The Need of God

Sunday, February 2
Matthew 5:1–12

Click or touch “Firestarter”
To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.


Photo Courtesy – http://www.authordawnbarker.com

As though with a magnifying glass, look more closely at the Eight Beatitudes. The first one from the New English Bible exposes the essence of what it means to be “poor in spirit.” “Blessed are those who know their need of God.” Poor indeed! The only source of our coming into existence is God.

Have you ever wondered why you came forth from your mother’s womb on the day of your birth, and why it was not someone else? It is a fact of God’s loving favor toward you that God decided some time ago to allow the idea of you take flesh at your conception. You need God alone for that fact. You need God alone for every breath, from the first gasp of air at birth, to the final sigh surrendering you in death.

If you truly live by the First Beatitude, the Kingdom of Heaven will be yours, not only after your final breath, but also in all the breaths, from the first to the last.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
The Kingdom of God is here v. 17
I leave all and follow You. v. 19
Dancing with the Lord of life
You are the Lord, my Healer. v. 23

Click or touch the image
for the version for children and families.

This is the Fifth Week in Epiphany, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels from
The Revised Common Lectionary.
Year A is dedicated to the Gospel of Luke.

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.

Inaugural Address

Friday, January 31
Matthew 5:1–20

Click or touch “Firestarter”
To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.


Photo Courtesy – http://www.shunammite.com

If Jesus were to give an inaugural address for his ministry, the Sermon on the Mount would be it. The message is for the disciples alone; the multitude far below is not ready for these words.

Matthew sees Jesus as the New Moses. He wants us to be aware of the lines of connection between the Mount of the Beatitudes and Mount Sinai. On Sinai God spoke face to face with Moses when God gave Moses the Ten Commandments; here God in Christ speaks face to face with the disciples. He invites you to be there and listen to the wondrous new ways of walking in the freedom of God’s kingdom in the intimate, face-to-face union with Jesus.

Jesus invites you to be his closest disciple. Will you let the Sermon on the Mount lift you to new heights of your awareness of self, so very close to God?

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
Blest are the poor in spirit. v. 3
When mourning I find comfort. v. 4
The meek inherit the earth. v. 5
Blest those who thirst for justice v. 6

Click or touch the image
for the version for children and families.

This is the Fourth Week in Epiphany, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
We read the Gospel of Matthew, except during Advent, the Infancy Narratives of Luke.

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.

But I Tell You…

Friday of the Fifth Week in Epiphany
Matthew 5:21-48

Nick reads the one-minute introduction. Click Firestarter.

Jesus’ words from the Mount of the Beatitudes join with those given to Moses on Sinai. Jesus embraces them, but goes deeper than mere external fulfillment of the Torah, the Law. Six times, while referring to the Torah, Jesus says “But I tell you…”

Consider the power of this transference. Jesus is embodies the Torah. He is alive in the Holy Spirit, seeking to go ever deeper into your own heart, there to refine and make perfect, the inner subtleties of Jesus’ law of love. The Spirit prompts you to live love from its point of depth-sowing until full fruit-bearing, as we considered in yesterday’s reading from Galatians.

May you find special joy in knowing that the Spirit within you will be constantly suggesting, inclining, inspiring you this very day at every moment, to act, not as the world teaches, but as Jesus does.


Bible Breaths

First reconciled, then my gift v. 24
Struck on cheek, turning other v. 39
I will go the extra mile v. 41
Loving well, my enemies v. 44

See “Bible Breaths” in Pages to the right for print versions from the Fourth to the Seventh Week in Epiphany, as well as the article “Bible Breaths and World Unison Prayer.”


Fridays are dedicated to the Gospels.
This is Year A, dedicated to the Gospel of Matthew.
See “Reading Plan at a Glance” in Pages to the right.