Guided Bible Studies for Hungry Christians
The Word on the Mountain
Walking the Walk Toward Jesus Christ
"And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying," (Matthew 5:1-2)
The Shadow of the Mountain
Before we even begin our study of Jesus Christ's Sermon on the Mount, we must first understand the significance of where it took place. On top of the Mountain, in the Holy Spiritual Realm of the LORD GOD, Jesus sat with His disciple and began the teachings according to His Will. It is through the deep knowledge of the Mountain top, and the shadow it has cast throughout the ages, that allows us to deeply perceive the wonderful mysteries contained within the greatest Sermon ever delivered with the presence of the LORD GOD!
Jesus on the Mountain It was upon the Mountain of the LORD GOD, where The Sermon came from Him, through Jesus Christ to us, and began the ministry that continued the Will of the LORD GOD to bring His chosen, called and faithful people closer to Him. The Mountain....the Spiritual Realm of the LORD GOD is where Jesus Christ went to touch, and know and teach and pray and prepare the Things of Him. Until we understand this Spiritual Realm where Christ moves, we cannot truly know his walk, or our own toward him.
The Poor in Spirit It is not the richest, the most powerful, the most popular nor the most vocal that receive the greatest gift of faith from the LORD GOD. That precious and most valuable gift goes to the poor in spirit, to those who are the most unworthy. Once that gift of great and rich faith is given to the unworthy poor by the LORD GOD, they become rich in spirit. No longer inferior, unworthy, shameful, and impoverished, the poor in spirit are empowered. They receive faith, salvation, hope, dreams, goals, deep things, teachings and most importantly...LIFE! They have hope given to them through the promise of their inheritance of the Kingdom of Heaven. They have comfort of great faith, and confidence of their salvation. The blessed and faithful lover and follower of Jesus Christ cannot be poor in spirit after the Gift of Faith is given, for the Gift heaps the LORD GOD’s riches upon him in abundance!
The Mourners It’s not about the common mourners of the world, who cry at the loss of their things, relationships, honor and wail at the graves of their loved ones. It’s not about the religious traditions of fasting and prayer in sorrow for the world’s shortcomings. It’s about the one real and deep love that is intimately shared between a follower and Christ in truth, and the sorrow that is felt when they are separated. It is about the deep love that Christ has for his followers, to send them a Comforter to connect them with him and his Father, and soothe the pain of their separation. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Jesus knows. He knows those that love Him. He knows the depth of the sorrow that the loss of his presence brings to those who cherish Him completely. In love returned, He sends the Comforter to sustain the faithful until they can once again be reunited with his presence completely and forever be with the One they love!
The Meek Jesus Christ is not a wimp, and he does not want his faithful followers to be wimps either. Those who oppose him have taken great advantage of the word “meek” in these times, and wickedly suggested that Jesus Christ and his followers have self imposed, inferior and often effeminate natures. As the wicked created and nurtured this illusion of weakness, many young Christians began assuming this nature, wrongly believing that their meekness to the world defined them as Christians and was a witness to their salvation and righteousness. Meekness is not a sign of holiness, an indication of faithfulness, a badge of position or an attitude readjustment. It is not an act of humbleness in front of the people of the world, nor is it a statement of worth when compared to them. Meekness comes from truly fearing the LORD GOD. The meek nature is a believer’s realization of weakness and insignificance when compared to the Power and Glory of the LORD GOD.
The Study of Hunger - The Hungry and Thirsty (Part 1 of 5) After Christians have built their foundation on Jesus Christ, and prepare to move past the milk instruction of first principles, they must seek after the Things of the LORD GOD to gain a new and deeper understanding of their belief. It is through seeking, that the condition of hunger is felt dramatically within the soul of the believers, as they are compelled to search deeply and continuously for the Things of God. It is also through this seeking by believers, that the LORD GOD, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are able to measure the hunger for His Things, and provide the correct amount of provisions to feed them.
The Study of Bread (Part 2 of 5) The breaking of bread and the deep mystery of the spiritual nature of the substance of bread has created two major beliefs concerning the communion of saints, and the eating of bread in remembrance of Jesus Christ. Some Christian brothers and sisters believe that when the bread is consecrated by a priest, that it is transubstantiated and becomes the actual flesh of Jesus Christ. The Real Presence belief leads to adoration and celebration in their Eucharist communion. Other Christians believe that the bread is symbolic of the flesh of Jesus Christ, which causes them to remember his crucifixion and partake of the Word of God in a personal and intimate communion. All faithful followers of Jesus Christ, regardless of their belief of mode, locus or time of the His Real Presence within the bread of their communion with Him, realize the deeply spiritual union between Christ and the communicant when His sacramental bread is received. Regrettably, some Christians do not realize that to receive the Word of God at any time, in any place, in any way, deserves the same awe and reverence that we hold during the traditional communion service. The same body of Jesus Christ we receive in his bread at communion, is the same bread we eat each time the Word of God is received by us, and is deserving of our devotion, respect and veneration.
