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November 3, 2022 - Matthew 5

One of the typical characteristics of a cult is its legalistic teaching and authoritative control over members. Jesus was a law-giver, but the instructions he has given us, unlike those of the cults, are life-giving. They do not lead to bondage, but to freedom. They do not weary; rather, they bring joy. The words of Jesus are grace filled.


“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth . . .” (5:3-5). Jesus teaches about the blessedness his disciples experience and the joy that is ours and that we are salt and a light on the hill and . . . and . . .


And even when Jesus gets into the real meaty parts of the law – murder, adultery, divorce, lying – you just get this sense that this is not mere legalism, but a kingdom ethic that brings peace and joy. Go the second mile. Love your enemy. Direction on how to pray, to give. Encouragement to trust and rest in the Lord and his provisions. Be sure I am in the right before I begin to point my finger at others. Build on the solid ground.


These are grace filled words. In all the world, there is no equivalent. They lead us to live our lives as Jesus has instructed: “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (5:16). Remember that little rhyme we learned as children?


This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!

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