Matthew: Day 3

Jesus Preaches the Sermon on the Mount, Part 1


Today's Text: Matthew 5:1-48, Romans 12:9-21, 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:1-48, Romans 12:9-21, 2 Timothy 3:16-17

On Sunday mornings I show up greedy for the sublime. I hope our circus tricks of dressing up, shaking hands, and passing the plate will conjure the ineffable glory of God—maybe we can lure Him to approve of us if the children’s faces are clean! We clip our fighting short as we walk into the sanctuary; we can’t bring our pettiness into a holy place.

If only my day-to-day shenanigans really could be glossed over by washing my hair and putting clean trousers on the children every Sunday. If only our knack for welcoming visitors and taking communion would do the trick and show God how truly worthy we are.

A few weeks ago, I stood in the sanctuary, hemmed in by my moderately clean children and propped up by my fashion-booties. We were singing hymns to the glory of God, and in the whirl of wrangling and worshiping I realized I was holding a child instead of the papers with the sheet music. Looking down, I saw that my papers lay under the delicately beautiful foot of an elderly woman on my left. You have to understand that I was in a hurry, wanting to keep on with the worshiping and the children and the swell of holiness.

I had seen in the past magicians who could grab hold of one corner of a white tablecloth and quickly sweep it off a beautifully set table without disturbing the china or the candles that lay upon it. I had the idea that I could apply this same principle to my situation.

Kneeling down and holding the paper tightly in my fingers, I wish I had paused to consider that the success of the service doesn’t depend on me—we are the imperfect participants in a holy circus. Our antics are always going to be a little ridiculous. We try to do what is right, but still end up failing ridiculously, even at the moments when we should be at our very best.

The problem is that no amount of hand-waving hallelujahs, or giving of holy kisses, will make us what we ought to be. My own doings do not number me with the merciful, the peacemakers, or the pure in heart. It is tempting to think that by substituting my own Sunday morning showmanship, I can actually abolish the real law. But, as He stated in His Sermon on the Mount, Christ came to establish the law, and also to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17).

And there is the answer: He fulfills it. Not me. He is the true peacemaker, the one who suffered for righteousness, the saltiness of the salt, the true light of the world. My antics, even at their highest and most “expert” level, are still filthy rags. Jesus laid it out for us, saying, “For I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven” (v. 20).

And hallelujah to that. Those Pharisees worked harder than anybody at getting the holy hoedown exactly right, and even those perfectionists couldn’t do it. Thanks be to God that my salvation doesn’t depend on me.

Even if I am careful, I can’t retrieve my worship folder without disturbing the ankle of a very elegant and elderly woman. But at the time, I didn’t think of all this, so I just gave it a sharp yank. We were both surprised and, I think, we were probably both a little disappointed in me. But then we sighed, raised our tambourine hands, and continued to worship. Our imperfection is written on our lips and our feet. But they are the tools we have, so we keep on worshiping.


  • Lindsay Huffman

    Out with words and attitudes and actions of “striving”, “trying”, “in my strength”, “performing”, “obligation”

    and onward

    “in HIS power”, “in His strength”, “through the spirit”, “by his grace”!

    Thank you Jesus!

  • Lindsay Huffman

    Out with words and attitudes and actions of “striving”, “trying”, “in my strength”, “performing”, “obligation”
    and onward “in HIS power”, “in His strength”, “through the spirit”,

  • Wonderful reading. Journaled “imperfect participants in a holy circus”. Oh, the distractions, and Oh, the One we need to focus on.

  • In reading this scripture I was focusing on all these things that I do wrong… It didn’t even cross my mind to turn it around! What a relief that He’s perfect and that we don’t have to be!!! But also a nice reminder that I can do better. I can step my game up and be a better human even when no one is around. I like that He holds me to a higher standard and keeps me accountable.

  • LOVED this one. Agree with Macey re “imperfect participants in a holy circus” but also just the way this one was written was so different from any other devotional here. The language was downright delicious! But even more, as I was reading the Bible verses my first thought was “How can I be more righteous/pure/holy…” and NOT on how God is already all of those things. Way to redirect my thoughts! Will now reread the passage with THAT in mind.

  • Macey Trommeter

    Absolutely fell in LOVE with your statement that “we are the imperfect participants in a holy circus”. Thank you for this!

