Read full description of the books: Become what you are : spiritual formation according to the sermon on the mount If you were sitting today on a hillside listening to Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, how ought you respond? Become What You Are is the insider's guide to Jesus' agenda--the goal of spiritual formation. This goal is a transformed heart, a change at the inner center of our being, that leads to a life that pleases God.
If you were sitting today on a hillside listening to Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, how ought you respond? Become What You Are is the insider's guide to Jesus' agenda—the goal of spiritual formation. This goal is a transformed heart, a change at the. If you were sitting today on a hillside listening to Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, how ought you respond? Become What You Are is the insider's guide to Jesus'.
Or, as a shorthand, it means becoming like Christ. New Testament scholar William W. Klein presents the profound vision for spiritual formation that lies at the heart of the Sermon on the Mount. But stewardship not only involves our time, it also involves our money - something which people seem to value more than their time.
Turn to the gospel of Luke, chapter 16, where were going to read verses in just a moment. But before we read these verses we need to set the stage. Jesus speaks these words immediately after telling the parable of the unjust servant or the unjust steward. In the parable the unjust steward is caught squandering his master's money and is called to give an account of how he has used his master's money.
Realizing that he has been caught, he begins to use the master's money to make friends for himself so that when he no longer has a job, he will at least have friends.
While clearly unjust, because he misused his master's money, Jesus points to this man as an example of someone who is shrewd. He says, "for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light. Jesus does not condone the steward's dishonesty, but points to how clever and shrewd he is. The moral of this parable is that if the wicked can be this shrewd in the things which are temporal, how much more shrewd should we be in our dealing with those things which are eternal?
Jesus is saying that if we cannot be trusted with something as temporal and fleeting as money, He is not going to trust us with the truly valuable things of the Spirit.
If we have not proven faithful with little, we will never be entrusted with much. If we are not faithful with that which belongs to someone else, who will give us something of our own? Then Jesus tells us that you cannot serve two masters, you cannot serve both God and money. And don't overlook the fact that these four verses are sandwiched in between two parables, not only of the unjust steward but also of Lazarus and the Rich Man.
Both of the parables talk about how wise or foolish someone is here on earth and how their use of money here speaks to eternity. Both of the parables deal directly with money. We know this from verse 14 where the scripture tells us the Pharisees were listening and scoffing at Him. It says that they were lovers of money. It is a trust — It is something God has entrusted to our care, something which belongs to Him but which He has given us to invest on His behalf.
The idea here is that He will get a good return on His investment. If He trusts us with a little, and we use it wisely, He will trust us with more. That's why He says, "He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much…" Money is something God has entrusted to us.
It is a trust. It is a tool — He expects that we will use it to further His kingdom here on Earth, using it as best we can to reveal His glory and to relate His gospel to those around us. To the one who is spiritually minded, money is never something which should become an end unto itself, but rather it is merely a tool, something which is to be used to accomplish a greater good. Like a rope thrown into the water to save someone from drowning, the rope is not what is of real value, the life being saved is what is of real value.
So it is with money. It has value, but only to the degree that it is used properly, only to the degree that it is used to further the kingdom of God. It is a test — God often gives us something of lesser value to see if He can trust us with something of greater value. If He cannot trust us with something as fleeting as money, why should He trust us with spiritual things of eternal value?
If He cannot trust us to make good decisions with the small amount of money that we have, it stands to reason that we cannot be trusted with the large amount of money that we may want. And just for the record, God can give you as much money as He wants to give you and He can leave you with as little as He wants to leave you with.
The correct means of observing these is still clear in Deut and Exodus. Because we have received the mercy of God through repentance, we can be merciful. At the same time, James teaches that there are some things we do not have because we have not asked, a possible allusion to this portion of the sermon Matt. Tony Osimo says:. To stop short of this application with mere analysis might well be the ultimate abuse of the sermon!
When we are dealing with someone who has our very heart beat in His hands, we shouldn't quibble over something as temporal as money. We should seek to pass the test and use it as He commands. Now let's just take the gloves off for a moment. If you do not at the very least tithe, if you are not investing at least a portion of the money God has entrusted to you into eternal causes, you are not a growing Christian and you probably need to take a long hard look at your life through the lens of scripture to see if you are even a Christian at all.
That may sound like a harsh statement, but Jesus makes it abundantly clear that you cannot serve God and money. He talks about money more than heaven and hell combined. It is clear: Jesus thought the use of money was an important thermometer of your spiritual life. If you are truly His servant, and you have surrendered everything in your life to Him, one of the most elementary external visible signs of that internal transformation is that you will walk in obedience to Him with respect to money. Go through the scripture, from the Old Testament through the New Testament and you find the same message.
Of course there are, and always have been, those who have a problem with this truth. I went to seminary with a guy who thought that since he was a preacher his whole life was dedicated to God and he did not have to tithe. That was a copout similar to what Jesus condemned the Pharisees for in Matthew Besides that, the call to total surrender is on all Christians not just preachers.
How can He truly be Lord of your life if He is not Lord of your bank account? There's no way around it either. You can say, "Well, money's not that important, surely God is more concerned with how I treat my neighbor than how I spend my money! Do you give to the poor when they need it? Are you willing to fund the ministries and mission activities of your local church so that others might come to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and be saved?
You see, you cannot separate the stewardship of your money from the rest of your spiritual life.
The clock and the dollar tell the story, don't they? When it's all said and done they are simple matters of obedience and obedience defines our discipleship. They are tangible evidences of where your heart really is. Some consider this a spiritual classic. Sweet stuff, with some clear teaching about the role of law and grace and gospel-centered transformation.
He was philosophy prof who was also a deep Christian saturated in the classics, who early or mentored Richard Foster and encouraged him to write about the spiritual disciplines. This is his most groundbreaking book and most of it is centered on an explication of the Sermon on the Mount.
I loved this. I so appreciated his taking theology, Bible, and applying it to life in these times. This is really good, sort of an applied living out of the ways of the Kingdom. The Cost of Community: Jesus, St. The first part of this moving book is on the Beatitudes, the rest on the Sermon on the Mount, but not as a typical Bible study but more by way of telling his own story of building a community and the hardships of living that kind of blessed life together.
Discover the true cost of community. This goal is a transformed heart, a change at the inner center of our being, that leads to a life that pleases God.
go to link Or, as a shorthand, it means becoming like Christ. This unique approach to the most famous sermon juxtaposes analysis with practice sections throughout.