I did not have a father in my life. I grew up under the care of my grandmothers on both sides of the family. I stayed with my momís mom on the week days and my dadís mom on the weekends. So I barely saw my mom and dad. However, as I was growing up I heard my aunts and uncles say your just like your fatheróin appearance, in certain habits, and ways. It wasnít until I actually saw my father and witness certain things that I realized what everyone was talking about. I wished that my father would have modeled what a real godly father would be likeóbut I didnít have that opportunity.
Jesus Presents the FATHER
When Jesus taught on the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus painted a picture of what OUR HEAVENLY FATHER desires for us to be like; Therefore you shall be perfect, just as YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN is perfect (Matthew 5:48 NKJV).
Perfect means mature in the Greek. We must be spiritually mature as OUR HEAVENLY FATHER. You see Jesus taught about 19 different topics in this one Sermon. So from Matthew 5:17-48, Jesus taught 7 topics. Let me outline them;
1. Jesus teaches about the law (Matthew 5:17-20 NKJV) (How He came to fulfill the law by practically living it).
2. Jesus taught about anger (Matthew 5:21-26 NKJV) (How we must be careful to not allow our emotions of anger to get in the way of trying to settle our differences).
3. Jesus teaches about lust (Matthew 5:27-30 NKJV) (How we must not fantasize when we look at the opposite sex and move on those sexual desires. This will keep us from committing adultery).
4. Jesus teaches about divorce (Matthew 5:31-31-32 NKJV) (The only exception for divorce is sexual immorality).
5. Jesus teaches about vows (Matthew 5:33-37 NKJV) (We must not swear at all just say yes or no in response to favors or acts of kindness).
6. Jesus teaches about retaliation (Matthew 5:38-42 NKJV) (The slap the other cheek concept is hard for many but the reality is no one is just going to slap you for no reason. However, if it happens our response in retaliation to strike back is what OUR HEAVENLY FATHER desires for us to be mature about. I heard a true story from a Christian Boxer I personally know who has experienced another man slapping him, so he gave him the other cheek and the guy walked away. The boxer could have easily knocked him out, but he said to himself if I must be a Christian I have to live it out, so he offered him the other cheek. The next day the guy apologizes and cried out for forgiveness. Thatís true Christianity).
7. Jesus teaches about loving your enemies (Matthew 5:43-48 NKJV) (This practice was a hard one for me. When I became a Christian it took a 1 Ĺ years after--for me to apply this. I honestly wanted to destroy my enemy who caused me so much grief even while being a Born-again Christian. But I noticed that no matter what this guy did to me heís alive God did not punish him and I just had to get over the fact that what was done to me was over. Jesus said YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN makes the sun and rain come upon the righteous and the unrighteous.
God as FATHER
I love Jesusí presentation of God. Jesus never mentions God or your Lord God said, thou shall notÖlust, divorce, say vows, retaliate or hate your enemies. Jesus said you heard that it been saidÖ
Notice the restructure thatís going to take place in His presentation of the topics and He follows up with a practical approach to living out the principle. Moses or the religious leaders of His day did not clearly present Scripture like He did. And then He places Great Emphasis that itís OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN who we must represent by living out these principles.
Iím a how to guy, I donít care for much theory as much as I care about how does it work. Iím very practical and Iím quick to make it applicable. I was a womanizer back in the day as a teen and young adult. After I got saved at the age of 25, I battled in the area of lust for women. Since Iím 6í2, 220lbs. and have the Brad Pitt chiseled look I have to fight off the hits I receive daily going to and from work. I work on Spring St. in Manhattan NYC.
So when Jesus spoke about the lust factor being the motive to committing adultery. It hits me all the time when I look and when my mind wants to wander about how hot she looks and sheís checking me out I can get itóif I want it. I step back mentally and say silently thank you FATHER for creating this beautiful woman I pray that if she doesnít know you that you grant her godly sorrow that will lead her onto repentance to receive YOUR SALVATION in JESUSí name amen.
Living out these principles in Matthew chapter 5, is an ongoing long life experience that we must carry out. Jesus made it plain to us. We donít have to hold grudges, be angry, always in lust and checking out the opposite sex as our next piece of flesh we will devourer and we can experience a greater relationship to OUR HEAVENLY FATHER.
Jesus spelled it out for us.All we need to do is read it over and over until it penetrates our hearts and when the time comes to exercise these principles it will become second nature for us to live it out and represent OUR HEAVENLY FATHER.