January 23, 2021
DAY 21: JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR
Our journey today takes us up a mountain, to Jesus’s sermon on the mount, beginning with the beatitudes. What is a beatitude? Websters New World Collegiate Dictionary defines beatitude as supreme happiness. Others define beatitude as a supreme blessing. The common denominator in all the definitions is the reference to, “The Sermon On The Mount,” wherein Jesus presented the eight blessings: “The Beatitudes!”
Ask the Lord for His understanding of Matthew 5-7. Read Matthew 5-7. Let’s journey!
The Gospel of Matthew appears to have been written with Jews as the intended recipients. It contains many references to Old Testament prophecies, linking them to Jesus and demonstrating that Jesus was the awaited, prophesied Messiah. During the time of today’s reading, Rome was under a time of change, adjusting to the rule of an Emperor instead of being ruled by the Senate. Julius Caesar had been killed in 44 BC, plunging Rome into civil wars, civil unrest, and civil lawlessness. Julius’ nephew, Gaius Octavian, who later became Caesar Augustus, consolidated his power and became the first Emperor of Rome in 27 BC, and remained in power until his death in AD 14. Upon the death of Augustus, Tiberius became Emperor. King Herod, ruling Judah as a client king for Rome, was near the end of his life at the time Jesus was born. Herod died between 4 and 1 BC, after which, his sons divided the region.
Matthew 5-7: The Sermon on The Mount and The Beatitudes is one of the most recognizable of Jesus’ teachings. Simply stated, Matthew 5-7 tells us how to live a righteous life in God’s eyes. It tells that living a righteous life is challenging. The Beatitudes tell us that living a life pleasing to God is to be the primary focus of our life. It also tells us that living a righteous life is a choice: it is an individual choice each and every one of us must make. There is not middle of the road. No one is exempt. A decision, a choice, must be made. Reflect on how many times in just the first three weeks of our Journey Through The Bible in A Year the concept of free will came up! Free will, the ability to make choices. The most important choice we are required to make is whether to follow Jesus or not. This is the only choice we make that has eternal effects. (Matthew 5:1-7:29)
You may go to the series of articles on the Beatitudes on The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries, Inc’s, website for more detailed review of today’s journey.
Read chapters 5 through 7 and consider the following: Our Journey Through The Bible in A Year is to help us understand God. It is journey of learning to relate to God – communicate with Him. It is journey about surrendering all aspects of our life to Him for HIs glory. Where does your trust lie? Did you know that worry is sin? It is sin because it demonstrates a failure to trust God to guide you through whatever circumstance you are in that causes concern which grows to distress.
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