Shining for Jesus in Challenging Times and Changing Circumstances

Scripture: Matthew 5-7



3 Things to know as we look into Jesus’ message in Matthew 5-7


I. Know Who You Are In Christ


  • If you followed Him, believed in Him, acknowledged and accepted Him as Lord and Saviour, trusted His words and promises, and obeyed His commandments, you are a child of God in His household, and an heir and joint heir with Christ in His kingdom.
  • You are unique, special, and precious to Him.
  • You are anointed, empowered, commissioned, and set apart for His purposes to influence and impact lives for His kingdom.
  • Your mission is to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything He has commanded you” (Mt 28:19-20a)
  • His promise and assurance to you: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Mt 28:20b)


If you don’t know who you are in the Lord and your future in Him, you will:

  • Live in fear and not by faith.
  • Be weak and easily shaken
  • Trust in the flesh rather than in the Spirit
  • Fix your eyes on the circumstances rather than on the Lord and His Word
  • Build your house on the sand rather than on the rock
  • Be a voice of panic and fear rather than a voice of calm and faith



II. Know You Are Blessed In All Circumstances

  • God promised you His presence - to be with you in all circumstances - in good times and bad times.
  • If you trust Him completely, troubles in life will toughen and strengthen you; draw you closer to Him; build and deepen your faith as you experience His presence and power in tangible ways.


The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (Jn 10:10)


I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.  (Jn 10:14)


Jesus knows you and what is going on in your life. If you really know Him and what He can do, you will:

  • Live by faith and trust Him completely.
  • Be grateful and thankful and not murmur and complain
  • Declare that “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Ps 23:4)
  • Accept that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28)
  • Believe that “the Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. You will not be afraid nor be discouraged” (Dt 31:8)
  • Encourage yourself in the Lord and be an encourager to others (1 Sam 30:6)



III. Know His Ways and Expectations as Citizens of His Kingdom

3 Special Groups of People:


1. The Blessed Ones (Mt 5:3-12)


  • Those who are poor in spirit (v.3)
  • Those who mourn (v.4)
  • Those who are meek (v.5)
  • Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (v.6)
  • Those who are merciful (v.7)
  • Those who are pure in heart (v.8)
  • Those who are peacemakers (v.9)
  • Those who are persecuted because of righteousness (v.10)
  • Those who are insulted because of Christ (v.11)


2. The Wise Ones (Mt 5:13-48; 6-7)



  • Those who hear God’s Word and put them into practice.


Jesus laid our His expectations on how His disciples ought to live.

  • 1. Be Salt and Light to add flavour and be a blessing to others, and not be a stumbling block (5:13-16)
  • 2. Practice and teach the commandments of God like Jesus, who came to fulfill the Law and not abolished them (5:17-20)
  • 3. Restrain yourself and contain your anger and words when provoked and seek reconciliation and settlement (5:21-26)
  • 4. Guard their heart, mind, and eyes, and determine to live a righteous life and not be lured by lust and temptation which lead to adultery and immorality (5:27-30)
  • 5. Be faithful to your spouse, guard your marriage and home, and reject any extra-marital affairs when tempted (5:31-32)
  • 6. Keep and fulfill your promise to the Lord (5:33-37)
  • 7. Be meek and generous (5:38-42)
  • 8. Love and Pray for your enemies (5:43-48)
  • 9. Give to the Needy without seeking recognition and acknowledgement (6:1-4)
  • 10. Pray sincerely, secretly, earnestly, confidently, expectantly, and submissively (6:5-15)
  • 11. Fast without calling attention to yourself and God will reward you (6:16-18)
  • 12. Treasure and pursue God earnestly, love Him wholeheartedly and be totally devoted to Him, and serve Him diligently (6:19-24)
  • 13. Walk by faith and not by sight, and trust God completely for provision, protection, power, deliverance, and breakthrough (6:25-34)
  • 14. Judge yourself first before correcting others. Correct and rebuke with compassion and humility and not with pride, harshness, and hypocrisy (7:1-6)
  • 15. Make your needs known to God who is good, gracious and generous, and trust Him for His best (7:7-12)
  • 16. Count the cost and make the deliberate choice to enter the narrow gate and walk the unpopular and difficult pathway that leads to life (7:13-14)
  • 17. Watch out for the false prophet/teacher and test everything - the fruit of their characters teaching and influence to make sure they lined up with God’s Word (7:15-23)
  • 18. Live out what you have heard and learned from Jesus - the Living Word and the Solid Rock (7:24-29)


When the problems, troubles, and difficulties come, you will remain strong and steadfast.

  • Your foundation is built on Christ, the solid, sturdy and dependable Rock.
  • Your anchor of hope is Christ and Christ alone, who will be with you to the very end.
  • Your guide and helper is the Holy Spirit.


3. The Foolish Ones (Mt 7:26-27)


  • Those who hear, read, study and know the Word of God but do not practice them.
  • Those who choose to reject Christ, His words and His authority.
    • They will be destroyed by Sin, Satan and the Storms of life
    • Their willful sin and rebellion will rob them of God’s salvation, protection and blessings.
    • They will crash and be lost forever.


21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy (or teach and preach) in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Mt 7:21-23)




Will you let Christ rule and reign in your life?

Will you let His Word change your life and shape your beliefs, values, and choices?


During this challenging and difficult time, choose to:

  • Be a true disciple of Christ
  • Be totally devoted to Him
  • Be a blessing to others as salt and light
  • Be wise and loving, gracious and generous
  • Be doers of the Word and not hearers only