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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

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2 Kings 2:1, 6-14
Psalm 31:20-21, 24
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

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out on a limb

"Your Father Who sees what is hidden will repay you." —Matthew 6:18

We are in the middle of three weeks of reading Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. In the first ten days, He set a standard of holiness that was "out of this world." He teaches us to regard lowliness and persecution as blessed (see Mt 5:3, 10). We aren't allowed even to get angry or look lustfully (Mt 5:22, 28). Jesus went so far as to require that we offer no resistance to injury, turn the other cheek, and love our enemies (Mt 5:39, 44). He finally was "totally unrealistic" when He told us to be made perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect (see Mt 5:48). Obviously this is impossible.

Jesus understands our dilemma. He said to the young rich man: "For man it is impossible but not for God. With God all things are possible" (Mk 10:27). The Son wants to give us a profoundly deeper trust in our Father so we will let Him grace us to live the Sermon on the Mount. The Lord is calling us to give alms, pray, and fast as we may never have done before (Mt 6:1ff).

We need to get out on the limb by giving a major contribution, praying for hours, or going on a long-term fast. When the limb breaks, we will discover that our heavenly Father will catch us (cf Ps 94:18, RNAB). We will trust Him to work more radically in our lives.

Prayer:  Abba, do anything You want in, through, and with me — anything!

Promise:  "The Lord keeps those who are constant, but more than requites those who act proudly." —Ps 31:24

Praise:  Totaling his car, George learned to trust totally in God, and has lived in that trust for several decades.

Reference:  (For a related teaching on Biblical Counseling, order, listen to or download our series starting with CD 13-A or DVD 13 on our website.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 27, 2018

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