BEGIN WITH PRAYER
"Lord open my eyes and my heart."
Read slowly so that you take in. And as you do, turn your heart to God, thanking him for the good you discover and praying his will home for you, your family, your church and the world.
Wisdom to chew on
Understanding to grow in
It's a standard, unattainable in this age, but one we must aspire to nevertheless: "Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (5v48). It's in this sense that the righteousness of those who enter Christ's kingdom must surpass that of the Pharisees. It is a true righteousness, not a mere adherence to external laws. It takes the principles of Old Testament law to a greater depth, height, extensiveness and motivation. So those of the kingdom are to turn from inner attitudes of hate and lust, rather than simply the outer actions of murder and adultery. They are to accept a higher standard for marriage and oaths. They will seek to do more in love than what is required or conventional. And they will display a purity of motive in seeking to please only God not man, relying on him for help to do all this, and for forgiveness when they fail. This is what repentance commits to - the life of the coming kingdom acted out in the here and now. It is to image God, and we will see it is only made possible by the work of his Spirit. As you read note what you are called to in this.
Finish this reading by pausing to ask yourself:
1) What’s the main thing it teaches me about God or his purposes in Christ? Then praise him for this.
2) What’s the main thing it teaches me about his will for me or the world? Then pray that home.
Devotion to offer up
You could read this aloud and perhaps as a springboard to further prayer.