Matthew 6:5 “And when you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Truly I say to you, They have their reward.” Reflection From the Lord Jesus’ words, we can understand one principle of prayer, that is, we need to pray before God rather than purposely let people hear. The Pharisees in the Bible the Lord mentioned prayed exactly like that. They made prayers standing in the corners of the streets and showed to people outwardly that they were devout and loved the Lord. However, God observes the depths of man’s hearts and He sees clearly their intentions and aims. They deceived God in this way and such actions just showed their hypocrisy. And this example can also serve as God’s admonition to us. Thanks be to the Lord! » You may be interested in reading more: • Church Life: How to Enter Into True Prayer • How to Make Effective Prayers? • How to Pray to God So That God Answers Our Prayers: 3 Principles
Matthew 6:1 “Take heed that you do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise you have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.” Reflection This is the Lord Jesus’ demands on us. No matter what we do, regardless of whether it is a big thing or a small thing, God hopes that we should do it before God not before man, in order to obey God and satisfy God’s requirements, not to obtain honor of others. But a lot of time, we do things to make our brothers and sisters think highly of us, as well as to win the praise of pastors and elders, just as God says: “Everything he did was actually human goodness and he did not at all seek the truth, and everything he has done was in vain because it was all done in front of people and not before God, and moreover was not practiced in accordance with God’s requirements and in accordance with the truth. Everything he did was not practicing the truth or God’s word, and moreover was not carrying out God’s will. Rather, he was using man’s kind-heartedness and good behavior to help people. In summation, he did not seek God’s intentions in anything he did, nor did he do it in accordance with God’s requirements. Therefore, in God’s eyes, people’s good behavior is condemned and not commemorated” (“Knowing Yourself Requires Knowing Your Deep-rooted Thoughts and Views”). God’s words make me think of hypocritical Pharisees. When they donated, they deliberately let others see. When they prayed, they stood at crossroads on purpose. They pretended godly before men. On the contrary, they didn’t obey the commandments and demands of God. All that they have done is to establish themselves and bring man before them, so they were not commemorated by God, but condemned by God. Today, if we see brothers and sisters in a passive state, we’ll provide and support them. If we see someone in trouble, we will help them. But if what we do is just to let others praise us, and have our place in their hearts, not to care about and carry out God’s will, in the same way, such “”good deeds”” as we do are in vain, and we shall not receive God’s praise. » You may be interested in reading more: • Can People Really Enter the Heavenly Kingdom By Having Good Behaviors? • Can We Achieve Salvation If We Don’t Believe In God, But Do Good Works? » Most people also watch Christian Movie : “I Am a Good Person!” – What Is a Truly Good Person?
Matthew 5:37 “But let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no: for whatever is more than these comes of evil.” Reflection We all know that God is faithful, in God there is no deceit and fake. God is sincere to every one and He hopes us to be honest. When we pray, whether we are in a weak or strong condition, we should speak to God; whatever thoughts or plans, sorrow or troubles, we should open up our hearts to tell God. Sometimes we are too embarrassed to tell others about something, we can’t conceal the truth from God but open our hearts and tell the truth to Him. When God sees that we have no concealment but are open and sincere to Him in prayer, He will guide us to understand His will. Then our troubles and difficulties will be solved. » You may be interested in reading more: • Christian Experience at Work: I Never Lose Anything by Being an Honest Person • Applying for Jobs Honestly, I’ve Seen God’s Blessings • The Secret to Improving Interpersonal Relationships—Be an Honest Person » Most people also watch Christian Movie: “The People of the Heavenly Kingdom” – An Inspirational True Story
