Matthew 5:13-16 Salt and Light

Called to be Salt & LIght

Called to be Salt & LIght

Jesus continues His “sermon on the mount” with likening us to salt and light.

I did a little research this morning on salt losing its flavor. The majority of the sites I visited say that salt does not lose its flavor. These were all referencing table salt, NaCl. In an article from “Evidence for Christianity”, they addressed salt that is specific to the region Jesus lived in and its loss of flavor. I don’t know which type of salt Jesus was talking about in His message but I do know that salt can lose its usefulness.

It takes quite a bit for salt to become totally useless, especially since it can be used so many different ways. Uses for salt: Flavoring, preservative, melting ice, freezing ice cream in a churn, preventing plant growth, essential mineral for life, making play dough, as a cleaner, remove the sting from insect bites, medicinal soaking solution, extinguishing grease fires, dye fixative, pest control, a pre-shampoo to control dandruff, even as an art form.   Read more »

Matthew 5:9-12 Be Attitudes: Peace minded, Persecuted, and Reviled

Horns and halo

My good side won this round

We have arrived at the last three beatitudes.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God” (verse 9). A peacemaker sees both sides of a position or conflict as valuable. The peacemaker values the personal relationship more than individual points in an argument. He doesn’t seek agreement on every point, but strives to reconcile the two sides through peaceful compromise.

For a LONG time in my life (all the way into early adulthood and then some), the attitude of a peacemaker was foreign to me. I was stubborn and I had a temper. I also had an entitlement attitude that was bigger than I was. People were supposed to listen to MY needs and act in accordance with MY wishes, no matter what. When things didn’t go my way I would blow up. Not quite “Katie Kaboom” but certainly not pleasant either. Read more »

Matthew 5:6-8 Be Attitudes: Hungry, Merciful, and Pure

Me without Him

Me without Him

I have been trying to write this morning for several hours now, and everything I had put down felt so phony. I have been trying to analyze Jesus’ message instead of letting it speak to my heart. I’m tired of trying to expound on His message and bring “clarity” to it. I don’t have the answers and I don’t think I have been called to be the expert, so I’m going to stop trying to fill those shoes. I’m going to simply go with what each verse means to me.

I am NO example of the person to follow in living out these attitudes in daily life. I fall FAR short of the ideal. Please help me God to take one more step each day to be who You have desired me to be. Help me become more like You every day. Read more »

Matthew 5:2-5 The Be Attitudes: Poverty, Mourning, & Meekness

The foundation of them all

The Foundational Piece

I feel ill-equipped to try and bring anyone the all-encompassing answers on what Jesus meant when He taught these attitudes. I was unable to find my workbook that I referenced in yesterday’s writings, so I turned to my other resources; my bible’s notes and Google. They provided me with a lot of answers in my search to understand what I’m reading. I’m going to share some direct quotes from my Google sources and links to the websites I found them on, in case you want to check them out too. So let’s dive into the deep end and trust God’s previous swimming lessons to get us safely back to shore.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” (verse 3). Understanding what “poor in spirit” meant was the hardest one for me. Not the hardest to do, but initially unsure of the meaning. In searching Google, I found an article from the Billy Graham Organization that helped me understand the meaning of being poor in spirit. The article says that to be poor in spirit means to recognize one’s need for God. Read more »

Matthew 5:1 Settle in brothers and sisters, because we’re going to be here a while.

jesus teaching 6

Jesus sitting down to teach

Once upon a time, I found an awesome book on the Beatitudes. I was in a pretty dark place in my life when I found this book and it helped me a lot. I am still trying to locate it in all my old writing stuff. If I do locate it I will find it on Amazon and give you a link to it.

After reading that book, I feel ill-equipped to do justice to Jesus’ sharing of the BE attitudes in His sermon on the mountain that day. BUT here we are anyway. I’m going to dive in and see where God takes us. I don’t know how long it will take us to get through this deep water but I plan on staying the course and going as slow, or fast, as He sees fit.

First thing I notice is that Matthew doesn’t break things down into: this happened, then this happened, then this happened. He lumps a LOT of time together into a few verses. Yesterday when Matthew talked about Jesus’ increasing fame, he didn’t put time qualifiers on it. So as we approach the mountain today I have no clue how many months have passed since Jesus started teaching. How many disciples were included in the statement “his disciples came to Him”? Read more »