  • Lindsey Bailey

    It’s so hard for me to find the balance between trying and allowing grace to do it’s thing in my life. In the end, I believe it is a shift from an inward focus on me to a divine focus on God. Yet, I have to continually readjust my gaze. Fix my eyes on You, Lord.

  • Stephanie Dauman

    Thanks for this!

  • Amanda Morgan

    Love that it’s not up to us! We don’t have to be trapped by the idea of perfection! Such a good reminded especially with today’s influences

  • Angela DeLangeVanNieuwenhuyzen

    “Our imperfection is written on our lips and our feet. But they are the tools we have, so we keep on worshipping.” What a beautiful thought and quote.

  • When I think about the ways my depression brakes me I think there must be a beatitude for me too. I too will be comforted.

  • Kendra Nottingham


  • J’oni Scott


  • What a blessing that Jesus essentially tells us “Love those that don’t love you because that’s what I do.” We were God’s enemies, we did not love him, but he loved us first. We were each God-haters, but he loved us first. We reflect his Holy perfection and perfect love when we are loving those who do not love us.

    44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

    48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

  • Sarah Appleby

    Although the Sermon on the Mount was a couple years before, as Jesus preached this He knew the cross was coming, He knew those three words He would speak as He gave His last breath, “It is finished”. Thank You Jesus for fulfilling the law and for doing what we couldn’t! Thank You that it is grace by faith alone!

  • Nicole Andre

    I keep coming back and finding the peace in the comforting truths of this devotional.

  • I am in awe every time I think of the gift of salvation is through Christ alone. I am so far from perfect that there is no way I could earn salvation. But praise the Lord I don’t have to be perfect. “Thanks be to God that my salvation doesn’t depend on me.”

  • Morgan Martinez

    Just started having this app so i would always have something to read each morning. As a mom of two littles under 3, i have made a commitment to fight for morning rest with the Lord because it really is the best time. Part of the struggle has been knowing what to read when i sit down and when i heard about this ministry, i knew it could be helpful with that, and it has. So thank you! I am grateful to God for providing me so quickly with a way to be in His word daily so quickly.

  • Kasey Summers

    Love what is good!!

  • Kate Buckley

    This is my first time reading with She Reads Truth. I really like it so far.

  • Kierstin Vater


  • Allyce Lyles

    Thankful I’m not alone!

  • Melissa Waterson

    This is sooooo good!!!!!! ❤️

  • Mackenzie Edwards

    There is nothing I can accomplish in my own strength. His grace is sufficient for me and his power perfected in my weakness. I will rejoice in my weakness and imperfection because they illustrate my need for His redeeming power and love – they leave me with humility and gratitude for my Father who desires me and delights in who He made me to be.

  • Camber Evans


  • Beautifully written Rebecca!! This is a concept we hear a million times, always with a fear of growing numb to it in a way. Thank you for restoring the wonder and the amazingness of the concept of our salvation this morning.

  • “Our imperfection is written on our lips and our feet. But they are the tools we have, so we keep on worshiping.” Amen, sister! ♡

  • Abigayle Elrod

    love this

  • Sara Moore

    Wow. What a crazy hard standard to live up to. Thank you Jesus so much for your sacrifice and my salvation. May I try harder everyday to live as you desire.

  • I love that God continues to work towards refining my character and shaping my heart. What he spoke to me tonight reminds me that His love for us is so steadfast. True peace comes from a complete transcendence of The Word. His Word comes to life and I’m so thankful for this gift that I do not deserve!

  • Ashley Gilbert


  • The Beatitudes are one of my favorite passages of the Bible!

  • Kristen Hembree

    I just wrote down a list of all the “to-do”s and definitely felt inadequate. I even wrote the title: How to live Christ-like. I totally missed the point: Jesus fulfills the law for us. So I’m leaving today’s reading feeling so dang grateful for Jesus’ grace & the gift of Salvation. We can never live up to His standards, but thankfully Jesus stands in our place. I don’t know if I’d have made that conclusion without you ladies posting your thoughts! So thank you :)

    • Ashlie Martin

      Love this! ❤️

    • Erika Corson

      I always feel that way too Kristen! It’s crazy to think that someone truly loves us just the way we are, bad decisions, good decisions and all thoughts and opinions. I constantly find myself asking if I am good enough if Jesus knows I trust him and then stagger down a path of what if he doesn’t and how do I know and it always comes down to faith. Faith is so hard to have sometimes and although I know he has saved me time and time again I find myself questioning regardless- what is it about us humans? Why can’t we stay TRULY faithful to the lord and savior through the good and the bad?

