These four words caught my eye as I read John 3-5. Jesus uses them before two important teaching points concerning the Lord’s return and our eternal life with Him in Heaven.
Do not be amazed that I told you that you must be born again. John 3:7
Do not be amazed at this, because a time is coming when all who are in the graves will hear His voice. John 5:28
I encourage you to read through chapters 3-5 in their entirety to get a full understanding. Because today, I want to focus on some other important reminders Jesus has given us. Reminders that we should not be amazed to here because He was so incredibly counter cultural and full of love and grace. These reminders convicted my heart as I reread them again in Matthew 5-7 from Matthew’s perspective. I’m going to briefly pull them out of the message He gave from a mountaintop called the Sermon on the Mount. However, I’m going to skip the beginning (The Beatitudes) because they are so frequently talked about. As you read them, try to imagine sitting on a beautiful mountainside looking up at the Son of God and hearing Him speak these words to your heart. Imagine the spectacular glory of the backdrop and basking in the Son of God’s presence. Although you may not be sitting on the mountainside as you read this blog, you are hearing the words our Savior spoke.
“You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)
If we are to be the light of the world, these instructions are vital to keeping our light shining in the darkness of this world.
- Murder and Adultery don’t just include actions, the thought and the words make you guilty as well.(v.21-28)
- “It was also said, Whoever divorces his wife must give her a written notice of divorce. But I tell you, everyone who divorces his wife, except in a case of sexual immorality, causes her to commit adultery. And whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. (v. 31-32)
- Don’t swear or take oaths, just be true to your word. Let your word ‘yes’ be ‘yes,’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no.’ Anything more than this is from the evil one. (v. 33-35, 37-38)
- Don’t repay evil with evil, but instead look away and pray for your enemy. Not just those who you love, but also those you hate. (v. 38-43)
- Give, pray and fast in private. Don’t do it to show off, but for the Lord and you will be rewarded. (Matthew 5:6)
- Don’t worry yourself with earthly money and treasures, but store up treasures and memories of the heart because they can’t be stolen or rust away. You can’t love your God above all else when money and possessions have made you a slave to them. (v. 19-24)
- You are worth more to God than any bird or sunflower and He provides for them. So don’t worry about tomorrow or the next day, but instead focus your attention on the present and the provision that God has given you for that day and moment. (v. 25-34)
- Don’t be so judgmental. Instead of worrying about your neighbors trash – take our your own and then you can help him with his. (Matthew 7:7-6)
- Please ask me [God] for help. If you ask me, seek my wisdom and knock on my door, I will open it and give you more than you ever imagined. If I don’t answer the first time, don’t give up! (v. 7-12)
- The world loves to take the easy way, but the way to Me is through the teeny, tiny narrow gate that so few find and then are willing to enter. Don’t follow the herd, follow Me. It isn’t easy and it takes time, courage and dedication, but the reward will be great. (v. 13-23)
- Build your life, your values, morals and heart upon My word because it is the strongest foundation available. I promise you, not matter what else you try will only end in complete disaster and destruction.
I paraphrased these with my simple words, but When Jesus had finished this sermon, the crowds were astonished at His teaching, because He was teaching them like one who had authority, and not like their scribes. (Matthew 6:28-29)
I pray these reminders will sink into our hearts and renew our desire to follow Jesus and be His light in this dark world.