The main theme is true righteousness. The religious leaders had this external righteousness based on law. But the righteousness Jesus described is a true and vital righteousness that begins internally, in the heart. The Pharisees were concerned about the minute details of conduct, but they neglected the major matter of character. Conduct flows out of character. Jesus gave this message to believers.
Instead of beginning with a negative criticism of the religious leaders, he began with positive emphasis on righteous character and the blessings that it brings to the life of the believer.
He’s basically describing a Kingdom Character.
1. Am I currently experiencing supernatural joy and perfect happiness?
2. Does the life I’m living look like the culture around me or is it counter cultural? Am I living as a citizen of earth, or a citizen of Heaven on earth?
3. What step(s) can I take toward the Kingdom character Jesus describes in these 12 verses?
1 – Actively looking for the fingerprints of God around us is an incredibly important spiritual discipline. What can you do to build those moments into your regular daily rhythm?
2 – What is the “stand” that the Lord has decided to place your light upon?
3 – In your heart of hearts, what do you believe has made you right with God?