Another comparison is the physical act of adultery. King Jesus tells us that it is not only the physical act that is sin, but also even a lustful look and thought that you allow to stay in your mind. He also includes divorce for any reason except the spouse’s physical death or they commit adultery (moral death). Read what He continues to say: “You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. So if your eye—even your good eye—causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your hand—even your stronger hand—causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” Matthew 5:27-30
King Jesus gives us more to think about as He continues on: “You have heard the law that says, ‘A man can divorce his wife by merely giving her a written notice of divorce.’ But I say that a man who divorces his wife, unless she has been unfaithful, causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman also commits adultery.
You have also heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you make to the Lord.’ But I say, do not make any vows! Do not say, ‘By heaven!’ because heaven is God’s throne. And do not say, ‘By the earth!’ because the earth is His footstool. And do not say, ‘By Jerusalem!’ for Jerusalem is the city of the great King. Do not even say, ‘By my head!’ for you can’t turn one hair white or black. Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.” Matthew 5:31-37
Keep in mind that He wasn’t drawing up a code for people in general. He was describing life in the Kingdom; the kind of life we should live if we are to stay in the Kingdom. There is a difference from being saved(our eternal salvation) and living a life in the Kingdom of God here and now. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:33 When Jesus spoke in parables about the Kingdom, they were examples pertaining to our life here on this earth. He showed us what our lives should look like, what we should do and believe. He built our faith to be victorious now in our daily lives!
How do you know if you are living your life in the Kingdom of God? Hold your life up to that scripture. Ask yourself, does my life look like the words of King Jesus or like the world I live in? Are you able to love your enemy and not return evil for evil? Sometimes showing love is just remaining silent and not saying what your emotions want to say! “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven; For He gives His sunlight to both the evil and the good, and He sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48
Many Christians today think that following what King Jesus says in Matthew 5 isn’t possible; that it is impractical for the world we live in today. Those beliefs show they are living in the world and not in the Kingdom. His Word is unchanging. But it is impossible without being filled with the Holy Spirit—our Governor—to lead and guide us!
My point is this: every departure from these laws, principles and attitudes of the Kingdom will turn out badly because it is a rejection of God’s Kingdom government. A life pleasing to the Lord God has to be lived one way—by seeking the Lord God’s way and His righteousness. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:33 That is to be our first priority. When we put things in proper order, everything else will fall into place. This isn’t as difficult as it seems, with the Holy Spirit—our Governor—and the grace and mercy of our Lord! He doesn’t expect perfection, but repentance and a humble obedient spirit. King Jesus told us again His priority for blessings: As He was speaking, a woman in the crowd called out, “God bless Your mother—the womb from which You came, and the breasts that nursed You!”
Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the Word of God and put it into practice.” Luke 11:27-28
If you live according to His Word, you will want to praise and worship Him. You will want to show people the love of Jesus Christ. You will want to be faithful to your spouse. You will grab any temptation thrown at you and cast it out before it takes root in your mind and emotions. The longer you stay in the Kingdom the more automatic this becomes. Remember that what we “feed” grows. What we “starve” dies. The Lord God has two hands: the hand of grace and mercy and the hand of judgment. It is our choice which hand we take from. The Lord God loves His creation so much that He gave us free will. We get to make decisions about how we will live our life. Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying Him, and committing yourself firmly to Him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Deuteronomy 30:19-20
Feed on His Word, be led by the Holy Spirit, receive the Lord God’s grace and mercy, and show those around you His love and the blessings of living in the Kingdom of God! You don't have to depart from the Kingdom. The choice is yours. Our Lord never turns away from us, but some are lured away by the temptations of this world.
Remember, as always, your greatest asset in the Kingdom is your faith in the Word of God.
D. Arlene Luchie
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