We ran out of time yesterday, as we ended our morning service...nothing unusual. But, one of the reasons for this blog post is to help us all keep thinking and doing what God began yesterday, in our hearts, as we listened to the preaching of His Word.
Following are some practical applications of what we learned, in our study of Matthew 5.
1. Listen to your anger (James 1:19). What is it telling you about the nature of your desires (James 4:1-4)? Is your primary concern the glory of God? Or are you wanting something else? Ask God for wisdom (James 1:5-8).
2. Identify your desires (both good and bad) that have become sinful (James 1:20). For example, a good desire would be to get to work on time, but a traffic jam has made that an impossibility. Am I going to get mad or am I going to ask God (James 4:2-3) to help me deal with this circumstance in a God-honoring way? Am I willing to submit my will to His will?
3. Confess your sinful ways (I John 1:9) of trying to get what you want, and your lack of faith for thinking that God is not involved in your life (I Peter 2:23). Ask him to forgive you for playing His role as God in your life.
4. Trust God and submit to His sovereignty over the details of your life.
5. Recognize that vengeance is up to God (Romans 12:19).
6. Return evil with good (Romans 12:21), thereby fulfilling the law of God. Love both your neighbor and enemy (Matthew 5:44; Matthew 22:39; Ephesians 4:32).
7. Talk to people and make things right (Matthew 5:23-26).
8. Listen more than you talk (James 1:19). Gather information regarding the situation. Listen to what God is trying to teach you. Don’t jump to conclusions. Ask questions, don’t accuse.
9. Accept what God says about your sinful anger to be true (James 1:21) and get rid of it, by repeating the process of dealing biblically with anger (Ephesians 4:31).