Have you ever done a deep dive into Matthew 5-7? You might know it better as “the Sermon on the Mount.” This morning, my family and I began Chapter 6. We’ve been studying Chapter 5 for the last few weeks, and the more I read it and talk about it with them, the more I discover that it’s ALL ABOUT THE HEART. Giving for the wrong reasons, praying for the wrong reasons, doing acts of righteousness for the wrong reasons(all to be seen by and receive praise from others) all equal an earthly reward and a heavenly miss.
Loved ones, Our lives exist to bring glory to God. Jesus didn’t merely die to take our sins away, He died and gave us the Holy Spirit to make us Holy. God dwells within us, so what part of righteousness has to do with us? Absolutely none. we were made in the image of God, our sin ruined that image, and Jesus died to restore that image. He rose again that we might live with Him some day, and we, by the process of sanctification, may be like Him when we are fully realized in His presence in eternity. None of that work is about us! It’s all about Him. We’re the ones in need of a new heart, Jesus provides it, then sends the Spirit of God to live there!
Where does your heart lie? In what does it trust? Does it trust in its good works to save it? It’s knowledge? The works that it does? The heart, though, is a wicked thing. twisting even our good works in to points of pride and self-worship. All things, must be brought into submission and humility toward God. Otherwise, we’re just magnifying ourselves. And, as Jesus said, we’re already receiving our reward (in this life) in full.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!
For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; build up the walls of Jerusalem; then will you delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar.