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This is the time of the year when I make sure I have the necessary school books for my youngest two children whom I homeschool.  My daughter is learning to read from a program called “All About Reading”.  As I’m teaching her how to read, I’m being convicted by my own reading.  

For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

— Matthew 5: 20

I’ve been studying Jesus’ sermon on the mount this summer and as I read and re-read the sermon I can’t help but notice a few main ideas.  Jesus says some amazing things and one that is piercing my heart is that it is NOT all about me.

We can sometimes read the Bible in ways that make it all about us.  You know, we look for verses that apply to us but miss the big picture of the passage.  In the sermon on the mount we can be more focused on how we’re supposed to turn the other cheek or keep from worrying and miss all that we learn about God.  

See, I am right along with the “how does this apply to me” crowd until Jesus tells me that I have to be more righteous than the Pharisees to get into heaven.  And, later, when He says, “You shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

How many of us live striving for this very thing?  We just keep trying harder, doing more.  If I have a big presentation to give at work, a Bible study to lead, children to train, or a blog post to write…how many times do we just pull up our bootstraps and get the job done that needs to be done?

Yet, each time I try apart from Christ, I am making it all about me.  I am stealing glory from God.  I am saying to God that I’ve got this and I don’t need Him.  And that’s just foolish.

Christ tells us in this sermon that He did not come to destroy the Law or the Prophets, but rather to fulfill.  He has accomplished all the work His Father had given Him to do–and His perfect obedience and death for us is what we must rely on.  We have to depend upon this work He did in order to be perfect and righteous as He calls us to be.

He’s done it all!  So, let’s walk out in His commands through His power, not our own.  May we never grow weary of hearing these truths because we fall into the sin of self-sufficiency, of independence, daily.  Let’s focus on Him, not ourselves.  It’s all about HIM.

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

— 2 Corinthians 5: 21

Love, Wendy

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