Saturday, June 07th, 2008 | Author:

Part One
I’ve been re-reading a biography titled Rees Howell, Intercessor by Norman Grubb. Here’s a quote from p. 25-26:

One thing that had hindered Rees Howells from coming through before was that while people said they were born again, he could not see that their lives were better than his. How then could he be convinced that they had something he had not? But he had sometimes said to the Lord, “If I ever see a person who is living the Sermon on the Mount, I will give in.”

The Lord led him to a preacher who was living the Sermon on the Mount, he was born again, and went on to become a key figure in the Welsh Revival of 1904.

Part Two
Last fall, I shared a message at my church on Matthew 7:24-27, a familiar passage to most Christians:

Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts upon them, may be compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded upon the rock. And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act upon them, will be like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and it fell, and great was its fall.

My main point was the difference between the wise man and the foolish man. Both heard the words of Jesus, maybe even believed the words of Jesus. The only difference between the two is that the wise man acted upon those words, and the foolish one did not. I then read aloud some of the words of Jesus that this passage refers to, from the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5 – 7.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever shall say to his brother, ‘Raca,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever shall say, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.

everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.

everyone who divorces his wife, except for the cause of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

make no oath at all … let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; and anything beyond these is of evil.

do not resist him who is evil; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone wants to sue you, and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. And whoever shall force you to go one mile, go with him two.

love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven;

Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.

if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, as to what you shall put on … But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.

Do not judge lest you be judged.

why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? … You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.

however you want people to treat you, so treat them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.

Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits … every good tree bears good fruit; but the bad tree bears bad fruit

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.

Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts upon them, may be compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock … And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act upon them, will be like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand.

A couple people told me later that they realized they did not “live” the Sermon on the Mount, and they were convicted.

Part Three
This morning I came across this excellent posting on Matthew 7:21-29 by a young Lutheran pastor. He relates a visit to a church that meets in a warehouse, most of its members dressed in ripped jeans, T-shirts, and well-worn sneakers. He listened to various conversations occurring during communion, and was convinced that this church is living the Sermon on the Mount. The hunger in his heart is evident.

Part Four
I pray that this young pastor’s church, my church, and your church, will witness to the world by living the Sermon on the Mount.
Amen

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