March 9, 2020

Easter is just around the corner. Our attention is naturally drawn to the events surrounding the last week of Jesus’ life. But keep in mind, he left his home and began a ministry that lasted three years. His words and actions led him to the Cross. We will spend these weeks leading up to Easter taking a closer look at these events.

S E R M O N   O N   T H E   M O U N T

Devotions written by Rob Peterman

In his first “sermon,” Jesus laid out his expectations for those who would follow him. He spoke the words contained in Matthew 5-7 on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.

Matthew 5:1-12

What makes you happy? For most, it would be easy to make a list of things that seem to answer the question. Fulfilling relationships, possessions, wealth, or security may make the list of many. Jesus, on the other hand, has a different approach to this question. The word "blessed" in this passage means happy, fortunate, or honored. Jesus is teaching his followers that happiness does not come from our circumstances, good or bad. Rather, it comes by seeking God's kingdom instead of trying to construct our own. Author Paul Tripp explains it this way, "We forget that God's primary goal is not changing our situations or relationships so that we can be happy, but changing us through our situations and relationships so that we will be holy." When we recognize our spiritual bankruptcy—being poor in spirit, we can realize our inheritance of the kingdom of heaven through faith and trust in Jesus. Jesus always challenges us to shift the motives of our hearts from us to him. When we do, our treasure is Jesus himself.