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More Mountains, Please

Daily Reading: Matthew 5

Scripture Focus: Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.

And he opened his mouth and taught them. (Matthew 5.1-2)

Devotional Thought: Ah... The Sermon on the Mount. The next three days are going to be chock-full of challenges as we read this Kingdom message from Jesus. What strikes me right away is the reference to a mountain. As one writer said, it "is probably significant, just as Moses received the old Law on Mount Sinai, so Jesus, the new Leader, enunciated the law of the Kingdom on a mountainside." (BBC, 66)

And that is my challenge to you. Have you found your mountainside? That Jesus thought a mountainside experience was important is obvious by the fact that it came early in the development of his disciples. Those who would follow Jesus need to start with him on the mountainside of challenge. Our perspectives need to be challenged just as those first disciples' worldview was changed by spending time with Jesus.

A mountaintop experience is not necessarily an emotional experience, though it can be one. What is important is that we get closer to God and farther from the pressures and distractions of life. Jesus saw the crowds and then called his disciples up to him - away from the crowds. He sat down - this was not to be a hurried experience.

We need to be able to hear what he has to say. On another mountain with Jesus, the disciples heard, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him” (Matthew 17.5).

Are you spending time with Jesus on the mountain top of quiet listening? Do you do so daily? I would also suggest regular times of solitude and silence when you can spend a day - or even a half day with Jesus alone. We need more, not fewer, mountains!

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for the invitation to go up the mountain with you. Help us all to make time to spend with you. Teach us about your kingdom, O Lord. Change our perspective so that we think as you do. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 1 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock! You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth. 2 Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh, stir up your might and come to save us! 3 Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved! (Psalms 80:1-3)

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