Changed to Live Like Jesus
The Sermon on the Mount is one of the most famous passages in the Bible, and it has fascinated people for centuries. In this sermon and all its teachings, Jesus covers a wide range of topics dealing with the “nuts and bolts” of discipleship (that is, living for God in God’s world each day). Jesus’ goal in sharing these teachings is that his followers will be “pure in heart” and pursue true righteousness rather than merely religious activity.
In these teachings, the call to follow Jesus is radical in nature. It’s not enough to not commit murder—don’t even hate someone in your heart. Don’t just avoid adultery—stay away from any impure thoughts. Even “loving your neighbor” can be improved upon—we’re called to be as perfect as our Heavenly Father (Matthew 5:48).
Though Jesus sets the bar high, we don’t need to be discouraged or worried. We’re not saved by our own good works or actions—we are saved only by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ. As Jesus reminds us at the end of the Sermon on the Mount, a life that is built on the foundation of trusting in God will stand against any storms that might come along (see Matthew 7:24-27).
In the end, we find that these teachings are showing us who God is shaping us to be through the grace we have received freely in Christ; we see that we’re being “Changed to Live Like Jesus.”
Our writer this month, A.J. Gretz, is a pastor in Grandville, Michigan. He is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary and has previously served churches in Ohio and in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He and his wife have three children, and in his spare time he enjoys running, biking, and complicated board games.
As you read the Today devotions this month, may you be refreshed, refocused, and renewed in God’s Word!
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