This week you're going to look at the last two-thirds of Matthew chapter 5 where Jesus is radically redefining what it is to be human.
"Sin" is often viewed as lines to cross or not-cross. Jesus takes these lines and points out that ultimately our intentions, motivations and character matters just as much as whether we cross/don't cross them. In doing this, Jesus redefines sin as anything that de-humanises ourselves or others. It's quite confronting, but it is all part of this radical picture He is painting: one of what being a fully-alive human, as God has made us to be, is all about.
Engage in the discipline of confession. This week as you make space to engage with the Scripture reading, be prepared to notice the areas of your own life where you are coming up short in meeting the standard Jesus is laying out here. When you notice these shortcomings, confess them in any of these three ways:
- to God in prayer (use the prayer below if you need some help)
- to a friend you trust who you can pray with
- to a person you can get help from if it is something that is quite damaging to you
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Dear Heavenly Father, I lower my head before you and confess that I have too often forgotten that I am yours. Sometimes I carry on my life as if there was no God and I fall short of being a credible witness to You. For these things I ask your forgiveness and I also ask for your strength. Give me a clear mind and open heart so I may witness to You in our world. Remind me to be who You would have me to be regardless of what I am doing or who I am with. Hold me to You and build my relationship with You and with those You have given me on this earth.
In the name of Jesus, amen.