In recent days I’ve been challenged to allow myself to believe, really believe, that God loves me deeper and wider than any other person could love me. More than I can comprehend or understand.
One thing quickly becomes apparent to anyone who reads the gospels, the pages of Scripture that contain Jesus' words and actions: no one who heard His words failed to react. Some who listened shook their fists at Him. Others marvelled at a depth of wisdom they'd never heard before. And some believed His words, choosing to follow Him. Whatever the reaction, no one left His presence unaffected by the encounter.
Jesus easily stands as the most influential person in history. Even today, millions call Him Saviour. Why? What was it about His short time on earth that shook the world so? What did He say to grab people's hearts the way He did? Why do so many believe in Him as the Son of God?
Embark on an eye-opening journey into the life and times of this carpenter from Nazareth. Just don't expect to be unstirred after your encounter with Jesus.
Be honest—do you talk too much? Do you find yourself saying, “I shouldn’t say anything...” and then spill it out? If these habits sound like yours then you’re like the majority. Verbal restraint is rare.
The Apostle Paul warned us to turn our attention to what really matters—the cross of Christ—even if the world thinks it foolish and weak. Because through the cross, God blesses.
Those who are meek and mild possess a character too wimpy for the times, so we think. We love lions, not lambs. But Jesus demonstrates that meekness isn't weakness—it is incredible strength.
What the world shuns as foolishness, the Lord embraces as wisdom—the wisdom of pain to turn mere followers of Christ into disciples of Christ. Jesus called it “the cup.” To Him the cup was the anguish, humiliation, and torturous death on the cross. To us it means “taking up our cross” and following Him daily.
The Bible makes it clear that Jesus came to earth to seek and to save those who are lost in their sin (Luke 19:10). But why did Jesus do this?
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.
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.
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 10 verses we’ll examine in this lesson flow very naturally out of what our Lord had just finished saying. They represent such a complete unit that little is left to be added or amplified. And talk about an up-to-date subject! No one can improve on Jesus’ instruction on worry. If we would simply do as He says, our anxiety levels would reduce to zero and our joy would know new heights.