Faith Daily | 10 June 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - PENTECOST APBA p550
O Lord, from whom alone all good things come:
grant that by your holy inspiration
we may think those things that are good,
and by your merciful guiding
may perform them;
through our Lord Jesus Christ.
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 5: 20 - 26
20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
21 “You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister,[a] you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult[b] a brother or sister,[c] you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell[d] of fire. 23 So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister[e] has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister,[f] and then come and offer your gift. 25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court[g] with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: John Vickers
God’s love for us is boundless in that even though we were sinners He gave His only Son to save us and provide a way to reconciliation, and everlasting life. The chasm between our standards and God’s has always been there, seemingly unbridgeable. Jesus demonstrates the standards required by God in His Sermon on the Mount, His only recorded full sermon in the scriptures. In this particular passage He once more reveals how our all too human thoughts precede our bad intentions and actions. Context is important, and the sermon pivots on the fact that we will struggle and mostly fail, to attain the standard required by God. Our thoughts and intentions, which are transparent to Him, continually betray us. “There is no one righteous, no not even one.” (Romans 3:10). We are told that even if our righteousness exceeds the righteousness of those who studied the Scriptures day and night, dedicated scholars, it will not be enough. Line by line, Jesus’ sermon strips us bare and places the thoughts and intentions of our hearts – the undeniable truth of who we really are and what we really think- in full exposure.
So we might ask ourselves, how are we to be saved? How are we to ever be acceptable in God’s presence? How are we to meet God’s seemingly impossible standards?
But God…..those incredible words, the solution to everything both possible and impossible. But God has provided a way. Through His son, Jesus who died to enable forgiveness of our sins, and the in dwelling of the Holy spirit to strengthen us and allow us to take control of the thoughts of our hearts.
To obtain that forgiveness, we need to repent of our daily shortcomings. God then experiences our fallen selves by not seeing us as we are, but by perceiving us through His blameless, perfect, sinless Son. This all relies on God’s grace and mercy which is the reward for true repentance.
FINAL PRAYER: Kenya, World Day of Prayer 1991
Lord God, I bring to you:
My sins for your forgiveness.
My hopes, my aims, my ambitions for your blessings.
My temptations for your strength.
My words and duties and responsibilities for your help.
My family, friends and all loved ones for your care
My sickness for your healing.