VIDEO Good Gifts and Sermon on the Mount

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Matthew 7:11

In this sentence, Jesus acknowledged the inherent sinfulness of the human heart. He plainly called us “evil.” He knew the truth of Jeremiah 17:9: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” Yet Jesus also knew there is still common grace in the world. There is some goodness in most parents. It is natural to want to care for our children and meet their needs.

Our Lord’s primary point is God’s care for us. If we, fallen humanity, want to care for our children and give them good things, how much greater is God’s desire to care for us? He is the perfect, sinless, eternal, infinite Father—our Abba Father.

But there is a secondary point as well. As followers of Christ, we should realize the urgency of meeting our children’s needs and giving them what is best. They are God’s blessing to us, and they need all the patience, prayers, and Bible verses we can give them.

Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children. Chuck Swindol


Sermon on the Mount – Matthew 7:7-11 – In Depth – Pastor Chuck Smith – Bible Studies

Compassion on the Job

[Jesus] had compassion on them and healed their sick. Matthew 14:14

 

My friend Ellen calculates payroll for an accounting firm. This may sound like a straightforward job, but there are times when employers submit their information later than requested. Ellen often makes up for this by working long hours so employees can receive their money without delay. She does this out of consideration for the families that depend on those funds to buy groceries, purchase medicine, and pay for housing.

Ellen’s compassionate approach to her job points me to Jesus. On earth, He sometimes ministered to people when it was inconvenient for Him. For instance, Christ wanted some alone time after He heard that John the Baptist had been killed, so He boarded a boat in search of an isolated place (Matthew 14:13). Perhaps He needed to grieve for His relative and pray through His sorrow.

There was just one problem. Crowds of people tagged along behind Him. This group had various physical needs. It would have been much easier to send the people away, but “when Jesus landed and saw [them], he had compassion on them and healed their sick” (v. 14).

Although it was part of Jesus’ calling to teach people and cure their diseases as He ministered on earth, His empathy affected the way in which He carried out His responsibilities. May God help us to recognize His compassion in our lives and give us the strength to pass it on to others.

By:  Jennifer Benson Schuldt

Reflect & Pray

How have you experienced God’s compassion and care? What prevents you from showing God’s love when you carry out your daily responsibilities?

Dear Jesus, thank You for meeting my spiritual and physical needs. Help my thankfulness to overflow in the world so that I can glorify You through caring for other people.

Interaction With a Holy God

Joshua 5:13-15

One of the blessings of being a Christian is our intimacy with God the Father. But closeness with the Lord can also tempt us to treat Him too lightly by failing to recognize His holiness or treat Him with the adoration He deserves. Joshua’s response to God’s appearance has much to teach about proper reverential fear for the Lord.

  • He approached the Lord in order to speak with Him. God is holy, but through Jesus Christ, we can freely and confidently approach Him to receive help and grace.
  • He fell on his face in humility, submission, and dependence. This is the same attitude we need to have whenever we come to God in prayer or through His Word.
  • He asked what the Lord had to say to Him. As we read Scripture, we too should ask the Lord to speak to us and teach us His ways.
  • He worshipped God with immediate obedience. If we read the Word without obeying it, we demonstrate that we do not truly fear the Lord.

What we need in our relationship with God is a balance between familial intimacy and holy fear. Consider whether the way you approach Him might need some adjustment.

For Me to Intercede

“Wherefore, he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25)

The second verse of the moving old hymn “Arise, My Soul, Arise” speaks of Christ’s intercessory work on our behalf and the basis on which His prayers are accepted.

He ever lives above; For me to intercede,
His all-redeeming love, His precious blood to plead.
His blood atoned for all our race
And sprinkles now the throne of grace.

Christ is our intercessor, pleading with the Father to save us from our sins, for which the penalty has been paid by His “sacrifice…for this he did once, when he offered up himself” (Hebrews 7:27). It is “the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:19) that pleads for our forgiveness. He does this for us because He “loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood” (Revelation 1:5) as we come to God in repentant faith.

