This is a reminder that our kids are studying the book of Matthew for the 2013 LTC competition in Dallas. We are using this year to look at the text of Matthew (especially the sermon on the mount) with them. Bulletin articles and sermons from Matthew will allow us, as parents, grandparents, and friends to have a common thought with our youth. They need this desperately. Faith is not something we leave our kids alone to discover for themselves, not at all! Rather, we are an active part of God’s plan for our kids to know Him through His word and to hold to the faith as precious as, as equal to, and of the same kind as ours (2 Pet 1:1 NIV, ESV, NASB). We, like Lois and Eunice, are embracing the chance to teach the next generation the sincere faith we have.  I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also (2 Tim 1:5 NIV).

            This week’s Treasure in the Extra Mile that we are reading, considering, learning, and treasuring is – Matt 5:7–8. 

7 Blessed are the merciful,

            for they will be shown mercy.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart,

            for they will see God.

            In the kingdom of heaven, God is showing mercy, through Christ Jesus, to sinners. The blessing for sinners is that the reign (kingdom) of Christ can produce in them the very thing that was shown them – mercy (Matt 18:23–35). God simply wants us to treat other sinners the same way He has treated us – mercifully.

            Blessed are the pure in heart in this kingdom, because they receive the mercy of God, and so, they will see God. This means they are willing to show mercy to others, just as they have received it – based upon Christ’s death at the cross (Col 1:20). To the pure, all things are pure; it is the corrupted that claim to know God but by their actions they deny Him (Titus 1:15–16).

            May God bless our study of His word this week, and may we be willing to receive His mercy with the purity of heart that transforms our lives in the kingdom – Amen!

                                                                         Peace,

                                                                                        Jay Don