The Study of Bread (continued) The LORD GOD gives the seeds to Jesus Christ, who provides the bread of righteousness to his hungry followers, to feed them his teachings and to make them strong in his doctrine, so they are nourished, strong, whole, restored, healthy, satisfied and able to complete the works that He Wills. He portions his teachings to each follower individually, and gives them in abundance to lead them to understand the deeper things according to His Will. It is these hungry followers that he blesses in his sermon of the mount with the promise of filling, a promise that he fulfills each time a hungry believer comes to his table to eat.
The Study of Thirst (Part 3 of 5) The nature of hunger and thirst is similar in causing the believer to desperately seek after Him when their soul become faint, but differs from each other by a believers needs. A hungry believer is spiritually strarved and longing for the Word and Teachings of the LORD GOD. A thirsty believer is spiritually dry and longing for the Presence of the LORD GOD. Subtle, but important, differences to note, to enable us to gain a deeper understanding of the Things He Wills us to know about his flowing streams of waters, and the living waters gushing forth from Jesus Christ to satisfy our souls with His Presence.
The Study of Water (Part 4 of 5) At the beginning of the forty years of wandering in the wilderness, the Israelites were given the first of many great lessons by the LORD GOD. They were made thirsty in the wilderness, which caused them great concern about where water to drink would be found. When they finally found the water in the desert, the living water from the LORD GOD that could sustain their own natural lives was undrinkable because of the bitter, harsh and heavy flavor, which echoed the LORD GOD's Nature toward their disobedient and murmuring nature. The LORD GOD showed Moses a tree, and had him cast it into the waters and the waters were made sweet. The Israelites were given an ordinance by Him that included His expectations toward their approach, consideration, behavior, nature and partaking of his Living Waters. His decree not only established His Will, but also gave the People of God the right and privilege to receive drink from of His Living Waters so their lives and spirits might be sustained, refreshed, strengthened and regenerated, as well as lay a foundation for His Judgment, should they disregard His Will and Way.
The Study of Water (Continued) Jesus Christ did not receive his own baptism. That baptism did not become a reality, until after Jesus Christ was crucified, died and was buried, and then resurrected three days later. The Baptism that Jesus Christ received was a special Baptism that declared his intention of doing the Will of the LORD GOD completely, and giving his life totally to the control of His Father. Before his baptism, Jesus Christ was in control of his life and could choose the directions he journeyed. At the moment of his total submersion into the waters of His Father's Will, he gave up his own will, and immersed himself completely into the Will of the LORD GOD. This great act of love and faith in his Father in accepting His Will rather than the leadings of his own will, caused great pride to come to the LORD GOD, and He declared “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” It is this same pride that Jesus feels for his followers, as they drink of His waters and give complete control to the flowing Will of the LORD GOD.
The Study of Wine (Part 5 of 5) The Wine of Jesus Christ is the LORD God's Works resulting from the perfect expression by Jesus Christ of the Word (Bread) and Will (Water) of God. Those who hunger and thirst are filled, and the followers of Jesus Christ are given the ability to accomplish Works through the drinking of His New Wine, according to His Will and Word. Each time a Christian drinks from the cup of wine that is given in communion to represent the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the drinker is embracing the New Testament promise of salvation and eternal life according to God's Will and Word. This promise is founded on the righteous and holy Work of God, accomplished through the crucifixion of His Son Jesus Christ, and confirmed through the resurrection of Jesus as he overcame death and ascended to the right hand of his Father in the Kingdom of God and Heaven. It is then that the Christian has both hunger and thirst filled, and is given the ability to accomplish the Works of God through the leading of the Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus Christ, to glorify the LORD God in Heaven.
The Merciful When we are merciful and show abundant goodness, we are not doing it among our peers, but rather those underneath our spiritual place. To show mercy through goodness does not require giving the troubled person a place equal or better than your own spiritual position with that "body bow". In fact, if you "body bow" you are making yourself a lesser, and unable to show merciful goodness from that position. It is through the "neck bow, that a mercy-giving Christian bestows goodness upon those in a lesser place, and the mercy giver must maintain that superior place if mercy is to be shown. Giving up position to the lesser will result in a loss of your own spiritual position, and take away completely your ability to offer mercy. When the LORD God gives us His Mercy, He bows his neck in goodness, and notices us, and gives kindness to us. That is the pattern that all merciful goodness should be expressed and that is the measure for which we will be judged, with mercy given by the LORD God's to those who have shown mercy themselves.
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About the Author
Kathy L. McFarland is a Becker Bible Studies Teacher and Author of Guided Bible Studies for Hungry Christians. She has received her Bachelor of Science degree in Religious Studies from Liberty University, and is currently seeking her Master of Divinity (Professional Ministries Track) degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary & Graduate School. Kathy is a noted expert on Old Testament exegesis, Christian apologetics, and Bible typology and mysteries.