    • Cori S.


  • Meri Kate Mollitor

    So thankful for the Lord’s mercy and forgiveness!

  • Victoria Rae

    “Thanks be to God that my salvation doesn’t depend on me.” THANK YOU!!!!

  • I might be wrong in this thought but often I hear about our little acts not being of significance because it’s all Jesus but for me He is all the more wonderful because He came to us and died for us so that we have a relationship and a place with Him. I think our little acts are so important and dear to Him. Of course they don’t save us but there’s great significance in showing our love in every little act all day long. Maybe that’s how we dance with the LOVE of our life!

    • Michelle S

      Joan, 1 John 4:7-12, especially 12 stood out to me recently. My paraphrase: God’s Love is made complete in our actions. If we love each other in actions, we are showing God to others. How else do we reveal and look like our Savior than by showing love through actions? They do not save us, but they are precious to Him, in my opinion.

      • Joan

        Yes, I think so too. It just blesses my heart that He wants us along side of Him doing what He does. He is so good to us! He is everything!

  • Annissa Hackney

    PraiSing God for my salvation today.

  • I think the Beatitudes are a wonderful message, especially in this modern world, where much of the focus for many individuals is on material items and instant gratification (money, clothes, cars, etc.). These areas of focus can become huge distractors from Jesus’s message, breeding emotions such as greed and jealousy. As a young woman completing this Bible study, I am aware of how easily I can become influenced by these “social norms,” which can steer me away from my own values and goals. Even though I may fail at times, I am ready and willing to turn to Jesus in order her receive his constant grace and love.

  • Christin Pelsor

    He says both that no iota will pass from the law and that we cannot obey the law ourselves. He’s showing us the impossible standard, the fact that we will fail, and therefore a need for His grace in order to be Righteous before God. We needn’t fret about this- just rest in this beautiful gift as we strive to love God and love our neighbors! ❤️

  • My study bible pointed out something I never knew, this morning. Jesus wasn’t correcting the Old Testament when he did his “you have heard, but I tell you…” he was correcting the modern interpretations of the Old Testament. I read this in a whole new light! How often do I need the Holy Spirit to step in and correct my own interpretations of the law and the scripture?? Love getting new insights every time I read familiar passages! There’s always something to learn


    I think of the presentation of the Law by Moses on Mt. Sinai, is in direct correlation with Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. How fitting that Jesus would reveal on a mountain, like Moses did the law, blessings and teachings on Christian ethics. As we know, it was and would be today ,impossible for anyone to keep the full law without sinning. James 2:10 “For whosoever keeps the Law as a whole but stumbles and offends in one single instance has become guilty of breaking all of it.” James was emphasizing the importance and great need for grace. Jesus set the stage with the Sermon on the Mount, for His fulfillment of the law through His redemptive work on the cross.

    Jesus was fully aware that He was about to change everything by fulfilling the OT law on the cross. Brilliant example of God’s sovereignty and omniscience.

  • Jesus was and is concerned with my heart. Over and over He said, “You have heard that it was said…But I tell you…” We can be doing everything right, but if our hearts are not right it’s all worthless. I love to make lists, but there is not “to-do” list of things I have to do to be made righteous and holy before God. I sometimes wish there was. I want an attainable checklist so that I know I’m doing it right. God wants my heart – all of it, even the messy, ugly parts that I don’t want anyone else to see.
    So, Papa God, here’s my heart all of it. Make me a peacemaker. Make me salt and light. Thank you that my salvation doesn’t depend on me.
    Be blessed, sisters.

    • anita

      so true…if only it was that easy. A checklist of things completed=salvation. again, that’s me trying to control everything. I need to let go and give God the authority. Yes, thank God my salvation doesn’t depend on me.

    • Kristie Wright

      Amen! You be blessed as well.

  • Brittany Buckner

    These scriptures show me that it is truly only by the grace of God and the blood of His Son that I am even worth enough to be called His daughter!

  • Just a quick thanks to everyone for commenting.. personally I got more out of other’s insights on this than the actual reading. Praying God’s blessing on you all today!

