Antioch Devotionals- June 29- July 3

MONDAY, JUNE 29TH Matthew 5-7
By Shawn Hammontree

Today I want to offer YOU three challenges.
I challenge YOU…
  1. To get alone and quiet.

  1. To pray and ask God to open your eyes and heart.

  1. To read Matthew chapters 5 thru 7.

Are YOU willing to take these challenges sometime between now and the time you go to bed tonight? Know that I will be praying for YOU as you read the words of the Master of all creation.
TUESDAY, JUNE 30TH Matthew 7:28 (AMP)
“BE-attitudes” by Kerry Stitch
“When Jesus had finished (speaking) these words (on the mountain), the crowds were astonished and overwhelmed at His teaching;”- Matthew 7:28

We are all guilty of giving thought to what we wanted to “BE” when we grew up.  Aside from a few outliers of Ninja, Octopus Trainer, and Dog Food Taster, responses haven’t changed much in the last several years.  (*Imagination Report by Fatherly)                                                                     Jesus plainly answers that question in Matthew 5 with qualities of Christ’s humanity described in the BE-attitudes.  “The first four demonstrate need while the second four focus on giving; thus balancing our blessedness by abiding in Christ’s mindset and modeling.” (The Mind of Christ by Hunt & King)                  
Sadly, in today’s world we might more frequently observe:
Blessed are the selfish, for they seem to get what they want.
Blessed are the loud, for they seem to be heard.
Blessed are the hard-boiled for they appear to be worriless.
Blessed are the arrogant, for they seldom see beyond their mirror.

Yet the Bible offers the Christ-like attributes we would be wise to follow:
Blessed are those who realize their spiritual poverty and turn to God.
Blessed are those who accept life and their own limitations.
Blessed are those who are real/ compassionate in their thoughts and feelings.                                 Blessed are those who help others to live together peaceable.                                                      

Perhaps, wondering what we will grow up to “be” has already been revealed.  Maybe we find in life what we want to find, what we seek, and what consumes our time and money.  What we choose to “BE-come” is a path of decisions made daily that projects our journey.  Maybe it’s as easy as 180 degrees…which direction are you headed; toward God or away from him? Let’s face it…our days even in Covid times are not static.  Check you divine compass and turn toward God. You will end up “BE-ing” in the happily ever after of His story for you.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 1ST Matthew 5:38-42
By Nita Kay Freeman
“You have heard that it was said, ‘eye for eye and tooth for tooth.’  but I tell you, do not resist an evil person.  If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.  And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.  If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.  Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.”- Matthew 5:38-42

Jason read us the Sermon on the Mount!  It’s been years since I read that passage in its entirety.  There is so much great material in this 3 chapter passage.  One of my favorite parts is when Jesus spoke about building your house upon the rock.  It takes me back to my vacation bible school days . . . “the wiseman built his house upon the rock…”, but the verses above are what really stepped on my toes.  I’m loyal to the core.  I will do anything for my friends and family.  They are the WORLD to me.  But, when it gets hard for me is when I am betrayed or worse yet, when one of my loved ones is betrayed!  When I researched this scripture, I found this -- “What Jesus asks of His followers is not passivity, but surrender of the right to personal revenge.”  Jesus isn’t telling us to allow others to take advantage of us or walk over us, he is asking us to humble ourselves for the kingdom of God and instead of getting even, we need to do the opposite!  There are about 3 people in this world that I truly struggle with (just being honest here).  As I read about the Sermon on the Mount and dive into the above scripture, I see that although human nature is to seek the emotional satisfaction of revenge on those who have wronged us or our loved one.  In Matthew 5:22-23, Jesus makes it clear that not only outward murder, but inward hatred is subject to God’s judgment.  As I struggle to break free from these feelings, I pray that God will take them away and remind me that I must give up personal vengeance altogether and realize that that belongs to my heavenly Father.
THURSDAY, JULY 2ND Matthew 5:14
By Terri Smith
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.”- Matthew 5:14

If asked, most of us could point out someone who we knew were "putting on a front". Sometimes it's done to not let a loved one or friend know about a serious health condition. Other times it is because they don't want their "real self" to show. Whether it be to cover up something or to maybe fit in to a specific group.  None of these are good reasons to be someone other than your real self. We do not need to "try" to be anyone else but who God made us to be.
My entire growing up school years were spent wanting to be "like someone else" so, believe me I know how miserable it can be, But Praise God, his love and saving grace is what has helped me accept who I am, now In Christ.
As in the Sermon on the Mount, the only way we can be, ourselves and what the Lord calls us to be is if we are Right in what we are doing.   Our character plays a big part in this and sometimes we don't have to say or do a thing. People who watch us, and believe it or not, you are being watched (boy what a scary thought that is)!.
If we are consistently in the Word we can rest assured that the Lord will lead us on the straight and narrow. All we are required to do is to pay attention to Him and his leading.
I am so grateful for this truth.  I am trying daily to seek Him in all I do and say. Won't you join me? We can't be right, as Bro. Jason said, until we allow Jesus to help us be ourselves, then and only then can Jesus do a work in us!

Father, I thank you for all you've done for me, especially for helping me accept who I am.  I pray you will help others to realize that the only way they can be who you've called them to be is through you.
FRIDAY, JULY 3RD Matthew 6:25-27
By Toya Aultman
 “Therefore I tell you, stop being worried or anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted) about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, as to what you will wear. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap the harvest nor gather the crops into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by worrying can add one hour to the length of his life?”- Matthew 6:25-27

For many of us, worrying about what we are going to wear has not been much of an issue these past few months. The last few months it's been simply yoga pants and a tee, and that was only if we chose to get out of our pajamas. If you were like me you worried more about what you were going to eat, because all the restaurants were closing.
The fact is, many of us just tend to worry about stuff that has absolutely no eternal significance at all. I have friends that dress in the latest styles with all the expensive name brands and I have friends that dress from shopping garage sales and Goodwill. And you know what? Both groups love Jesus and love others!
Now don't get me wrong, I love cute clothes, and shoes (according to the preacher man's sermon), and jewelry, and purses, but I really don’t worry much about it all anymore. It doesn't matter if I have Louis Vuitton on my body, if I don't have Jesus Christ in my heart.

Father, keep me focused on the eternal. Please take away the worries the
enemy throws at me and keep my heart, mind and soul focused on You and
Your Kingdom. Amen.