It's All or Nothing

for the last three days, i have been reading through Jesus' famous "Sermon on the Mount." even people who have never read a page of the Bible are familiar with many of Jesus' teachings from matthew chapters 5-7. you probably are too; many people quote them and live by them! 

"blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." (5:4) 
"blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy." (5:7) 
"blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God." (5:9) 
"our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. and do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. for Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. amen." (6:9-13) 
"for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (6:21) 
"ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. for everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." (7:7-8) 
"therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them." (7:12) 

some people view the Bible as a great piece of literature, and leave it at that. they like to go through and pick and choose which pieces of advice sound good to them. like when Jesus says to love people. or they follow 8 or 9 of the ten commandments, because those are good pieces of advice too. 

but i've been thinking. yeah. again. God never meant for the Bible to be picked at. what i mean is, He didn't inspire men of faith to write the whole thing so that people like you and me could go through and decide what applied to our lives. He means for the whole Bible to apply to our whole lives. so when you go through and only decide to listen to what sounds 'good' to you, you miss out on so much of what God has for you to learn. sure, not all of what is written in the Bible makes us feel comfortable and cozy on the inside - much of it challenges us to search our hearts and realize that we need to change, and that we can never be 'good enough' to please God, except when we trust His Son Jesus. 

if you are going to accept statements like "you shall not murder", "you shall not steal", and "therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them" as true, then maybe consider that everything that the Bible says is true. especially the most important part about Jesus dying as the payment for all of your sins so that you might live for all eternity in heaven. 

oh, my beloved friends, my heart's desire is that you would want to know and follow Jesus - not the Jesus that the world has created for itself, but the Jesus of the Bible, the real Jesus. and that you would want to read about your life and God's plan in the Bible. i pray for you each night, hoping that you will. 

"therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. but everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. and great was its fall." and so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. 
-the gospel of matthew 7:24-29 

[written 06.28.2007]

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