In these troubling times of economic worry, job losses, daily struggles, high prices, terrorism and on and on…..we need help to discern the right things to do, the right things to do to weather these storms. Jesus shares His deepest wisdom in the Sermon on the Mount. AGAIN, he starts with the attitudes that are most important in our life. I encourage you to look closely at, and to begin with, the Beatitudes in your life (Matthew 5:1-12)
These inner attitudes that Jesus spoke so beautifully about, these 8 attitudes of our “inner heart” that bring blessings of peace and fulfillment in our lives are probably the most profound words you will ever hear. Why are these so important?
Matthew 7:24-27 (TNIV)
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
These attitudes are the foundation, the rock, upon which we must build our lives if we want true fulfillment, blessing and joy.
Jesus tells us to let our “YES” be YES and our “NO” be NO–to simply tell the truth. Jesus taught us to tell the truth under all circumstances and we will not have to make an appeal for credibility. I know, the world teaches us that there are appropriate times to lie. I think it’s more about how we say things, using tact than taking the easy way out and telling a lie.
Our word becomes a living testimony to the grace of God in our lives. This next bit of wisdom comes from The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:33-37.
Matthew 5:33-37 (TNIV)
33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.[or from evil]
What Jesus is talking about here is honesty. First, let’s look at a little background here, a little context:
It is interesting that, just like so many times before, Jesus starts with “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago..” It is also interesting that, just like so many times before, Jesus is repeating a common thought of the day and is preparing to explode it–to say, “people, you have it wrong! Let me tell you the truth”
Next, we will look closer at what Jesus is saying here and what part of that we often get wrong. We will look closer at another truth that flies in the face of worldly wisdom. Join me on this journey…..