Saturday, December 27, 2008

Sermon on the Mount

We're studying the Sermon on the Mount in the HS class I am teaching at church.  Fortunately, it is something I have studied in depth in the past, and the book I read while going through it was John R.W. Stott's "Sermon on the Mount."  It doesn't have an impressive name, nor does it have an impressive cover, but that book is SO good!  It really has helped in bringing out the importance of the message and all the ins and outs of it. 

We have been creeping through this passage of Scripture, but I think it's exactly what we should be doing.  We've studied 26 verses in 4 weeks.  Slow huh?  But when we focus in on just one topic, we can really explore it and see how it ties in with other parts of the Bible, and really learn the application of each part.  

This week (tomorrow) we'll be studying murder.  Jesus said not only is murder wrong, but thinking anger and using insults is as well.  And he includes them all in the same discussion!  How could what we think be as bad as actually killing?  As I explored my study aid and went through the Scripture myself, here's what was revealed.  Insulting people, and anger, and ignoring people you dislike - all these things destroy life.  Your words and actions (or non-actions) carry much weight and when you use them against someone else, you are hurting.  That hurt sometimes builds to the point of depression, which sometimes results in suicide.  But regardless of the outcome, anytime you do these things, which start in your mind as angry thoughts and come out as insults, you are not valuing that person's life and are taking away from their ability to live a full life, as Jesus hoped for everyone.  

I can't wait to go through this with the kids.  I think it has enormous application in the life of a teenager and I think they'll get a lot out of it.  I highly recommend this book if you are studying the Sermon on the Mount.  I didn't get everything above from that book, but that's where I ended up after reading some of the things it did contain.  

Everyone counts.  If we could remember that and act accordingly, how different this place would be.

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