Take a Journey
An ongoing Bible Journey.
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7
A treasure has been discovered! It is a treasure that defies the limits of human ability. It is a treasure that changes lives once discovered. And yet it is a treasure available to all who would receive it. This treasure enables the weak to become strong, the sorrowful to find joy, the defeated to become victorious, and the map to this treasure can be found in a book dating back thousands of years. In the pages of this ancient Book, you will discover the mysteries of this treasure and how you too can share in its riches. That ancient Book is the Bible, and this incredible treasure is the life-changing power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit who enables that life change. If you were to search for the treasure, it would not be found in finely crafted jewelry boxes or intricately carved treasure chests. Instead, this incredible treasure would be found in fragile, delicate, rustic jars of clay. This treasure is found within the lives of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Welcome to our journey through the Sermon on the Mount. Throughout the pages of this book, we are going to discover how the incredible treasure of the life-changing power of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit can revolutionize your life. As you read these passages, you will begin to view them not as impossibilities, but as opportunities for discovering the all-surpassing power that is from God.
The title of this devotional series is "Empowered Kingdom Living." As believers, we truly are jars of clay holding an incredible treasure. By ourselves, we are fragile, frail, and prone to crack under the least bit of pressure. But as believers, we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit who empowers us for kingdom living (2 Timothy 1:14). Throughout the ministry of Jesus Christ, he taught in a way that amazed his hearers. He constantly raised the bar on the perceptions of “righteous” living. The Sermon on the Mount is no exception. Within these three chapters, Jesus discusses as many as eighteen different topics, challenging the accepted norms of that day and today as well. As you read these passages in the coming chapters, it is my prayer that you will not determine that the bar is too high and walk away defeated. Instead, I pray that you will understand that the kingdom life taught in the Sermon on the Mount will only be attainable through the Holy Spirit who empowers believers to live a life worthy of the calling of Christ Jesus (Eph. 4:1).
• Empowered Kingdom Living means that we can “do all things through Christ who strengthens [us]” (Philippians 4:13).
• Empowered Kingdom Living means we are becoming more like Christ each and every day through the Holy Spirit’s power (2 Corinthians 4:16). • Empowered Kingdom Living means we are building our house on the rock, and that rock is the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:24).
Blessings, prophecy, murder, adultery, lying, hatred, hypocrisy, possessions, worry, judging. No, this is not a list of topics for an upcoming talk show. Rather, these are just a few of the issues addressed in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Over the coming chapters, you will have the opportunity to study these teachings. The purpose of these devotionals is not to teach as an academic course a professor would teach. The focus is more on life application. Although you will certainly find study tools and information within this devotional series, the reading will quickly move into life application. It is my prayer that this devotional series will help you to make application of the Sermon on the Mount. By understanding the purpose and intent of each section of the Sermon on the Mount, you will be able to understand better how that passage can affect your life.
How can you benefit the most from this devotional material? Each devotional is geared toward a 5-10 minute devotional time. While you could certainly read the material and complete any questions for the day in less time, I hope that you will carve out at least 10 minutes from your busy day to spend in God’s Word. Each day we will read the passage, spend a moment in the study of the passage’s meaning and application to our lives, and at times, reflect through a series of questions or activities.