Read Matthew 5:1-12.
Today’s society would like us to believe Jesus’ teachings were for another time. But Jesus’ teachings are as startlingly relevant today as they were when He first spoke them—and they are still turning cultural norms upside-down. We live in a world broken with the sin of self-worship, where society reveres self-realization. But Jesus’ teachings are of a heavenly nature, unmarred by sin. He calls us to live holy lives of Christlike character, full of goodness and humility to prepare us for the culture of His eternal Kingdom.
Secular culture says, “Happy are the rich—those who die with the most toys, for that makes life worthwhile,” but Jesus says, “Blessed are you who hunger and thirst for righteousness because you will truly be satisfied.” Society's pundits say, “Happy are you who get even, for this is a mean world,” but the Lord of all says, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” While the cultural elite say, “Happy are you when you eliminate godly standards so that you can live your truth,” the Messiah says, “Blessed are you who are persecuted because of righteousness, for yours is the Kingdom of heaven.”
Jesus’ counter-cultural, Kingdom-oriented teachings show us how to develop true character—character that even this broken world commends, though it struggles to understand it. This kind of character cannot be established in any life without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. For, a life lived beautifully, one that lasts eternally, is the life that follows the narrow road after Christ.
Prayer: Jesus, Your ways are matchless—fully satisfying and offering joy and peace that transcend understanding. Your ways are perfect; may I seek them whole-heartedly by the power of Your Spirit working in me. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
“But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness” (1 Timothy 6:11).
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