Day 1

Thy Kingdom Come

from the The Sermon on the Mount reading plan

Matthew 4:23-7:29

BY Amanda Bible Williams

Scripture Reading: Matthew 4:23-7:29

Can you think back to a moment when your wrong actions or motivations were exposed? When the dark corners of your heart were revealed, and even you stood surprised at the depth of your flaws?

I am remembering a time recently when my sin was laid bare. I failed to consider others before myself, and I acted in a way contrary to what I know to be true. It was not all intentional, but it was all me. I felt embarrassed. I felt sad. I felt distraught at my helplessness to rewind the situation and make it better.

Imagine with me a version of this scenario where the one who reveals your wrongdoing also offers the remedy for it. He says to you, “Here is what you’ve done, and here is how it violated God and others. You are deeply flawed. But you are also deeply loved. You are not wholly righteous, but I am. You can not live up to every line of the law, but I have. You are not enough, but I was and I am and I will be—on your behalf. Your life is now hidden in mine.”

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus’ longest recorded sermon and arguably His most well-known, Jesus holds the lives and religion of His hearers up to the light of God’s law. It is as if He takes a spiritual X-ray of their actions, hearts, motives, and rituals, as well as their pain, longings, confusion, and suffering. Reading this sermon should do the same to ours.

The prognosis is bleak: we are broken beyond self-repair. But the remedy is real: Jesus came to fulfill every inch of the law on our behalf.

Much to the shock of His listeners, Jesus taught that the kingdom of heaven is utterly unlike our earthly kingdoms. The poor and afflicted—not the powerful and attractive—are called blessed, along with the grieving, the seeking, and the persecuted. The the true measure of a person is not just her action, but her heart. Authentic spirituality is reflected not by how loudly we worship in public, but how earnestly we worship in private. Jesus, in effect, says this: You tout the law even as you break the law, but I alone fulfill the law. I alone am enough.

Because of the person and work of Christ, the law gives freedom instead of chains, life instead of despair. Rather than dwelling in condemnation or striving in vain for our own righteousness, a proper view of God’s law directs our gaze to Jesus. Seeing God’s law as both holy and wholly fulfilled in Jesus compels us to live out of Christ’s love for us in all areas of life.

As we read the Sermon on the Mount, we will feel the sting of Christ’s rebuke of sin and self. The dark corners of our hearts will be exposed, and we may wince at what we find there. But we will also hear the invitation to new life. There is peace in relying solely on Christ’s perfection and goodness. There is freedom in living our lives on earth as citizens of our truer, everlasting kingdom: the kingdom of God.

This is the life we were made for. This is the life that is ours in Jesus.


Editor’s Note: You may notice that today’s reading is longer than the others. On this first day of the study, we are reading the Sermon on the Mount in its entirety. Each weekday that follows will include a smaller section of the sermon to allow for more focused study, along with supplementary passages for broader understanding and deeper engagement. We invite you to read along with us.

Post Comments (120)

120 thoughts on "Thy Kingdom Come"

  1. Sarah Moody says:

    Matthew 5:48 “therefore be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect.” This one was hard for me. Lately I am working on looking past trying to be perfect and this verse made me question my intentions. I have a lot of anxiety. I’m really trying to work through it and learn to place my trust in God. A lot of my anxiety is from wanting to be perfect. This verse is a little confusing for me. I’m hoping the deeper into this study I get the more I will understand how to take that verse.

    1. Laura Quinn says:

      I think that verse is best understood in the context of what Christ was saying previously. Jesus is talking about the law (by saying “you have heard it said…”) and then contrasting that with the heart of the matter (“but I say to you…”). In the section right before Matt. 5:48, Jesus is discussing what the law said about enemies and what the heart of the matter really is when it comes to interacting with enemies. When Jesus says “be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect”, he is saying be perfect in showing grace to or loving the good and the bad just as God does (Matt 5:45).
      Your feeling of inadequacy is, I think, exactly what Jesus wants you to feel. After each exposing of the heart of the matter, we should realize that there is no way we alone could possibly fulfill that requirement. Jesus is exposing our very vulnerable need of a Savior. What is amazing is that throughout the book of Matthew, we see Jesus fulfilling each of these commandments including “be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect.” Christ fulfilled the law, and he took our place so we might have his complete and perfect righteousness. Sarah, you already are perfect in the eyes of God! Because of this great gift, we no longer live out of fear of not performing perfect enough, but now live lives of joyful obedience to God, exuding our gratitude of saving us from our sin. Oh what mercy has been shown to us!

  2. Sarah See says:

    “Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your whole body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness” what a wonderful reminder to keep our focus and our eyes off of social media and the things of this world, and to keep focused on the word of the Lord

  3. Colby Riley says:

    I’ve never really intentionally focused on being a citizen of Gods kingdom outside of church and I want to apply more of his word to my everyday life.

  4. Erica Cross says:

    “Blessed are those who mourn, for those shall be comforted” this really sticks with me because with all that I’ve gone through, I really feel the peace and comfort of God. In this, it makes me want to evaluate all dark corners of my life to receive these holy rewards that Jesus spoke of.

  5. Glenda says:

    I’m new to She Reads Truth. The first day inspired me to consider my heart, not just my actions and to think about how earnestly I worship in private. I look forward to the day by day study.

    1. She Reads Truth says:

      Hi Glenda, we’re so glad that you’re here and reading along with us! -Margot, The SRT Team

  6. Susan James says:

    I downloaded the “She Speaks Truth” at an Abundance” conference and I chose “Sermon on the Mount” for my first study because I just finished it with Jen Wilkin. I look forward to each day getting even more JOY from all of the community as we all live through these tough times and are reassured that God loves US!

    1. She Reads Truth says:

      Welcome Susan, we’re so glad that you’re joining us! -Margot, The SRT Team

  7. KC Derond says:

    We are gracefully broken, and made whole in Him ❤️

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