For a devotion years ago, here is how I worded Matthew 5:3-13.
“Blessed are the ones who put less important on themselves, the ones who have died to things of this world … for theirs is the kingdom of God.
“Blessed are those who feel great distress over things in and of this world … for they shall be comforted.
“Blessed are the ones who always prefer his brother … for they shall inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who urgently desire after righteousness … for they shall be filled.
“Blessed are the ones who are not severe or overbearing … for they shall obtain mercy.
“Blessed are the ones who have such high standards that there is no law … for they shall see God.
“Blessed are the ones who seek to make peace (mediators, diplomats)… for they shall be called the children of God.
“Blessed are those who are treated unjustly, those who are treated with hostility and injured for righteousness’ sake… for theirs is the kingdom of God.
“Blessed are you when men bring reproach on you, or treat you angrily and abuse you and persecute you and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake.
“Rejoice and be exceedingly glad for great is your reward in heaven. For so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt has lost is savor (strength), it is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out, and to be trodden under feet of men.”
Read all of Matthew chapters 5, 6 and 7 — the teachings of Jesus are rich, and we will be wise to try and follow them.
In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus tells us, “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended and the floods came, and the wind blew and beat upon that house; and it fell. And great was the fall of it.”
This is the way Jesus ended his teaching concerning the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus covered many subjects as he ministered to the multitude and to us. Jesus tells us he came to fulfill the law, not to change it. He teaches on murder, adultery, divorce and about not swearing. We are not to retaliate if done wrong. We are to always show love. When we give money, it is between us and God, not for show. He tells us how to pray, and if we fast, not to make a show of it. We are not to lay up wealth. We are not to judge. However we judge, we shall be judged. We are to ask, seek and knock. We are to follow the Golden Rule. There are two paths to follow: a straight and narrow way or one that leads to destruction. We are to beware of false teachings and false prophets. Jesus said we can know them by the fruits they bear. He that does the will of the father shall enter heaven.
Again, I write, read chapters 5, 6 and 7 of Matthew 3. We can’t go wrong if we heed the words of Jesus.
Happy late Mother’s Day to all — especially to Donna, Cristie, Pegge, Heather and Leigha. (I need to pay more attention to the calendar.)
Pearl Harper has been writing the Spiritually Speaking column for the LaFollette Press for more than 40 years. Her column appears regularly in the Faith section.