  • Kati Thornbury

    Amy, I too was a bit confused by the whole thing, but my biggest takeaway was where you had to start: poor in spirit. When we can come to that, we are able to be meek, hunger and thirst for righteousness, and mourn for the right things. Thankful for his spirits enabling so I can receiving the blessings!

  • I agree Amy. I don’t think this devotion accurately refers to this passage.

  • Jesus accomplishes the law. But it does matter what I do. “Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least vin the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great vin the kingdom of heaven.” It won’t get me to heaven, but it can lead others to Christ and bless my life and theirs.

  • Praying for your brother Bessie.

  • I don’t understand….if we are supposed to simply shrug off Jesus’ commands and say “well, I can’t be good enough so I won’t try because He fulfills the law”, then why did He give us these words at all? I feel like the devotional is a nice and cozy reading that leads me to inaction and apathy in the name of “Jesus paid it all”. But I may be missing the connection as I have always struggled with the whole earning my salvation thing. Are we not supposed to strive to show our lights to the world, to forgive, to outdo one another in showing honor and love each other as brothers and sisters, as both Jesus and Paul outline in these two passages? I know that these actions don’t earn our place in heaven or please God in and of themselves if performed without a heart focused on Him, but I was disappointed with the reflection reading today and felt it swung too far in the opposite direction.

    • Kaitlyn Defoe

      I felt like today’s reading is telling us that we should always strive to be more like Christ because that’s what we are instructed to do, but we are still humans and sinners, and there will be times we will fail due to our sinful nature. In those times, we are to remember Jesus paid our price for us and freed us from our sinfulness. We thank him for the redemption and continue to better ourselves working to be more like Him.

    • Tarin Obbink

      I can see where you’re coming from. I read it as a reminder that salvation is a gift. Nothing I do will ever earn me salvation. I can check off every box on the ‘good Christian list’, but if I never accept the gift of salvation, I’m nowhere. The things you listed that we should be doing, I see them as reactions to being saved. James 2:14-26 talks a lot about faith and works. While we are saved by faith, works show our faith. We forgive others because Christ forgave us, we love others others because Christ loves others; we do not love and forgive others to be saved. I agree that today’s devotional could be confusing but I do think it’s a good reminder that we don’t have to have it all together, don’t have to be perfect, in order to know the amazing gift of God’s grace.

    • Elizabeth

      Hi!! I don’t believe we just shrug it off. I think we can rest in the knowledge that because of Jesus’ death and resurrection that it’s not up to us to save ourselves through work. We can forgive others, we can love others, we can do good in this world because we want to reflect what Jesus did for us. We reflect it, like the moon reflects the sun’s light.

    • Vivian Ivers

      Hi Amy. As far as salvation, it is not earned. Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Our good works are an obedience step that glorify God. Think about this. The thief that hung next to Jesus on the cross said to Jesus. “Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom. Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” Two things here are evidenced here. One, the thief couldn’t come down off of that cross and do one thing to earn his salvation. Two, verification that there is a heaven. As for your second point, Jesus fulfilled the law meaning that the law in the Old Testament (OT)where animal sacrifice was required to atone for sins went away when Jesus served as the perfect lamb sacrifice on the cross. The beauty of it is also that when Jesus went to heaven he sent the Holy Spirit to permanently reside with us, which those of the OT did not have. I’ll leave you with this really great summary verse in Romans 10:9-10, “That if you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” Again, saved by grace, heart is justified by what we say and do. We are not perfect, and will make mistakes. God gets that, which is why He tells us to confess and try again. His grace and mercy is simply overwhelming. I hope this helps. Blessings to you and I love your honesty.

    • Dee

      My reflection on the reading was that yes… we are to try and do the things commanded, but not just for show. Not just for others to see. For some that is all it is… for show. We are to do good for others, abide by the laws given to the best if our abilities ( not to beat ourselves up for short comings) but do so from the heart. So many people do good for the selfish attention not because they are doing it out of love.

    • Jennifer Costigan

      Our good work are as filthy rags to earn favor with God, yet our good works can show others God’s love and grace and that glorifies God. It’s all about the WHY we do the good works. Our good works should be a light to a lost world.

    • DebbieinAZ

      Hi Amy,
      Sometimes when I dont quite get or agree with what the author is saying, its nice to get another perspective. So I go to the site and read the men’s devo. It really helps. In this case it did. You should check it out.

      • Alexis

        Thank you for this tip Debbie; that perspective on He Reads Truth helped me understand the passage a little better.

