“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:17-20 NASB
Father I pray for a stronger conviction, thicker emotional skin to handle life’s roller coasters, and the courage to walk even when I cannot see my feet. Peel back my fears Father. Help me to see all that You want me to see. As Your humble servant I praise Your name. Amen.
Jesus did not sugar coat to his disciples the spiritual and physical realities that they faced. He had a level of expectations for them that far-exceeded their imagination. They could not merely be fans, groupies, or even mentees—they had to step up and put in the work of Christ, not just testify to what they witnessed. Jesus expected them to be more righteous than the scribes and Pharisees, and if they weren’t, he made it plain and clear that they wouldn’t make it into Heaven. Imagine that.
It wasn’t good enough to tag along with Jesus. You couldn’t just be his sidekick or member of his entourage. Reciting the Word and mastering the art of poetic prayer, wasn’t sufficient in Jesus’ eyes. As his disciple, you had to surpass the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees. Jesus didn’t accept mediocrity and conditional commitment to God.
Consider this– Jesus had more than one hundred disciples, but as time went by they began to fall off and away as their dedication waned and their faith withered. You can’t fake it for long with Jesus. You can’t just be a Sunday service Christian, then a heathen backslider in the church parking lot less than 20 minutes after service ends. You can’t even be a Sunday and Wednesday Christian. You have to be committed each and every day to the walk, the journey, the calling, and the expectations that have been set on and before you.
For the vast majority of us we can breathe a sigh of relief that we aren’t disciples. Imagine our inability to achieve the level of righteousness expected of a disciple.
Questions of the Day
1.What do you think of today’s message?
2. If you were one of Jesus’ disciples, how would you have reacted and responded when you heard his comments about righteousness?
3. How are you serving as an ambassador for Christ?
Feel free to share your answers, prayers, comments, and reflections in the comment section below. You can also send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Copyright 2013-2015. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant, unless otherwise noted. Prior posts from 2009-2013 are copyrighted under the name Natasha L. Foreman. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com
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