translations say to be joyful in persecution. Many Christians who were martyred were joyful, being on the cusp of meeting God. In our lives, it’s good to be joyful knowing we will meet God soon.
The world does not value the character traits in the Beatitudes. No matter. You live your truth; the rest will be damned.
Blessed are the meek who will inherit the earth. Those who search for righteousness will be blessed. The merciful will be shown mercy. Those pure in heart will see God.
7 ) I think of someone cowering in the corner, afraid and too timid to speak their minds. The definition of meek is “quiet, gentle, and easily imposed on; submissive.” In the Bible, meekness is when someone is willing to accept and submit to the will of someone else, which is God. Moses was described as meek in Numbers 12. Meekness is when you put everything in God’s hands. Great explanation HERE
Jesus calls himself meek in the King James version in Matthew 11:29, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
Jesus meant those who rely on God will inherit the earth.
8a ) To always be seeking to be right with God, to lead a life without sin, to be like Jesus.
b) Psalm 19:7-11, we saw that God’s law and the way he wants us to live is good and perfect. We can trust in them, and when we do, we’ll have a great reward. We should seek God and have our hope in him. The way God wants us to live is good, for our good, and without sin.
9) When you give mercy, mercy shall be returned. This holds true for all things in life. When you give, you receive back.
10) Psalm 24:4-5 tells us that those who are pure will receive blessings from God. Wanting to have God at the center of your life allows you to see him. You can see God in nature, in others, in your kids, in your dog’s devotion to you, and more.
11) The more you know him, the more you see him everywhere in every aspect of your life. As you study God’s word and strive to know him, you seek to be like Jesus and to please God. You will become like him and embody the character traits that God desires in you.
I love the Biblical meekness and how it is perceived today. There’s nothing wrong with being meek in God’s eyes; in fact, it’s how we’re supposed to be. If Moses and Jesus were meek, shouldn’t we be, too?
If you love knowing the original meaning of Biblical words like I do, try this Greek study bible today!
The Greek meaning of “meek” gives the idea of having strength while having control. Meekness is to put others before you, and do their will over yours. Submit to God and be humble. God watches out for the meek and promises those who give up themselves will inherit his kingdom. This is why we are meek.
Hunger here means you can never be satisfied. You should always be hungering for Christ. In Jesus’s day, people regularly went days without food. Hunger used here was much more impactful than it is to us in the modern world. Jesus will fill our hunger as we hunger to be righteous and sanctified.
The definition of mercy is “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.” God is merciful to us to show us how broken we are so that we can seek him. Otherwise, why would we? Since Christians have received the greatest mercy of all (Jesus), we are to show mercy to others — to anyone who is broken, suffering, mourning, and those lost in their own sin.
Think God showed mercy to David who showed mercy to Saul. Think in your life who you need to show mercy to.
“Pure in heart” denotes the idea of being singular in your devotion to God. An inner, moral purity. The reward is to see God. If you’re not motivated to be devoted to God in order to see him, then what are you motivated for in your spiritual journey?
There is a place in Israel where it is believed that Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount. It’s called the Mount of Beatitudes.
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Jesus teaches that the poor are blessed as they have the kingdom of heaven. Those who mourn will be comforted. The meek will inherit the earth. Those who search for righteousness will be blessed. The merciful will be shown mercy.
Those pure in heart will see God. The peacemakers will be called the sons of God. The persecuted will have the kingdom of heaven. You are blessed when you are insulted. Your reward in heaven will be great. The prophets were persecuted, too.
3) To be blessed is when God endows/gives someone something that is usually cherished, such as blessed with finances, free will, etc. Jesus lists a bunch of people who are blessed who, at the time, would not normally be considered blessed. He expands being blessed to the destitute. The ultimate blessing is, of course, to know God and be a Christian. Nothing else really matters.
4) Psalm 51:17 tells us in the Message Version: “I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered.
Heart-shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.”
In Isaiah 66:2, God says he has made and esteems those who is humble, contrite in spirit, and humble at his word. The definition of contrite is one who expresses remorse or penitence, one who feels bad for what they did. In sum, God esteems those who respond to him.
When you are down and out, you are blessed. When you are struggling, you are blessed. When you question God due to your life’s circumstances, you are blessed. All because you have God.
5a) Mourning is when you are sad over a loss. For most of us, we mourn when we’ve lost a loved one, lost a furry friend, lost a lifestyle or job, lost a home, lost a marriage, or anything else you’ve cherished and is now gone. You mourn what once was and is no more. I mourn all of these things.
b ) Sin makes all of us sad. Jesus who quotes Isaiah 61:1-2 in Luke 4:18-19 has come to comfort those who mourn, who feel guilt over sin, to free sinners from their sin.
Romans 7:22-24 is interesting. You want to do good, but because sin is always present in our lives, it’s a struggle. Mourning when you do sin shows you desire to do good. Christ rescues us from sin.
James 4:8-10 says to draw near to Christ and resist sin. He will lift us up even in our grief, mourning, and wailing.
You are sad when you do wrong, but with Christ, you have hope that you will do (and be) better.
6 ) Having to depend on God is a blessed. I’ve lost much and had much in my life. Every time I fail, it brings me closer to him. You sin, your mourn, you learn. That’s the life of a Christian.
Admittedly, it’s been a long time since I’ve read the Beatitudes, so I’m excited to do so now! Great beginning to lesson 5 as we are reminded that grief is a part of life, but there is hope in Christ.
I am reminded of this song. Enjoy!
Try some great scripture music today!
Bible scholars believe that Jesus went up on a mountain because the crowds that followed him had grown so big. What a beautiful picture. Luke records Jesus as speaking this at a different time, too, in Luke 6. This makes sense; most pastors preach the same message multiple times to different groups and for repetition, too, for learning.
This Sermon on the Mount is Jesus teaching us how to live. Many say this is the summation of Christianity in these short verses. The disciples are listening, too. It’s super important they understand this since they will be carrying on without him.
The Beatitudes (or The Blessings) are attitudes of being — what we hope to achieve as Christians and what we strive for every day.
The word blessed means “happy” in the ancient Greek. This word is also applied to God himself 1 Timothy 1:11.
On the day of Judgment, the blessed, or happy, will come. Matthew 25:34
Spurgeon notes: “You have not failed to notice that the last word of the Old Testament is ‘curse,’ and it is suggestive that the opening sermon of our Lord’s ministry commences with the word ‘Blessed.’”
The poor in spirit are those who recognize their sin and are in need of Christ. It is the first Beatitude because it’s where we all start. When you are poor in spirit, you are able to receive the kingdom of heaven. You have to be poor in spirit before you can mourn.
When you are poor in spirit, you mourn and will be comforted. The Greek word used here for “mourning” is the strongest form of grief. You mourn over sin that then produces repentance 2 Corinthians 7:10. Jesus both mourned and grieved (Isaiah 53:3). It’s a part of human life.
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