Useful Links
Coming soon, information to help you get the most out of the world's most important book!

Teleos: Discover Your Destiny
Prayer and guidance for seeking God's will.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Inspirational Verses from the Sermon on the Mount: the Lord's Prayer

More properly, this is the Disciples' Prayer - it's the one He taught US. It's position in the Sermon on the Mount is important. Jesus had just finished warning the disciples against meaningless repetition. The prayer is not some sort of magic mantra that will bring us blessings and keep us safe from curses - as if we were a cargo cult.

Instead, it's a pattern - a patchwor of themes that our own prayers should focus on if we are to develop an intimate relationship with our true Heavenly Father.

Our purpose is not to develop a mental checklist of spiritual topics, but to present ourselves in a way that acnowledges firstly who God is - then focuses on ourselves - our need of Him if we are to meet the needs of those around us.

Technorati Tags:

Friday, January 05, 2007

Inspirational Bible Verses from the Sermon on the Mount

Matthew ch6. v.4 is the first of a short series of verses that make an important point.

As the song says:

It aint what you do, it's the way that you do it.

Our motivation in doing good - whether praying, giving, fasting - whatever - is not to impress other people. Otherwise we're no better than anyone else who just wants to show off. It isn't even to impress God - He knows what's going on inside us anyway.

Technorati Tags:

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Inspirational Verses from the Sermon on the Mount #3 I say to you...

You have heard...

But I say to you...

These two phrases come up again and again in the last half of Matthew ch.5

But, in verse 17, Jesus makes it quite clear. He has not come to destroy the Law or the Prophets. He has come to fulfill all that they wrote about.

These verses lay a far higher standard of behaviour on believers than would have been expected. It is simple enough, most of the time to modify the outward behaviour of the majority of people. The Law was good at that. But, it has no effect on the inward life of the soul - except to show sin up for what it truly is.

The Law's role was to show us that we were in need of a saviour. But it was powerless in itself to save us.

Jesus came, not to subvert or usurp the Law and its clear demands. Instead He came to fulfill those demands on our behalf. We would have no hope of internalisin the Law to approach the higher standard that Jesus reveals in this passage - but with the Holy spirit dwelling in us, we can have the power on the inside to say no to temptation and sin. And even if we do fall, we have God's forgiveness to be able to stand once again in His strength.

Technorati Tags:

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Inpirational Bible Verses from the Sermon on the Mount #2 salt and light

Matthew ch.5 v.13 puts it simply. Jesus calls us salt and light.

As a consummate storyteller, Jesus knew the power of the power of the images conjured up by His words. They ring less true to us today because of our society of convenience. You want light? Flick a switch. You want salt? It's there in abundance in our supermarkets!

To his listeners, the words meant something else. Salt and light were essential to life and were not always easy to come by. Salt was the great preserver and gave flavour to all it came into contact with. Light was needed to guide in the dark and show up dangers for what they were.

And that's us. We have an essential part to play in preserving society and giving it a distint flavour. We are needed to give guidance and to show things up for what they really are - exposing imagined dangers as superstitious fancies and illuminating the dak pits where people might fall.

Technorati Tags:

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Inspirational Verses from the Sermon on the Mount #1

You will find the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew ch.5 through to ch.7. There is a parallel passage in Luke's gospel - an account of a different location where a similar sermon was preached. Like many travelling preachers today, Jesus probably gve the same sermon in several locations; adding emphasis, changng stories slightly to suit a specific local audience.

The Beatitudes

There are nine of them at the start of the sermon - they are blessings, telling us how we are to be envied by others if these thing are true of us, and pointing out why we are so blessed if that is the case.

Each one would deserve a short sermon of their own - that is not the purpose of this posting though. All I want to do is give a broad overview to inspire you to dig deeper for yourself.

They turn the world upside down. We don't think of a person who is consumed by a quest for social justice for others as particularly 'blessed'. We avoid people who mourn and despise those who don't push themselves forward as being weak and ineffectual.

But Jesus sees the full story - not the side tainted with self-interest. And He tells it like it truly is. If you want to be true to yourself and experience life as it should be lived, you have to play to the rel rules - not the ones we're conditioned to expect from a self-seeking generation.

Technorati Tags: