March Like Jesus
… In Our Behavior – Part II
Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:17-20
Key Verse: Matthew 5:20
“For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven”.
If it wasn’t for Matthew 5:20, our Key Verse for today, we might be surprised at Jesus’s teachings about the law.
If you read today’s Scripture Reading, you know that Jesus said He did not come to earth to destroy the Law. He emphasized that by saying nothing would ever abolish or destroy one little thing about the Law.
Jesus warns His followers that their righteousness must surpass that of the Pharisees and teachers of the Law. These Pharisees and teachers had the Law in their minds but refused to allow Jesus to transform them so they could live it from their hearts!
God’s goal for His people was always to get His Word into their hearts. Read the words of the Prophet Jeremiah:
“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” (Jerimiah 31:33)
To put this in modern day context, we must not allow our Bible study to be an academic exercise without living it out in our lives. The main reason to study the Bible is to grow more like Jesus in our daily living.
One might have a PhD in the Bible but unless they are using their knowledge to change the way they live, they have missed the point. We need the knowledge, so it is important to study the Bible and be faithful to church services. However, we must regularly check ourselves to make sure we are practicing the truths that we learn from our Bible studies and sermons.
Christ-follower, is your righteousness exceeding that of the Pharisees and teachers of the law? Is your behavior changing and looking more and more like Jesus over the last few years?
Take a moment and think about how you have changed since having Jesus in your heart. Are your attitudes changing? What behaviors have you eliminated because of your faith in Jesus? What behaviors have you added to your daily life because of Jesus? Make sure your head knowledge results in a transformed life in Christ!
Father, please help me to practice all that I am learning about You. Remind me to live what I say I believe. In Jesus’s Name I pray, amen.