Posts with the category “sermon-on-the-mount”

Love Your Enemies • Devotion 4
by River Church on December 1st, 2022
The ParadoxJeannie Yates“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.” - Thumper (from the movie “Bambi”)Do you remember hearing this from your parents? Or maybe you were the one saying it! It sounds like really good advice; “If you cannot respond with kindness, keep your mouth shut!” That has to be in the Bible somewhere, right?We know we are supposed to love our neighbors. That was...  Read More
Love Your Enemies • Devotion 3
by River Church on November 30th, 2022
FlippedPastor Ryan StoryThe entire focal point of the Sermon on the Mount is meant to show those who are wishing to follow Jesus how to live. I am excited that we, as a church, are spending so much time reading the words of our Savior’s sermon. The reality is nothing Jesus ever taught was “culturally normal.” Everything Jesus ever taught was meant to push to that counter-cultural aspect of living....  Read More
Love Your Enemies • Devotion 2
by River Church on November 29th, 2022
Speaking Well of OthersPastor Chuck Lindsey“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rai...  Read More
Love Your Enemies • Devotion 1
by River Church on November 28th, 2022
The Ultimate ExampleMitchell HolmesThe concept of enemies is such an interesting one in our culture; I am hard-pressed to come up with someone that I truly, vehemently despise to the point that I would classify them as my enemy. The term “enemy,” to me, seems like something that might refer to your opponent in a war or large conflict of some kind. This is the type of person that the mere sight of ...  Read More
Retaliation • Devotion 6
by River Church on November 26th, 2022
Unwritten RulesPhilip PiaseckiBaseball is one of my favorite sports. There is just something special about getting down to the ballpark on a warm spring day to watch a game. One of the interesting things about baseball is the “unwritten rules” of the game. There are all these things that are not actually rules but are expectations for teams and players to follow. One common “rule” is how you are s...  Read More
Retaliation • Devotion 5
by River Church on November 25th, 2022
God's Grace and GenerosityKeaton Washburn“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to t...  Read More
Retaliation • Devotion 4
by River Church on November 24th, 2022
Legion of AngelsAdam Moore“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs...  Read More
Retaliation • Devotion 3
by River Church on November 23rd, 2022
ConsequencesJeremy SmithIn psychology, they teach about consequences. I always thought of a consequence as a negative or a punishment to replace my own actions. In reality, the consequence can be a negative or positive reaction. Similarly, retaliation has the same attribute. Jesus lays out in Matthew 5:38, “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’” He says we a...  Read More
Retaliation • Devotion 2
by River Church on November 22nd, 2022
FairnessGary Wright“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from y...  Read More
Retaliation • Devotion 1
by River Church on November 21st, 2022
Retaliatory AggressionJoe Wilson“Ye have heard that it hath been said, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Gi...  Read More
Oaths • Devotion 6
by River Church on November 19th, 2022
Transformative PowerFerdinand SandersI have wondered what it actually means when someone says things like, “I give you my word” or “I swear on my life?” Am I the only one whose radar goes off when people have to tack on some additional arbitrary credibility to their words? Growing up, my father climbed the sales ladder in the automotive industry and valued a solid answer (even if the answer was “I...  Read More
Oaths • Devotion 5
by River Church on November 18th, 2022
Out of Our ControlRich SawickiToday we are going to talk about taking oaths. When I hear this it sounds very formal to me, but it was a custom back in the day to give your word as a verbal contract. Some oaths you have heard or said yourself, might sound something like this:• I swear to God• I swear on my kids• I swear on my grandmother’s graveWhen people say these things it is usually because the...  Read More
Oaths • Devotion 4
by River Church on November 17th, 2022
TruthfulJosh Thayer“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot ...  Read More
Oaths • Devotion 3
by River Church on November 16th, 2022
I PromiseMitchell HolmesStart by reading Matthew 5:33-37.Oaths are a funny thing. We often feel that when someone says that they swear to something, it means that it carries more weight. It makes sense, right? When someone says, “I will get this done for you by 3:00, I swear!” it seems to convey that they have a true intention to complete the task by that designated time. We feel as if their oath ...  Read More
Oaths • Devotion 2