    • Annissa Hackney

      Amy- I think what the author of the devotion is trying to say is that our actions don’t earn our Salvation, that is God’s gift to us. We are too often so focused on being the “perfect Christian” that we miss the point- we can do nothing without Him. We are not saved by works but a faith without works is dead. You are right, we should love others & show them God’s love and grace but we should not strive for only that.. Those things are a byproduct of our relationship with Christ. We should focus on Him not us. Did that help? Have a great day. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. God bless!

    • Nea

      It’s a very human response to think that grace has gone too far. That’s what’s so revolutionary about it. You may find it helpful to read some of the early Protestant writings about Sola Gratia. We are saved by grace alone. That doesn’t mean that we aren’t also called to be good people. In fact, the joy of salvation is what calls us most of all to be better and to share that with others. Scholars have been reflecting on these questions for several hundreds of years now and there are lots of good readings on the topic out there from Lutheran thinkers in particular.

      That said, if you can’t live with Sola Gratia, you may want to explore Catholic doctorine instead since it takes a different approach.

    • Amy Kuo

      Okay – thank you ladies!! That helps a lot! I still would have liked a message more relevant to this passage (saved by grace would be more applicable to the passage in Romans where Paul talks about salvation by grace), but I know this is a very very fine line to walk in Christian circles and often it’s good to hear that reminder after reading a long list of “tasks”. Thank you for helping me understand where the devotional was going today!

    • Jo Gistand

      I love this interpretation Tarin. This passage convicted me up and down, and I could never adhere to those commands. I’m so thankful for the gift of salvation.

    • Jessica Diggs

      Amy- i completely agree. When reading this morning, I was deeply convicted to not be a complacent Christian. Yes, my salvation is secure in Jesus and I won’t be perfect. But every heart posture he mentioned in this passage challenged me to the depths of me and made me desire a life with Him – completely dependent on Him. Really striving to be set apart in this world by doing the hard work of these passages and not going through the motions like the Pharisees.

    • Lori Lalonde

      My I love this dialogue….When I read this scripture I take myself back to the time of Jesus on this Earth. He was teaching His disciples, the Jews and the religious leaders of the Day Gods standards and therefore their need for a Saviour. Living this standard was beyond their abilities and it’s beyond ours…Yet regardless the standard is there and now after Jesus death on the cross and his atonement and taking my place that means I can launch my salty lit self from a place of rightness, when I’m weak He is strong and my goals actually realign to His, I strive now towards a righteousness through Christ in me I’m not capable of apart from Him. Christ’s death and resurrection affords us transformation inside and out how beautiful is it He is my only hope and I must rely on Him for this perfection…I’m not capable but Christ in me is…it’s truly humbling…and it’s truly still hard to grasp!


      Hi Amy . I just realized that I posted my reply about four comments down instead of here. I am sorry about that. I hope my comments help to answer your questions.

    • Laurie Rose

      What a great discussion of these passages! This truly felt like a small group study as several people discussed and were open to the thoughts of others. I am so happy to be a part of this study!

    • Caitlin Price

      When I first read the reflection to this day, I picked out the sentence “Thank God my salvation doesn’t depend on me.” I felt like that was one of the most realistic relatable sentences in the reading. My thoughts were basically, “Uh you got that right.” But when I came to this discussion (thanks for this in advance!) when I read Amy’s initial post I was like, “wow, did I just basically blow off all of that just because I read that one sentence?” Thank God my salvation doesn’t depend on me… it’s almost as if in my head for a moment I let myself think that “I’m not worthy, but hey Jesus took care of it for me so I’m good.” After reading the responses to Amys post, especially Anissa and Tatum, I have a better understanding at the purpose of this passage. Thank you all so much.

    • valerie

      I agree with you Amy – you aren’t missing anything!

    • Morgan Lancaster

      Amy, I struggled with this message at first as well. While reading through the Scripture, I took away something a little different than the devotion shared – that the commandments and the Law, Jesus is now describing as matters of the heart rather than actions (do not be angry v. do not murder). I read the devotion thinking it glossed over that, but after a bit of thought and prayer, realized that both takeaways have so much validity! Jesus DID finish it on the cross. My actions do not determine my salvation, and it shouldn’t be my focus like it was for the Pharisees. But, my heart should be. And I believe that when our hearts are focused on God, our actions will follow. Hope this helps!

