Tag Archives: sermon on the mount

“Enter through the narrow gate.  For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”  (Matthew 7:13-14, NIV)

The verses preceding today’s citation, which we commonly refer to (in part) as The Sermon on the Mount, gives us an idea of the kind of behavior that comprises “the narrow gate” to which Jesus refers: Be humble. Be discreet.  Don’t bear grudges.  Go the extra mile.  Love your enemy.

Such behaviors take time and energy.

We prefer the highway because of these things!  We don’t like detours.  We do all that we can to avoid any kind of inconvenience, or decisions that will send us the long way ’round — and we cruise right by the gate that marks the road that leads to life on our own road to nowhere.

Today, look for the little gate.  Keep on the narrow road.  It is here — and here only — that you will find life in all of its abundance.  – Luther

 

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“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”  (Matthew 6:33, NLT)

If we’re not careful, we might think for a moment that God will leave us in the lurch; that is, without resources; without hope; and without help.

In such moments, remember our Lord’s reminder that our heavenly Father wants to give us everything — everything — that we will ever need.  The key to having all that we will need, exactly when we will need it, and in a form that we can receive it, is to seek first the rule (read: kingdom) of God in our lives above all else.

As citizens of this world, we understand the rule of others, whether that “other” is civil law, or the unwritten laws of the social order.

As disciples of Jesus, we need to actualize the rule of God in our daily living by being obedient to His law, the first of which is that we should love the Lord God with all our being. . .  Or, in the words of today’s scripture: “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else. . .”

In the Kingdom of God, there are no paupers.  – Luther

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“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.” (Matthew 5:13, NASB)

When Jesus made this statement in His “Sermon on the Mount,” salt was used as a food preservative, because refrigerators and freezers were unknown at that time.  

The disciple of Jesus is a “preservative” in a decaying world. Where there is evil, we do the right thing. Where there is deception, we speak the truth. Where there is grief, we offer comfort. Where there is despair, we provide encouragement and hope. 

Without us, the state of the world only gets worse.  

If we become salt that has lost its saltiness, we are part of the problem.

The Irish political philosopher, Edmund Burke (1729-1797), said: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

In our decaying, dying world, we are the “good men” (and “good women”). Do not be overcome by evil; overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21)  – Luther

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