Our scripture this week is Matthew 5:13-20.
Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus gives us a warning in this passage to follow the word of God carefully. He tells us we must not neglect the least of His commands nor teach others to ignore even the smallest instruction. When we let something slip, even small things, it is an example to others.
Our behavior is watched by people, Christian and non-Christian. Rightly or not, they judge us for our beliefs and how well we represent them in the world. God has called His people from slavery to sin and death to be “a kingdom of priests” (Exodus 19:6). Our actions send a signal to others about God, our relationship with Him and His desire for us all to be saved.
It is not easy to have our actions constantly on display. Jesus knew how hard this was – His every move was observed by those who loved and supported Him as well as those who plotted against Him. When we are weak and fall into error, we must own our actions, admit the fault and ask forgiveness. The world may hold our mistakes against us but God is always willing to show mercy to those who repent.
Gracious God, we don’t always obey Your word and we find ourselves in difficult circumstances. Help us to turn away from sin and be faithful followers of Your plan for us. Amen.