NIV Discover God’s Heart Devotional Bible

Duration: 365 days

GOD’S PERSONAL HEAVEN LESSON

Matthew 5–7

God’s Story

Jesus walks up a mountain with his friends and begins to teach people his ways. It is an echo of Moses who had long before climbed another mountain to be taught God’s ways.

Jesus, whose home is heaven, gives insight into the ways of God’s kingdom. These are the ways of life that he wants people to get used to living right now. The teachings are opposite from the ways of the world because the world is broken. Jesus is teaching the right way. Hardships in this broken world push us into deeper knowledge of God and his kingdom. Daily, God graciously pours out sunshine and rain on people who don’t deserve it. We’re to love others generously too.

Jesus teaches how to have a conversation with the King of the universe, who invites us to call him “Father.” He instructs us to spend time alone with God so that we’ll be soul-honest, and he gives an example of how we can pray. We can ask our high and holy Father for anything, especially that he’ll make earth look more like heaven.

Jesus points out the folly of worry. As much-loved sons and daughters of the universe’s King, we shouldn’t worry—because God won’t fail in taking care of us.

The King’s Heart

In Jesus’ day, many Jews would say “kingdom of heaven” instead of “kingdom of God” in order to avoid using God’s name. So when Jesus proclaimed, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near” (Matthew 4:17), he was saying that God’s kingdom had come near.

Jesus’ coming to earth was an invasion: He was invading to establish his kingdom. God’s kingdom, the kingdom of heaven, isn’t some far-off place where his followers will someday go. Jesus, the true King, brought his kingdom, his rule and reign, to earth. His kingdom is any place where people live under his lordship—where his love, joy, peace, goodness, wholeness, justice and kindness are the order of the day. It’s God’s plan that we live in his kingdom now. One day he will usher it in fully, when he sets the world right and joins heaven and earth. But for now we are to live in our here-but-not-yet home.

The Sermon on the Mount is the King of heaven sitting down among his creations, teaching them about his good home—their home—and inviting them to live in it.

Insight

Jesus explained that he wasn’t abolishing all that God had taught his people through the Law and the Prophets—the books of the Old Testament (see Matthew 5:17). In fact, he had come to fulfill the Scriptures.

Copyright © 2014 by Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.

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