7 - First be reconciled, then present your offering

Greg Aikins on March 20, 2020

(Commands of Jesus in Matthew) Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar.  First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.  – Matt. 5:23-24, NIV. This is a radical demand from our Lord.  I cannot simply gloss over it with excuses as to its impracticability or even impossibility.  I have to face Jesus’ words squarely and let them search my heart. In the context of the Sermon on the Mount, I am forced...

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6 - Let your light shine

Greg Aikins on February 7, 2020

(Commands of Jesus in Matthew) You are like salt for all mankind.  But if salt loses its saltiness, there is no way to make it salty again.  It has become worthless, so it is thrown out and people trample on it. You are like light for the whole world.  A city built on a hill cannot be hid.  No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bowl; instead he puts it on the lampstand, where it gives light for everyone in the house.  In the same way your light must shine before people, so that they will see...

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5 - Rejoice

Greg Aikins on January 2, 2020

(Commands of Jesus in Matthew) Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.  Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad; for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you (Matthew 5:11-12, KJV).                 This exhortation to “rejoice” comes at the end of Jesus’ call to radical discipleship, which we call the Beatitudes.  In these verses he is teaching his followers that following him will distinguish them more and more from those who are not.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in...

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4 - Follow me

Greg Aikins on December 17, 2019

(Commands of Jesus in Matthew) As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew.  They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.  “Come, follow me, Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”  At once they left their nets and followed him (Matt. 4:18-20, NIV). Jesus calls for repentance - a decision to change my mind about what I have previously believed and head in a different direction.  If I do so and ask, “What’s next after that?” Jesus answers, “Follow me.” We...

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3 - Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near

Greg Aikins on December 6, 2019

When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he returned to Galilee.  Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali – to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, The way to the sea, along the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles – The people living in darkness have seen a great light; On those living in the land of the shadow of death A light has dawned. From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the...

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