When you pray do it to be heard by God, not applauded by people. Pray from the heart—without meaningless repetition.
The story of wrestler Yussif teaches us an important lesson about priorities. Are you telling yourself the truth about possessions? Are you hearing God’s warning about priorities?
Often the things we dislike in others are the very things we'd like to change about ourselves. But it's easier to concentrate on what others should change than what we should.
We are exhorted to practice persistent repetition of our requests, not a formulaic repetition of words, which Jesus condemned (Matthew 6:7–8).
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.
The Sermon on the Mount overflows with frequently quoted statements that have become familiar mottoes. Most are better known than Ben Franklin’s wit and wisdom…and they’re certainly more penetrating!
Jesus, at a point in His life where the religious trivia champs of His time were plotting to kill Him, answered them with a fierce and pointed statement.
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.
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.