Because Jesus was Himself a fully righteous man, He could die on another’s behalf; because He was fully God the Son, His death was sufficient to pay the penalty for the whole human race: “Jesus Christ the righteous; And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:1-2). “Thou art worthy…for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation” (Revelation 5:9).

Only in this way can we come “to the general assembly and the church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling” (Hebrews 12:23-24). JDM

Only To the Individual

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

—2 Corinthians 5:10

 

No church is any better or worse than the individual Christians who compose it….

One consequence of our failure to see clearly the true nature of revival is that we wait for years for some supernatural manifestation that never comes, overlooking completely our own individual place in the desired awakening. Whatever God may do for a church must be done in the single unit, the one certain man or woman. Some things can happen only to the isolated, single person; they cannot be experienced en masse. Statistics show, for instance, that 100 babies are born in a certain city on a given day. Yet the birth of each baby is for that baby a unique experience, an isolated, personal thing….

Three thousand persons were converted at Pentecost, but each one met his sin and his Savior alone. The spiritual birth, like the natural one, is for each one a unique, separate experience shared in by no one. And so with that up rush of resurgent life we call revival. It can come to the individual only.   SIZ014-015

Lord, make me sensitive this morning to my “own individual place in the desired awakening.” Whatever work needs to be done to this “isolated, single person”do it today, I pray. Amen.

 

Not Good or Bad, but Alive

Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

—Romans 8:9

 

There are religious persons who have the name of Christ but whose spirit is the spirit of Adam. They belong to the old order which perishes, not to the new order of life in Christ Jesus. The point is not that they are good or bad but that they are dead. Their direction is wrong; they are on their way to the grave, not on their way out of it.

It is not that I plant, but what I plant that matters. A man could plant glass beads for a lifetime and have nothing to show for his trouble….

Christ makes the difference between death and life, always and everywhere. He is the Prince of Life, and whatever He touches lives. The fabled Midas had a magic power which made everything he touched turn to gold. It is not fable, but wondrously true and real, that the power to give life belongs to Christ. Nothing He touches can ever die, and whatever is dead has only to be touched by Him and it lives again forever. TET059-060

We who bear the name of Christ should give ourselves no rest till we are sure that we possess the Spirit of Christ….Without that Spirit no man can speak a living word or do an immortal deed. TET060

 

Depend on God

Psalm 121:1

 

In 1992 I was diagnosed with cancer. I received radiation and had multiple surgeries and chemotherapy for months. This was a very dark time of my life. Allan, my husband, was a complete source of strength and affirmation for me.

The cancer seemed to go into remission. But in 1994 it metastasized to my right lung. More chemotherapy didn’t work. In November, a doctor told me to go home and plan my funeral. I got a new doctor!

Just as I was preparing for a bone marrow transplant, the most unfathomable thing happened. Allan was diagnosed with lung cancer.

I was stunned. And for the first time, I was angry. “Cancer in one parent is enough!” I said to the Lord. Plus, I loved Allan more than I loved myself. I was grief-stricken.

I was consumed with the idea that the Lord would call me home at any moment. But God chose to sustain my life and to take Allan home to be with him in October, 1995.

My life changed dramatically after that. I asked myself, “Who is Normajean? What kind of officer will I be? How do I raise three teenagers by myself?” My life was in fragments. God showed His purpose for me in Philippians 2:5, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.”

Just as I was feeling strong again emotionally, my cancer returned and penetrated my bone structure. My doctor told me I would be chemotherapy dependent for the rest of my life. I had to think really hard about that. But the Lord showed me I already was a dependent person. I was dependent on the Lord for His love and guidance. I was dependent on my children and family and friends for their love. So I figured I was just adding chemotherapy to the list.

I had to ask, “What does the Lord want me to do with the days He’s given me? How can I show Christ in how I live through these days?” Opportunities have come that have been exceedingly abundantly more than I could ask or think.

People ask me if I pray for healing. I believe I am already healed. Not of cancer, but healed in my heart. Because after all I have been through, after all I have lost, after all I have suffered, I still believe in God, and I still trust Him for every day. I want Him to use my life to show He is faithful and trustworthy for the good days and the bad. And I want someday to hear Him say, “Well done!”

Normajean Honsberger, Good News!