“I wish I would have talked about Jesus more,” a colleague who has given more than 30 years to living and working overseas shared. He went on to explain what it means to follow Jesus. I will be writing several articles to share his insightful thoughts. I pray you will have a greater understanding of living in the Kingdom of God.
“Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.” Romans 13:14 (NLT)
Playing the Part of Jesus
Scripture instructs the church to be “clothed” with the presence of Jesus. Following Christ means consciously embracing Him in such a way that His character is manifested in all you do and say.
The Spoken Words of God
Some Bibles print the words of Jesus in red, giving them special emphasis. Most people do not hear the audible voice of God. By reading the words spoken by Jesus is a person reading the audible voice of God? Regardless, His recorded words are very special.
The Most Important Words
Recognizing the words of Jesus being of great value, is there a ranking order in which some of His words are more important?
The Sermon on the Mount
After asking twelve disciples to follow Him, Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount. This was His inaugural address, His opening speech in ministry.
How do we Know it’s Important?
Jesus sat when He gave the sermon. It was an ancient tradition to be seated when saying something of great importance. “Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.” Matthew 5:1
Matthew also states, “He opened His mouth and began to teach them” (v. 2). The phrase, “he opened his mouth” means Jesus was speaking from His heart, the words carried great significance. The original word translated “began” teaching meant this was an ongoing message, something repeated at other locations. The sermon was the base of his message and ministry.
The Message Theme
The theme of the message is righteousness:
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt. 6:33).
Righteousness is giving both to God and man their due. When man is giving God His due, the Bible translates the word as righteousness. When God is giving man his due, the Bible translates the word as justice. The link between righteousness and justice is loving God and man.
What Foundation are you Building on?
At the end of Jesus’ message, He refers to two foundations. One house is built on a rock and another on sand. Life is like building a house and storms must be considered. Knowing storms will come, on what foundation are you building your life? Is your life able to weather storms? Are you building on principles defined by Jesus or upon worldly desires? The foundation determines what happens when a storm comes.
Clothe yourself in the righteousness of Christ and build your life on His solid foundation. Live for God by loving Him and others.
What kind of foundation are you building your life on? How can you display love for God and love for your neighbor? Share your comments below.