Matthew 5:20 “For I say to you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Reflection “In the Age of Law, the Pharisees were proficient in the law of Moses, and kept all the rituals of the law and ancient traditions. However, they paid no attention to seeking God’s will so that all they had done betrayed God’s will. The Lord Jesus revealed the sins of the scribes and Pharisees. They were hypocrites who pretended to be very reverent in the hope of being praised by others. They used various rules and man’s traditions to replace God’s requirements of man. They explained the law in the temple and asked the common people to abide by it, while they themselves violated the law, devouring the widows’ houses and killing the prophets. They didn’t accept the way preached by the Lord Jesus. Instead, they deceived the Israelites and hindered them from following the Lord. In fear of that others would follow the Lord Jesus after hearing the way of the Lord Jesus, they bore false witness to frame Jesus Christ, and even murdered Him.… The evil they had done was detested by God, and also showed us the reason why the Pharisees and scribes couldn’t enter the kingdom of heaven. We Christians should exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, then we can enter the kingdom of heaven. The Lord Jesus’ words clearly told us the requirements to enter the kingdom of heaven: “Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). “Be you holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). These verses tell us that God does not look at how much work we have done, but only sees our hearts, and sees whether we do things according to His words and demands. Only thus can we exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, and enter the kingdom of heaven.” » You may be interested in reading more: • How to Welcome the Lord’s Return to Be After God’s Will • What Is Following God’s Will? • Truth Forum: Working Hard Doesn’t Mean Knowing God’s Will
Matthew 5:17 “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” Reflection We are all familiar with these words the Lord has said, but few among us understand the real meaning of them. Actually, these words embody that God carries His work in steps and according to His plans, and that God’s work is all closely interconnected, rising higher with each step. The Lord Jesus’ work of redemption is for fulfilling and improving the law, not for destroying the law. Just as God says, “The work done by Jesus was merely a stage higher than the Old Testament; it was used to begin an age, and to lead that age. Why did He say, ‘I have not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill’? Yet in His work there was much which differed from the laws practiced and the commandments followed by the Israelites of the Old Testament, for He did not come to obey the law, but to fulfill it. The process of fulfilling it included many actual things: His work was more practical and real, and, furthermore, it was alive, and not the blind adherence to doctrine. Did the Israelites not keep the Sabbath? When Jesus came He did not observe the Sabbath, for He said that the Son of man was the Lord of the Sabbath, and when the Lord of the Sabbath arrived, He would do as He wished. He had come to fulfill the laws of the Old Testament and to change the laws” (“The Vision of God’s Work (1)”). From these words we can see the work the Lord Jesus did was based on the work of Jehovah God. For example, the Lord asked people to keep the law, “watch your tongue, and not commit adultery.” Meanwhile, he set out the commandments for the new age based on the stature of mankind at that time and the needs of new work. The commandments for the new age is more practical and alive. Clearly, God does His work by Himself. Outwardly, there are contradictions between the work of the Lord and the work of Jehovah. In fact, He has arranged all things methodically and carefully. Then, let’s have a think: What work will Jesus do when He returns? Will He do the work which is higher than the work of the Lord Jesus? » You may be interested in reading more: • What Is the Work of Managing Mankind? • Knowing the Three Stages of God’s Work Is the Path to Knowing God • Exactly What Work Will Jesus Do When He Returns?
Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” Reflection The Lord Jesus requires us to be the light of the world, that is, we should live out the decency of saints in our life. Through our living out we could bear witness for God and glorify God. In this way, as people in the world saw our good deeds, they saw God’s glory through us. After seeing God’s deeds, they could come before God to seek the truth, worship the one true God, and then be cared and blessed by the Lord. Thus, we will have achieved the result. Just as God’s word says, “If you can win the admiration of your brothers and sisters, your family members, and everyone around you; if, one day, the unbelievers come, and admire all that you do, and see that all that God does is wonderful, then you will have borne testimony” (from “Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). So in our daily life, only by acting according to the Lord’s words in all things and following the Lord’s way can we play the role as the light. » You may be interested in reading more: • Trust in God and Win God’s Grace in Daily Life • Effective Way to Resolve Interpersonal Conflict • How Experience Unfortunate Things After Follow Almighty God?
