There is an unbiblical idea of heaven that most Christians have, it is bliss or nirvana, or it is angels on clouds with harps. The truth is Jesus returns and brings heaven to the earth. Much of what Jesus taught is much better understood with this premise. Jesus said the meek shall inherit the earth. But right now Christians control very little of the earth. The truth is when Jesus comes back He rules from the New Jerusalem and to the degree of each Christians meekness will be their inheritance. In 1 cor 15 Paul taught that we each get different levels of reward of glory in our bodies, our reward also relates to our position in Jesus’ heavenly empire. It is not about the reward of fame or position, it is about being closest to Jesus, doing what’s near and dear to His heart. If He cares about Government because He is the King, then I care about government. Not all saints will have government, but all are invited to it, we determine our role by our obedience on our lifetime before we die.
The Sermon on the Mount Is the way to Greatness in the Kingdom (Matt 5:19)
In the soil of our heart, Jesus said the gospel can produce a harvest at the Judgment Seat of our Reward of 30, 60 or even 100-fold return. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus calls us to live out the 8 Beatitudes (5:3-12) as we pursue 100-fold obedience (5:48) resist 6 temptations (5:21-48), and pursue 5 kingdom activities (6:1-20) that position our hearts to freely receive more grace, anointing & power [in secret, meaning not for praise of man]. When He returns and establishes the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, there will be billions of believers ranging from least & great (5:19) in reward, the great will have taken the time to wrestle with them & pray for Spirit-empowerment to walk these out, regularly pushing delete on stumbling. He says the great also teach those He puts in their lives to do them(19). Matt 6:1 Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of people in order to be noticed by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
He said if we love Him then we’ll seek to obey His commands (Jn 14:12), & we have the rest of our lives to ask for revelation of how to walk in them. In this sermon Jesus attacks external church ritual & asks for all of our heart, soul, & mind, the first & greatest commandment (22:38). He in meekness, asks for us to attack our passive love & let Him turn it into active love, with the promise that our lifestyle of meekness will give us a greater inheritance in the Kingdom. The foundational beatitude of asking to be Poor In Spirit establishes the need for time management & daily prayer to be dependent on the Spirit to walk in these. Implied in all of God’s commands is the promise of the enabling to walk out the command.
We do all this with confidence in His rewards (eternal/temporal 6:20-24 and His provision (6:25-33). We do this without criticism of others who pursue God with less intensity or who oppose us (7:1-6), while we seek Jesus to intervene in our relationships (7:7-12), yet without drawing back from our wholehearted pursuit of God (7:13-14) as we alertly discern false grace messages (7:15-20). We do all of this knowing that our obedience will be tested (7:21-27). Jesus said that by walking in these truths we will impact society (5:13-16), be great in His eyes (5:19), receive treasures in heaven (6:19-20), and live in this age with our hearts exhilarated in His grace (6:22-23). We are in desparate need of regular asking for the Eph 1:17 Spirit of Wisdom & Revelation so that we can hear what the Spirit is saying about this vast lifestyle for much cannot be learned from a book or sermon but by Him alone. We also need regular encounters with the love of our Father for that which we do without love will not count. We pray & talk to Him to be fueled by His love in all we do.
CULTIVATING 8 BEATITUDES: EMBRACING THE KINGDOM LIFESTYLE
The eight Beatitudes (Mt. 5:3-12) are expressed in all five kingdom activities (Mt. 6:1-21).
1. Being poor in spirit: seeing our need for breakthroughs in our heart, ministry, church, and city
2. Mourning for breakthrough: being desperate enough to be extreme in pursuing breakthroughs unto embracing prayer and prayer with fasting (Mat 9:15).
3. Walking in meekness: having a servant spirit in the use of our resources (time, money, etc., that He is truly Lord over us).
4. Hungering for righteousness: seeking Jesus for a breakthrough of righteousness in our heart, in the lives of others, & in the nations
5. Showing mercy: treating others with a tender spirit when they fail, attack, or disappoint us
6. Being pure in heart: seeking to walk in purity in our thoughts, words, & motives for real
7. Becoming a peacemaker: trying to bring peace or healing to broken relationships
8. Enduring persecution: bearing the stigma and pressures of standing for righteousness
These 8 flowers must be cultivated as we “weed our garden” by resisting 6 common temptations (Mt. 5:21-48) and as we “water our garden” by pursuing 5 kingdom activities (Mt. 6:1-20).
**Being poor in spirit is so foundational, yet most Christians passively resist it. If we see our lack and how much God would give if asked we can respond in poverty of spirit. If we do nothing about it it is passive resistance. If we think we are fine we are in pride, and this was the issue of the Laodician church that Jesus addressed in Rev 3. We need the anointing of the Spirit for ourselves and to move others, and must be intentional about cultivating greater measure (Eph 3:16-19).**
PURSUING 5 KINGDOM ACTIVITIES & SEEKING TO WALK IN THEM REGULARLY
Jesus described 5 activities that position our heart to receive more grace and strength as we consistently serve and give (charitable deeds: giving service and/or money to get treasures in heaven(6:1-4, 19-21), pray (releasing the Father’s will by praying it, encountering His love & talking to Him about His word with devotion 6:5-13), bless our adversaries (fullness of forgiveness, 6:14-15; 5:44), and fast (voluntary weakness for spiritual strength 6:16-18). These are spiritual disciplines that position our heart before God to receive more grace.
RESISTING 6 TEMPTATIONS AND WARRING AGAINST OUR FLESH (Mt. 5:21-48)
Jesus did not come to destroy the law, but to make a way to fully express God’s original intent. Jesus highlighted six areas in which we wage war against sin in our hearts. They are anger (spirit of murder, Mt. 5:21-26), adultery (spirit of immorality, lust, Mt. 5:27-30), disregarding the sanctity of marriage (disloyalty in relationships, Mt. 5:31-32), false commitments (spirit of manipulation to promote ourselves, Mt. 5:33-37), retaliation for personal inconveniences (spirit of revenge Mt. 5:38-42), and inactivity when mistreated (always responding in love, Mt. 5:43-47).