Tag Archives: Matthew 5

The Road to Life (2008)

The writing on the wall at Belshazzar’s banquet teaches us what it means to deny ourselves and enter the narrow gate. The first word, mene, signifies the sinner’s condition: though he thought he could dethrone God and be in charge of his own life, God will finally put an end to this stolen sovereignty. Tekel signifies the reckoning at the final judgment of the areas of our life that we shaved off and gave to the enemy, darkness, or casualness. Parsin represents hell.

Because we’ve all shaved off and stolen from God, the only way to not be found wanting at the judgment is to buy gold tried in the fire. Outward obedience and trying hard will never get us there–that is a system of works. Instead, to pass through the narrow gate is to deny our own sense of ability and any personal agenda, fully give ourselves to Jesus, and receive his righteousness. This act of faith causes a great groaning in our souls as our inner rebellion and wickedness cry out against crucifixion. Will you, like Nebuchadnezzar, humble your heart before the mighty God of heaven? Or, like Belshazzar, will you spend your last day on earth partying with the holy things of God?

(Notes available!)

A New Beginning of Obedience to God

A person who looks into Jesus’ face, and sees the hardness and arrogance of his own heart, will respond with strong feelings and pained weeping. Once this sin is exposed, it cannot be covered; it must be removed by Jesus. Looking into theology, being distracted, or believing that when God looks at you he sees Jesus, will comfort the heart in its sin so that it doesn’t have to go through the pain of considering its real condition and what it means to be obedient to Jesus. Do you weep over sin–either your own, or the sin of others? Did you once have warm feelings that have now grown cold? Or have you never experienced this? If you’re not walking right with Jesus, will you let today be a new beginning of obedience to God?

Weeping before Jesus

Thanks be to Jesus, Pastor Ray is back on the radio from 1-2 p.m. continuing the study of the book of Hebrews. In addition to resuming the study in Hebrews 3, he also includes the highlights of the Sunday sermon on the Beatitudes, which we were unable to successfully record. Today’s message is a stern warning from Hebrews 3, which says in part, “Today if you hear His voice, May you not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion.”  Have you trusted in false teachings that allow you to walk in sin or bitterness of heart?

How to Be Happy? (2008)

Today’s post is part of a series on the Beatitudes and this one is the first message. This will provide a foundation for an understanding of the Sermon on the Mount. Each of the beatitudes begin “Blessed is he” which literally means happy is he. Isn’t it time that you become happy in Jesus?

I’ll leave you with the words of that blessed hymn:

Trust and obey,
 For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus,
But to trust and obey