April 21 – Sermon on the Mount – Lust

Read Matthew 5:27-30

When I read Matthew 5, the theme I am seeing as Christ is dissecting and fulfilling the law that His disciples have come to know so well is “Where is your heart?”

A few weeks ago, our grace group was speaking on this. Christ wasn’t literally meaning gouge out your eye or cut off your arm but, instead, He was figuratively showing the power behind your heart’s motive.

You see, as proclaimed followers of Jesus, we may walk around spewing Scripture here and there and speaking of things that are Holy and righteous and, to others’ lives may even look holy or righteous, but the Lord sees our heart.

This makes me think of Zachariah 7 when a group of Israelite men came to the temple in order to ask the Lord if they still needed to fast on the day of the former temple’s destruction. God’s response to them cuts right down to the root of the issue in their hearts. He says, “All these years you’ve kept the festivals, were you truly doing it for Me or were you simply doing the bare minimum in order to still get the benefits of walking with Me?” God tells them their hearts have become like stone, simply going through the motions and neglecting what He truly wants from them, which is to walk in justice, kindness, mercy, and to care for the vulnerable.

Just as the Lord spoke through Zachariah, Jesus explains to His followers, the expectation is simple: “Look at your heart. Is your heart for you or for Me?”

Christ isn’t literally saying to cut off your arm or gouge out your eye, but He is explaining that even the thought or waiver of thought is like such things.

That is how powerful our thoughts can be.

Our thoughts can lead our heart and, if we allow it to follow, then our heart’s motive is stained by unrighteousness and will lead to spiritual death.

What then is our testimony? (Check out James 1)

You see, we are to look different. Jesus was teaching His followers and disciples the same thing but was getting to the root of it by saying it isn’t just about LOOKING set apart, it’s about your heart’s motive.

Remember, we need to “Walk the Talk”. In order to live that out, we need to look at our heart’s motives. We need to examine our mind and thoughts and understand that lustful thinking is just as sinful as committing adultery.

As you look at Matthew 5 and maybe read Zechariah 7 and James 1, let me ask you . . . where is your heart?

Kelly Lawson

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