The Sermon on the Mount ends with this eyewitness account from the tax collector:
When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. MT 7:28-29
What stands out for me are the words AMAZED, AUTHORITY, NOT AS THEIR TEACHERS OF THE LAW.
Ask yourself my friend is your pulpit rich with those three characteristics? Pastor ask yourself is this what you bring on a Sunday?
I started here in this blog because this is the last blog on THE SERMON. But allow me to tip toe back to verses 24-27 in light of 28 and 29.
Jesus told the AMAZED that if they put what they are hearing into practice they will be wise like a person who builds their house on the rock. The storms will come but the house will stand. What did they hear that needed to put in to practice? They heard a way forward to deal with ANGER, LUST, LIES, PRIDE, MATERIALISM, WORRY, RELATIONSHIPS, DEALING WITH ENEMIES, and JUDGING OTHERS. And they heard the deal to change starts INSIDE of themselves, NOT OUTSIDE, AS THEIR THEIR TEACHERS OF THE LAW taught.
Can you not imagine how the spiritual light came on when for years they had been washing and doing and abstaining, and washing, and segregating and washing, and doing and THEY NEVER CHANGED! Now they heard from the MASTER WHY!!! And they responded :What AWESOME AUTHORITY this man has!!
Are you still in awe everyday of the MASTER, TEACHER Jesus? If you are one to sit and be still and let the HOLY SPIRIT take you to Jesus then there is no way you are not AMAZED as he speaks with you and shows you how to live in His will for the day ahead. If on the other hand you never take time to allow the HOLY SPIRIT to take you to Jesus for Life your Christian faith is most likely a DULL HABIT.
Recently I had an experience of listening to the torment physiologically Jesus went through on GOOD FRIDAY. It humbled me to the core but towards the end I heard the HOLY SPIRIT say to me: HOW NOW WILL YOU LIVE? So often we sit in shame in enduring the passion with Jesus when truly we should rise up in RESURRECTION POWER and proclaim our radical response to life because of the passion of Christ. Again Jesus did not leave us with no written guide in this regard. The written guide is JOHN 13, 14, 15, and 16. These chapters Jesus is telling us how we should live in response to His death and resurrection. When we live a life abiding in the Trinitarian presence of God we live a life full of FRUIT and FREE of what Jesus spoke about in THE Sermon on the Mount.
You see friends this is the NARROW WAY of Matthew 7:13-14 clearly stated in verse 21. How could justification by GRACE be NARROW (Romans 10:9)? The Narrow Way is SANCTIFICATION through the process Jesus speaks of in John15:1-8. Not only do the Scriptures speak of such our daily experience screams of this truth as we encounter person after person who embraces Romans 10:9 with a sincere heart but will not for the LIFE of them endure by routine practice the words of Jesus in John 15:5. The result is Matthew 7:26-27, saved for eternity but miserable for life.
Friends I pray you understand the VISION of LIFE in THE KINGDOM NOW that leads to daily AWE in HIS presence.
The HOW of this life is replete on just about every resource we have on this site. It’s a life of DISCIPLINE, a life Jesus modeled in the Gospels. ROUTINELY: being still, listening in prayer, submitting, meditating on scripture, abstaining from stuff you crave, living simply before the Master.
These next final weeks of Lent would be a great time for you to start and move an activity of the lenten season to way of a Christian life that is a RAGING FIRE and not a DULL HABIT.
We are praying for you at RENOVATOR MINISTRIES.