Today’s Gospel You are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his flavor, with which shall it be salted? it is thereafter good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. – Matthew 5:13 Reflection As an essential seasoning in daily life, salt has a preservative effect on food . The Lord Jesus compared the disciples to salt, and required us Christians to be the salt of the world. No matter who we get along with, the unbelievers or the brothers or sisters in the Lord, we shall always follow the teachings of the Lord Jesus. For example, when brothers and sisters are unable to live in harmony, we shall care for the Lord’s burden to pray for them and fellowship about the Lord’s will with them. Since the church is the body of the Lord, we are required to be forgiving and patient to those believers who pursue the truth, to love each other and live before the Lord, to manifest His glory. If we ignore the discords between brothers and sisters and regard it as an irrelevant, we don’t play our role, or exert our portion of strength, nor do we live out the Lord’s requirements. That is what the Lord wishes not to see. If the wicked engage in jealous disputes, forming cliques and causing disturbance and destruction in the church, but we can’t step out to uphold the interests of the church, or defend the harmony between brothers and sisters, then we failed to play our role as the salt, either. » You may be interested in reading more: • How I Let Go of My Resentment Against My Close Friend • How to Live in Harmony With a Stroppy Roommate • Building a Good Relationship Is Not a Problem Anymore
Today’s Gospel Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. – Matthew 5:12 Reflection This verse is full of the Lord’s intention and His promise to those who follow Him. From the saints of times past to the Christians of today, they have experienced persecution. There’s one thing we should know: Those believers who suffer discrimination, abuse, ridicule, even the arrest, persecution and the hardship of life are blessed. We shouldn’t aggrieve by suffering persecution and even less should we doubt God’s way and His work because of persecution. Instead, we should rejoice and be exceedingly glad, because the persecution we suffer is more proof that ours is the true God and what we hold onto is the true way. Just as God’s words say, “Among you, there is not one man who receives the protection of the law; rather, you are penalized by the law, and the greater difficulty is that no man understands you, be it your relatives, your parents, your friends, or your colleagues. None understand you. When God rejects you, there is no way for you to continue living on earth. However, even so, people cannot bear to leave God; this is the significance of God’s conquest of people, and this is God’s glory.”“This is just as in the stage of Jesus’ work; He could only be glorified among those Pharisees who persecuted Him. If not for such persecution and the betrayal of Judas, Jesus would not have been ridiculed or slandered, much less crucified, and thus could never have gained glory.” God’s words tell us that His wisdom is based on Satan’s schemes. Outwardly, the Lord Jesus was subjected to great persecution and tribulation, but which had completed God’s plan of all mankind’s redemption. He was nailed to the cross and had redeemed us sinners. » You may be interested in reading more: • Oppression of Faith: After Serving Time the Oppression Continues • How to Overcome Trials and Tribulations in Life • A Young Christian’s Story: How I Grew Under Persecution and Tribulations » Most people also watch christian movie: The People of the Heavenly Kingdom
Today’s Gospel Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 5:6 Reflection The prophets throughout the ages have been persecuted, and some of them have even been killed. The twelve apostles of the Lord Jesus, except John, were all martyred, and when those foreign missionaries came to China to preach the gospel, they used their own blood and lives to sow the seeds of the gospel in China, completing their mission. But compared with the promises of the Lord Jesus, what do these persecutions count for? The Lord Jesus clearly told us that it is blessed that we are persecuted for believing in God, because the reward which was given by God is great. God’s words say: “Have you ever accepted the blessings that you were given? Have you ever sought the promises that you were made? You will surely, under the guidance of My light, break through the stranglehold of the forces of darkness. You will surely not, in the midst of darkness, lose the light guiding you. You will surely be the master of all creation. You will surely be an overcomer before Satan. You will surely, at the downfall of the kingdom of the great red dragon, stand up amid the myriad throngs to bear witness to My victory. You will surely be resolute and unwavering in the land of Sinim. Through the sufferings you endure, you will inherit the blessing that comes from Me, and will surely irradiate within the entire universe with My glory” (“The Nineteenth Utterance” of God’s Utterances to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh). It is the end time now, the Lord Jesus also prophesied that there will be great disasters in the last days. When we are able to bear resounding testimony in the great tribulation and to be an overcomer before Satan, we are to be qualified for God’s blessing. » You may be interested in reading more: • Why Do They Persist in Preaching the Gospel Despite Persecution • 4 Steps to Magnify the Lord in Your Life – Daily Practice • Bible Verses About Entering the Kingdom of Heaven
Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” Reflection This is the Lord Jesus’ teaching to us Christians. We should be peacemakers. In the Bible Abram and Lot went up out of Egypt into the south. There was a strife for land between Abram’s herdsmen and Lot’s herdsmen. But Abram said to Lot, “Let there be no strife, I pray you, between me and you, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we be brothers. Is not the whole land before you? separate yourself, I pray you, from me: if you will take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if you depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.” Abram didn’t quarrel with Lot, yet God bestowed more land to Abram. In addition, when his son Isaac dwelled in Gerar, Isaac received a hundred times what he sowed because of God’s blessings. And he had flocks, herds and great store of servants. The Philistines envied Isaac and asked him to move away. In order to get along harmoniously with them, Isaac left secretly. While Isaac’s servants dug out the wells of fresh water several times, the herdsmen of Gerar strove for those. However, Isaac never quarreled with the herdsmen of Gerar, so they didn’t strove any more, in addition, since Isaac lived in harmony with people, showed restraint to others again and again and never argued with others, God bestowed him more blessings. Even the king of the Philistines went to see Isaac personally and made a covenant with him. Isaac feasted the king and treated his enemy who repelled him, with love. From this we can see, blessed are those who are able to make others live in harmony. They not only have peace and joy in their hearts but also be blessed and cared for by God. So we should learn to get along with others in our life. » You may be interested in reading more: • I Have Found the Way to End the Strife With My Competitor • A Christian’s Testimony: How to Mend a Friendship Broken by Interests • 4 Tips for Christians to Get Along With People and Build a Good Relationship
Today’s Gospel Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. – Matthew 5:7 Reflection Here the Lord Jesus teaches us to understand and forgive others. If we do this, our mistakes will also be understood and forgiven by others when we do something wrong. Just as we are deeply corrupted before the Lord, yet the Lord still saves us with His supreme love. As Christians, we should live out the Lord’s love and always put ourselves in others’ shoes to understand and forgive others, just like the Lord Jesus telling Peter to forgive others seventy times seven. Each of us has weakness and some shortcomings. If people’s relationship cannot be built on the basis of loving and forgiving one another, they cannot achieve harmony and show love and mercy to one another, thus they cannot get along with one another. The Lord is unwilling to see this situation. However, in real life, we always have barriers with others because of some small things, and always request others to understand us first. In order to get along well with others, what should we do? Some God’s words came to me, “A proper relationship between people is established on the foundation of giving their heart to God; it is not achieved through human effort. Without God, relationships between people are merely relationships of the flesh. They are not proper, but are indulgent of lust—they are relationships that God detests, that He loathes” (from “Establishing a Proper Relationship With God Is Very Important”). In fact, if we want to be able to show love, mercy and understanding to others, first we should have a normal relationship with God. Only if we have a normal relationship with God and understand God’s will can we know how to treat others. God will also guide us. » You may be interested in reading more: • 4 Tips for Christians to Get Along With People and Build a Good Relationship • 27 Bible Verses About Blessing: Living According to God’s Word • Bible Verses about Mercy: Encouraging Scripture
Matthew 4:19 “And He said to them, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Reflection In the words of the Lord Jesus we see what God expects of and entrusts to Peter and Andrew his brother. They two brothers with other apostles spread out the gospel of the Lord Jesus after He finished His work. That made the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus dispersed to the whole world, which is indeed the same as the Lord Jesus said to make them “fisher of men”. Of course, the Lord’s word is also God’s expectation and commission for everyone who follows God nowadays, that He hopes after accepting God’s gospel, we can listen to, practice and equip ourselves with God’s words, experience His work, and then spread the gospel. It is the mission of every Christian to take more those who belong to God back to Him, just as God says: “Can you express God’s disposition of the age in suitable language that has age significance? Through your experience of God’s work, can you describe in detail the disposition of God? How can you describe it fittingly, appropriately? So that through this, others can learn about your experiences. How will you pass on your seeings and experiences to those pitiable, poor, and devout religious believers who hunger and thirst for righteousness and are waiting for you to shepherd them? What kind of characters are waiting for you to shepherd them? Can you imagine? Are you aware of the burden you shoulder, your commission, and your responsibility? Where is your historic sense of mission? How will you serve as a good master for the next age? Do you have a great sense of masterhood? How would you explain the master of all things? Is it really the master of all living creatures and all substance in the world? What plans do you have for the progress of the next step of work? How many people are waiting for you to be their shepherd? Is your task a heavy one? They are poor, pitiable, blind, and at a loss, wailing in the darkness, ‘Where is the way?’ How they yearn for the light, like a shooting star, to suddenly descend and disperse the force of darkness that has oppressed men for so many years.” “You must know that when My work is expanding, I will scatter you, and I will strike you just as Jehovah struck the tribes of Israel. All this will be done so that My gospel may be enlarged over all the earth, so that My work may spread to the Gentile nations. Thus, My name will be magnified by adults and children alike and My holy name will be exalted by the mouths of people from all tribes and nations. In the final era, I will have My name magnified among the Gentile nations, make My deeds seen by the Gentiles so they will call Me the Almighty, and cause My words to soon come to pass. I will make all people know that I am not only the God of the Israelites, but the God of all Gentile nations, even of the nations I have cursed. I will let all people see that I am the God of all creation. This is My greatest work, the purpose of My work plan for the last days, and the only work to be fulfilled in the last days.” God’s words express His eager desire to save man, which enable us to feel God’s love to us, and to see that many who live in the darkness wish to seek the light, and that there are also many who still have no knowledge of God and need to gain God’s salvation. Faced with God’s commission, we shall imitate Peter to offer up ourselves for the expansion work of God’s gospel. » You may be interested in reading more: • Spread the Gospel – Faith Grows in the Midst of Setbacks • What’s True Faith in God? » Most people also watch Christian Movie: “The Gospel Messenger”-Preaching the Gospel of the Last Days