Substituting for Pastor Jeremiah today is guest blogger Audrey E.
Violently rejected and kicked out of Nazareth (Luke 4:16-30, Matt. 4:12-16), Jesus then begins ministry in Capernaum (Matt. 4:15-17) and settles there (Mt. 4:13). Along the Sea of Galilee, Jesus encounters Peter and Andrew, then James and John; all successful fishermen with businesses of their own. He calls, they follow.
The Beatitudes (Mt. 5:3-12) show us the character of those who will inherit the kingdom. In relation to the world, the repentant are the "salt of the earth" (Mt. 5:13) and "the light of the world" (Mt 5:14-16). In relation to the law and personal relationships Mt. 5:21-43, Jesus confirms and stresses the law's deeper, spiritual meaning. He reveals what living out the law looks like when obeyed from a pure heart. In relation to righteous deeds, whether giving (Mt. 6:1-4) or praying (Mt. 6:5-6) or fasting (Mt. 6:16-18), if done sincerely from the heart, it is to be between the believer and God alone and not for show. Anything else is idolatry. People will see "how wonderful" we are but we won't be rewarded from God (Mt 6:5). I'd rather be rewarded from Him, wouldn't you? Let's seek to guard our hearts against hypocrisy. Let's trust God; Take Him at His Word; Seek for His glory, and rest in Him (Ps. 131; Ps. 62:5). He will honor those who honor Him (First Samuel 2:30).