The Word This Week

Matt 6:1…

As the Sermon on the Mount continues, Jesus reminds us of the two kingdoms present here on earth.

We live in one kingdom or the other. The choice is ours. One kingdom leads to life, and the other to eternal death.

Jesus teaches us the privileges of citizenship in the kingdom of heaven.

In the first case, selflessness. It may be hard to think of selflessness as a privilege, but it is. There is no hypocrisy associated with true selflessness, and hypocrisy is a prison. Jesus releases the citizens of the kingdom of heaven from hypocrisy,

To be free to be righteous and truly good in God’s eyes without having to show it off to anyone at any time is wonderful. Religion has placed its practitioners in the trap of having to ‘look’ religious in order to be thought of as ‘good.’ The Jewish spiritual leaders modeled this behavior in order to elevate themselves above the common people – who considered their leaders ‘good’ because of the external behavior they exhibited. How could a common person every hope to achieve the ‘goodness’ exhibited by the scribes and Pharisees?

In God’s kingdom, hypocrisy is not allowed. It is not a revelation of goodness but of evil. God knows who the true hypocrites are. They are not hidden from His view at all.

The other evidence of the kingdom of heaven in the heart of man is absolute dependence upon God in every aspect of life on earth, which is accompanied by prayer to God. Since God knows our needs before we ask Him, why ask?

Asking God brings us to God and reminds us we are in a Father–child relationship, which reminds us we cannot obtain this relationship except by being born into it. The idea Jesus presents of our opportunity to be in personal relationship with our Father Who is in heaven is radical, and certainly would have shocked His audience. How different this is to having to approach God through the agency of man. Even a man in a priestly robe. Jesus tells us to come directly to our Father Who is in heaven, and nothing can ever prevent us from that access. It is exactly what the Father desires.

Never allow anyone to tell you otherwise.

Pastor Bill