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. Maria says:

    Hi everyone just joined today!

  2. Tiffany says:

    There are many days, like today, where I want to pull the covers back over my head and sleep until the next day comes. Although I have lived by God’s truth for several years now, generalized anxiety, depression, loneliness, and the sting of rejection are invisible enemies I continue to battle everyday. I feel like I never get a break nor am I truly happy – even in moments of laughter I am struggling. Currently, I’ve received help from the Lord in the way of allowing old friendships to resurface. I am reconnecting with women I once pushed away or allowed the relationships to lapse because of one too many of my bad days. For some, their lives are better, some worse, some the same. But I pray I am able to help them, speak life into their situations, and cease to judge them through the pain I have. I’m mature enough now to be a friend based on what I have to offer rather than looking at what they have to offer me. So, though I am still struggling with my mess, I am blessed to say my heart is pure and my intentions are to see others live life fully – even in ways I am unable to fully live. These friendships are a true second, third, fourth…chance.

    1. Marissa says:

      Hey Tiffany. Oh, girl. This was so much me. Thank you for sharing. I totally get the “mature enough now to be a friend based on what I have to offer rather than looking at what they have to offer me.” That’s been a lesson God has been teaching me for a long while. I spent so many years asking God for friends…and He was telling me to BE one. Thanks for your words. You aren’t alone in those feelings. <3

  3. Crystal White says:

    So I had my 20 year high school reunion. It brought back so many memories, Including revisiting a bad decision I made that embarrassed my parents. So today I felt compelled to find me an app – to help the ‘forgiving myself’ process. Landed on this. Excited to see where God’s word will take me.

    1. Malaya says:

      So happy to have you in the She Reads Truth community Crystal. Welcome!

    2. Ashley says:

      Welcome! It’s a great place to be and I’m proud of you for starting a series and turning to God for guidance. God bless you Crystal.

  4. Miranda Menzel says:

    There is so much freedom in being fully known – so inspiring that irrespective of our sin, we are covered and sanctified. Knowing the revelation of who Jesus is enables us to want to continually be purified!!! Love it.

  5. Sara Cook says:

    Authentic spirituality is reflected not by how loudly we worship in public, but how earnestly we worship in private. I love this.

    1. Alyssa says:

      I had the same thought! Faith vs religion. Love.

  6. Theresa says:

    A journey much needed.

  7. Shuana Huggins says:

    Starting today I am looking forward to change and growth through this study ,

  8. Melissa Paul says:

    Starting today:). Have read it multiple times in the past and am excited to really reflect on Jesus’s words.

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