Daily Devotional

September 30, 2014 – “Adultery in the Heart” (Matt. 5:27-30)

Again Jesus makes reference to the Ten Commandments when He said, “You shall not commit adultery” (Ex. 20:14).  However, Jesus immediately points out that the real intent of the law was to include lust because He said, “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (5:28).  According to Jesus, lust is the equivalent of adultery, just as unrighteous anger is the equivalent ...

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September 29, 2014 – “If Thou Bring Thy Gift” (Matt. 5:23-26)

The Didache is a brief early Christian treatise, dated by most scholars to the late first or early 2nd century supposedly by the twelve apostles.  It is an anonymous work regarding how Jewish-Christians saw themselves and is not to be considered inspired.  However, there is an interesting comment regarding the church:  “And on the Lord’s own day gather yourselves together and break bread and give thanks, first confessing your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure.  And let ...

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September 26, 2014 – “Murder Begins In the Heart” (Matt. 5:21-26)

Jesus had just explained that our righteousness must exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees and the people were probably wondering how that could be possible since the Pharisees dedicated themselves to keeping all of the scribal interpretations of the Law of Moses.  However, those religious leaders had reduced obedience to God to a superficial matter of merely conforming to the outward “letter” of the law.  They were seeking to restrict the application of the sixth commandment to ...

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September 25, 2014 – “Except Your Righteousness Exceed That of the Scribes and Pharisees” (Matt. 5:20)

This statement has puzzled many provoking the question, “How is our righteousness to exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees?   If we have been concerned about this verse, imagine how shocked the religious leaders were when Jesus made this statement.  Later Jesus pointed out their hypocrisy when He said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy ...

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Sept 24, 2014 – Christ Fulfills the Law (Matt. 5:17-20)

Jesus so identified himself with Scripture and so interpreted His work in the light of Scripture that it is impossible to weaken the authority of the one without at the same time weakening the authority of the other.  One cannot accept our Lord’s teaching without at the same time accepting His high view of the Scriptures.  Jesus said, “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no ...

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September 23, 2014 – Believers Are Salt and Light

A Peanuts cartoon showed Peppermint Patty talking to Charlie Brown.  She said, “Guess what, Chuck.  The first day of school and I got sent to the principal’s office.  It was your fault, Chuck.”  He said, “My fault? How could it be my fault?  Why do you say everything is my fault?”  She said, “You’re my friend, aren’t you, Chuck?  You should have been a better influence on me.”  Patty was seeking to pass the buck but in one ...

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September 22, 2014 – “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:10)

Jesus explains what He said in verse 10 in the two verses following this beatitude and tells us what will happen to those who live godly in this world.  Paul states it this way: “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12).  Peter was preparing the people for what they were already experiencing and what would come upon them later: “Having your conduct honorable among the ...

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Sept. 19, 2014 – “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matt. 5:9)

The idea of peace dominates the Scriptures.  There was peace in the beginning when God created Adam and Eve and placed them in the Garden of Eden.  However, they sinned and violated the wonderful peace they experienced before their sins.  Paul declared that Jesus died on the cross to reestablish the peace between man and God: “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished ...

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Sept. 18, 2014 – “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matt. 5:8)

Purity has always been demanded for the people of God.  The Psalmist said, “Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?  Or who may stand in His holy place?  He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully” (Psa. 24:3-4).   The apostle John agreed with both the Lord and the Psalmist when he wrote: “Behold what manner of love the Father ...

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Sept 17, 2014 – Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” (Matt. 5:7)

Jesus began by emphasizing that we are bankrupt spiritually, and because of this we should be overwhelmed with grief which will lead to trusting in God and having an insatiable hunger and thirst for righteousness.  We come now to a transition from the first four beatitudes which focus on our need to the Lord’s focus on what we need to do.  He moves from belief to behavior just as Paul pointed out when he wrote: “I beseech ...

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