Of all the sermons that have been preached, none is more famous, more profound, or more convicting than the one Jesus preached on the mountain. It is timeless, ever-relevant, and never dull.
The closer Jesus drew to the conclusion of His magnificent Sermon on the Mount, the greater His intensity. By the time He got to the passage in this lesson, it was clear He was not mildly suggesting we simply resolve to try a little harder and do a little better.
Our need is not to think of ways to get away from the storms of life but to learn the secret of going through them. This brings us to the last words Jesus spoke in His immortal Sermon on the Mount. As He drew His remarks to a close, He used a vivid word picture of two houses, built on opposite foundations. From this familiar illustration, we can learn the secret of an unsinkable life.
Like the frog in the beaker, we don't realize our small compromises are destroying our lives until we're faced with the consequences of our wrong choices.
The Word of God instructs us to pray for something according to God’s will until we get it. Matthew 7:7 says “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (NASB). We are exhorted to practice persistent repetition of our requests, not a formulaic repetition of words, which Jesus condemned (Matthew 6:7–8).
It's easy to find little things we'd like to change about each other. So easy. And those little things soon get on our nerves, and then we find even more things we don't like. And pretty soon it turns into a big deal, and we have to say something about it. Or do we?
While being king of Bible Trivia does have its advantages at Bible Trivia nights and in debating theological nitpicks, it hasn't been all that useful in helping me follow Jesus. In fact, the more I come to understand the Bible, the more I realize that my Bible trivia is actually quite trivial.
In an attempt to hide my struggle I wore a mask of cheerful disposition, but I wrestled nonetheless. As the body of Christ ministered to me with acts of kindness, it reminded me anew of God’s grace-filled love for me. Over time, my frame of mind changed.
Part of what makes stories so effective as teaching tools is their ability to stick with us. But what gives the best stories staying power?
What’s the best thing to wear while listening to the Sermon on the Mount? A pair of steel-toed boots! Could any body of truth be more convicting than Matthew 5, 6, and 7? Without concern for how folks would react or what opinions they would form, our Lord declared His penetrating message for all to hear.