SUMMARY: Spiritual training
OVERVIEW: Jesus begins his Sermon on the Mount. It references the law, but it focuses on the heart.
BIG IDEA: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (verse 8)
KEY VERSE: Matthew 5:11–12 (Jesus teaching)
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
IF GOD WROTE YOU A LETTER
When you choose to follow me, expect people to take offense. Expect to be uninvited. Expect to be misunderstood. Expect people to talk down to you and misrepresent you. All of those who have aligned themselves with me throughout history have experienced harassment. I allow this because I want to strip away your superficial belief. I want to strengthen your faith. I want you to seek me, not approval from others. I also have experience of being rejected and denied. I will help you navigate through these challenges.
I am truth, and truth makes people uncomfortable. Your job is to obey me, not to please others. Obedience from a loving heart is best. It’s unbeatable! Anyone can obey me if it is in their best interest. However, I want you to obey me because you love me. Obey me because you trust me.
Take five minutes to identify areas where you are struggling with obedience. Ask God to change your heart. A change of heart is far more valuable than merely a change of actions.