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The Key to the Kingdom
Theme of the Week: Repentance Leads To Blessing
Friday, September 22, 2017

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Key Bible Verse: "But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!" (Matthew 5:20)

Dig Deeper: Matthew 5:43-48

Jesus takes the laws we think we've mastered because we haven't murdered or committed adultery, and he attacks the heart of the issue. Just because you might be a little bit better at masking what's in your heart, doesn't mean you don't have an issue. The problem is not simply what you're doing. The problem is who you are—a sinner. That is what separates you from God. As we see this problem, our only response is a position and posture of poverty, to come before the Lord and say, "I am poor. I am bankrupt. There's no way in the world I can do or live up to any of this. All I can do is put myself in a posture where you can work in my life."

Jesus is after our hearts, not our behavior.

Jesus ends the first and last beatitude with the statement, "Theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Recognize here that this blessing of receiving the kingdom does not come from what these people are doing, but from the posture of their hearts toward a God who has done everything on our behalf. There is only one hero in all of the Sermon on the Mount, and it's not you and it's certainly not me. The only hero is Jesus Christ, God himself.

—Dhati Lewis in Among Wolves

Adapted from—Monday through Saturday: Among Wolves ©2017 by Dhati Lewis. Used by permission of B&H Publishing Group. All rights reserved by the copyright holder and/or the publisher. May not be reproduced.

Prayer for the Week
Savior, I surrender my life to you. Help me to put into practice the virtues of your kingdom.

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