by River Church on November 15th, 2022
Human Oaths Versus God's PromisesSydney KimballIn my experience, many of us pray the same way. What I mean by this is that we have a set structure as to how we talk to God. The Bible instructs us to always be in thanksgiving and I believe, for that very reason, many of us choose to start our prayers with that exact heart posture. Now, we may thank God for what He has done for us, what He has given...  Read More
Oaths • Devotion 1
by River Church on November 14th, 2022
The Moon and the StarsMark PittengerIn 1994 there was a country song released by John Michael Montgomery titled, “I Swear.” Later, in the summer of that same year, it was also released as an R&B song by a group known as All-4-One. The lyrics were the same, just the genre of the music was different. The lyrics of the chorus start out:And I swear by the moon and the stars in the skies,I’ll be there....  Read More
Divorce • Devotion 5
by River Church on November 11th, 2022
Pursuit of HolinessPastor Patrick Rowland“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” Matthew 5:31-32This is the second reference to adultery made by Jesus in six straight ve...  Read More
Divorce • Devotion 4
by River Church on November 10th, 2022
Little MomentsCathy StoryDuring this recent season, my husband and I have had the privilege of participating in a marriage Growth Community. We were grateful for the number of couples wanting and willing to set aside time in their weekly schedules to build, strengthen, and remold areas of their marriages. From couples preparing to enter into marriage, to couples with more than 30 years together, t...  Read More
Divorce • Devotion 3
by River Church on November 9th, 2022
Ray of HopeAdam Moore“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” Mathew 5:31-32There are fewer things in life that I have been as passionate about as the topic of divorce. I...  Read More
Divorce • Devotion 2
by River Church on November 8th, 2022
Hold FastJeannie Yates“Red rover, red rover, send Jeannie right over!”Do you remember playing that game in elementary school? Each team forms a line, holds hands, and faces the other team across the field. They take turns calling for someone to run over to try and break through their line by running as hard and as fast as they can through the clasped hands. If you break through the line you get to...  Read More
Divorce • Devotion 1
by River Church on November 7th, 2022
Stone HeartJosh Thayer“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” Matthew 5:31-32  You started at the altar, staring into each other’s eyes with overwhelming feelings of lov...  Read More
Lust • Devotion 6
by River Church on November 5th, 2022
I Love You, LordCaleb Jones“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your ri...  Read More
Lust • Devotion 5
by River Church on November 4th, 2022
Worship and the MindPastor David Wilson“The first look is okay but the second is lust, so make sure that your first look is a long one,” says a dad to his son as a woman walks by. That statement reveals something about that dad; he may believe impure thoughts are not sinning, as long as no physical actions are taken. Jesus teaches in Matthew 5:27-30 quite the opposite. The impure thoughts and the ...  Read More
Lust • Devotion 4
by River Church on November 3rd, 2022
Would You Rather?Pastor Patrick RowlandOne of my family’s favorite games to play while traveling on a trip is “Would You Rather?” The basis of the game is one person makes up two similar but different options and you have to pick one or the other. It could be something simple like, “Would you rather be stuck in traffic with no air conditioning or stuck on an airplane circling the runway and not ab...  Read More
Lust • Devotion 3
by River Church on November 2nd, 2022
Don't Gouge Out Your EyeDebbie GabbaraOne thing we see in Matthew chapter 5 is that Jesus did not shy away from tough subjects. The Pharisees spent a lot of time trying to find fault in His teachings and actions. I would imagine they were quite appalled by what He had to say when Jesus suggested to the crowds that they pluck out their eye or cut off their hand if they caused them to sin. Jesus say...  Read More
Lust • Devotion 2
by River Church on November 1st, 2022
Entertaining ThoughtsKatrina Young“Don’t entertain the thought.” That is what my mentor (JoAnne) would say to me every time she would coach me through a crisis. “You are sending out invitations to a party that you are hosting in your mind, and you are dancing with sin.” Her words seemed so harsh to me at the time, but I am so thankful for the wisdom and patience that she had with me. I was a new b...  Read More
Lust • Devotion 1
by River Church on October 31st, 2022
Look but Don't TouchJohn RiggWhen I was a little boy, one of my favorite places to go was the Ben Franklin Store. The local “five and dime” as they were called. This was a place of wonder to me. I would spend months saving my allowance just for the chance to shell it out on a toy or some candy. My favorite part of the store was the plastic model aisle. This area was filled with Mattel, Revel, and ...  Read More
Anger • Devotion 6
by River Church on October 29th, 2022
Are You Angry?Kyle WendelHave you ever been angry with someone? I feel like I can say for us all, yes we have been angry with someone else many times. I can think of countless stories of where I have been angry with someone. Jesus takes a bold take on anger in Matthew 5:21-22, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ ...  Read More
Anger • Devotion 5
by River Church on October 28th, 2022
The Heart of the MatterPatrick BicknellThe Sermon on the Mount is one of the most revolutionary words spoken by the Son of God that confronts the heart of our entire lives. Almost everybody, both worldly and Christian, is fixated on the external things of life. Whether it is how big someone’s house is, or if it is how much you serve and spend time at a church, what you reflect externally in your l...  Read More
Anger • Devotion 4
by River Church on October 27th, 2022
Creating Peaceful Relationships with Others and GodEmilou Irwin“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. S...  Read More
Anger • Devotion 3
by River Church on October 26th, 2022
Redeeming AngerFerdinand SandersGrowing up as the older brother, I felt like my younger brother had a natural gift of pushing my buttons just to the point of eliciting a reaction out of me - a reaction that ultimately led to me getting in trouble. I do not think there is a sibling relationship in existence where there has not been some number of arguments, and if we are being honest, most of the t...  Read More
Anger • Devotion 2
by River Church on October 25th, 2022
To All PriestsJohn Stone“Therefore, if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.” Matthew 5:23-24 (NASB)Did you know that you and I are priests to our God? What an honor! What a privilege to be allo...  Read More
Anger • Devotion 1
by River Church on October 24th, 2022
YeastGary Wright“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar an...  Read More
Law • Devotion 6
by River Church on October 22nd, 2022
Love God, Love OthersJohn Stone“Do not presume that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke of a letter shall pass from the Law, until all is accomplished!” Matthew 5:17-18 (NASB)What does it mean for us that Jesus fulfilled the Law? In order to gain an understa...  Read More
Lae • Devotion 5
by River Church on October 21st, 2022
Rules and FreedomPastor David WilsonSign, sign, everywhere a signBlockin out the scenery, breaking my mindDo this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?The Five Man Electric Band sang this in 1970 to a culture that was shifting to a lack of trust in their leadership. The youth were questioning everything they had been told and jumping past the conservative guidelines set by previous generations....  Read More
Law • Devotion 4
by River Church on October 20th, 2022
Woe to YouDonna FoxThe scribes and the Pharisees were Jewish leaders and teachers during Jesus’ time on Earth. They talked the religious game, but their hearts and motives were not godly. Matthew 5:19-20 says, “Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will...  Read More
Law • Devotion 3
by River Church on October 19th, 2022
Law – Jesus – LawPatrick BicknellA common misconception that Christians tend to believe is that we do not need the Law anymore. In one sense, this is true. We no longer need to fulfill the requirements of the Law to gain a right standing before God and be justified in the eyes of God. However, that does not mean Jesus came to abolish the Law or to contradict Himself. Instead, He teaches us a coupl...  Read More
Law • Devotion 2
by River Church on October 18th, 2022
Laws or Guidelines?Mark PittengerHave you ever heard the phrase, “You are only breaking the law if you get caught?” I hear this all the time and see it practiced every day. This is probably most evident on the highway. When I am on my way to work in the morning, I often feel like I am driving in a NASCAR race! If you choose to follow the speed limit, cars will fly past you like you are parked! Thi...  Read More
Law • Devotion 1
by River Church on October 17th, 2022
Thank YouDr. Randy T. Johnson“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Matthew 5:17The Law was not enough. However, the Law is not irrelevant. The Law had and has value.In Matthew 5:20, Jesus said, “For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of h...  Read More
Light • Devotion 6
by River Church on October 15th, 2022
God's PlanPeter Mason“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16As children, many of us had dreams for what...  Read More

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