  • I ask for your prayers this morning for my brother. He is undergoing surgery today. His health is fragile. I pray the surgery won’t be too much for him. Thank you!

  • Amanda Rockett

    Amen Katie. Showing Gods grace and mercy to others is just one way we can share the gospel with others.

  • Jeanna Swann

    Rereading these passages this morning. As a young girl, these used to be my Sunday School lessons, a way to help me measure my behavior, my “am I good enoughs “.
    But now, as an older believer, I know that I am using the wrong measuring stick. The truth is, I can never perform all of the “Blessed are the ….” or the list of “Do not…” even on my best day. Jesus is my measure. His righteousness hides all of my failures to measure up. Hiding myself in Him is my only hope….

  • Steve Brown preached a sermon on this very thing Rebecca writes about- the hope we have that God will bless us. It is a very powerful sermon!

  • Carrie T Greus

    If only I would have been told this years ago, or maybe I was and didn’t believe it or trust it. I remember trying to be so perfect and dressed up at church that one Sunday we were doing family portraits and my youngest son was not cooperating, well one pinch from me and he straightened up quick however, that pinch and the look on our faces is proof on that family photo of an imperfect life. I can laugh now knowing everyone goes through that type of trying to make our family look holy or reverent. Thank God I am free to walk in who God made me to be and not who I think others think I am. I am free to be the best me I can be with no desire or need to pretend.
    Jesus came to set the captives free be free my friends, love Jesus and live your life to the fullest.
    May Grace, Peace and Love be yours in abundance.

    • Kaitlyn DeFoe

      Carrie, I love this response! I have chosen the word free to focus on this year. I’m so thankful, as well, that Jesus sets us free daily, and that we are free to be who God creates us to be! Thank you for writing this!

    • Emily B.

      I love this—I am free to be the best me because I am free in Jesus! Thank you!

  • Allyson Reedy-Mead

    Amen to that Katie

  • Natalie Kolnacki


  • Katie Morrison

    Thank You Jesus for being merciful and fulfilling the law for us. We didn’t deserve it and are called to extend grace to those who don’t deserve it. It’s not our right to judge others, instead, to love like Jesus and know that He alone is the one who can judge. And He died for us so that our judgement wouldn’t hold the death we deserve. So we should also extend that grace to others, we are the channel for Jesus’ love and forgiveness. It’s by grace and truth that others will come to Jesus, let us not feel the need to avenge ourselves but to be peacemakers like Jesus.

    • Sara Moore

      Yes. My word for the year is Grace… I find that I don’t extend it to myself or others as often as I should. So grateful that Jesus gives it freely to all because I got nervous just reading all of those expectations.

  • Olamide Oyebanji

    Praise God! I see myself through the eyes of Jesus. In Him I’m made perfect

  • Tracy Sims


  • Churchmouse

    I like rules. I like boundaries. I like to know what is acceptable and what isn’t. I like to know the dress code for every gathering. If only other people and life itself cooperated, I’d be just fine. But God isn’t interested in my being fine. He is interested in my being holy as He is holy. Oh dear. That raises the bar far beyond my reach. No matter how hard I try to keep the rules or stay within the boundaries, I just can’t do it. Praise God He doesn’t leave me in my frustration. He sent Jesus to remove the bar and remind me that He has fulfilled all the laws and I am enough, no I’m more than enough, in Him. How freeing! I can release my tight fist and just relax. I can quit looking over my shoulder and I can quit scanning the crowd and I can quit beating myself up. I can enjoy life and not just endure life. Jesus makes it all possible. Not me. Just Him. I can walk weightless, no longer burdened by endless effort. I am set free in Him. I breathe deep. I live unfettered. Abundant life!

    • Tochi Heredia

      Thanks for this, Churchmouse. Our words went straight to my heart :)

    • Emily

      well said!

    • Bessie

      When Jesus says, “be perfect even as your Heavenly Father is perfect” I’ve always scoffed and ‘that will be the day’, but we are perfect when we are in Him. Thank you for helping me to clarify that. I love how you said that we are no longer burdened by endless effort. We are set free in Him. You really helped me this morning! Thank you.

    • Thefunmom

      Amen. Very well said!

    • DebbieinAZ

      Amen. Thanks for that!

  • Adekunle Bukola

    Thanks be to God, for I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. It is not by my works but Jesus did it all.

Further Reading...