Beyond the Weekend

June 9 | We Need Jesus

June 9, 2021


For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:20

Read: Matthew 5:20-22
Matthew 5


Religious leaders in Jesus’s day keep every rule of the law possible. They even tack on additional laws to ensure they will stay right with God. Yet Jesus teaches that unless people live even better than their religious leaders, who already held a near-impossible standard, they cannot enter heaven. It would be enough to cause people to throw their hands in the air and ask, “Who then can even enter heaven?”

Throughout his teachings, Jesus aims to help people understand they cannot get to God on their own. It’s not enough to “be good” and follow the Ten Commandments. Even if we don’t commit murder, steal, lie or covet—our hearts will still betray us. We battle anger, impure thoughts, and half-truths. Even the best among us still say, think or do things that go against God. For we “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

The good news is Jesus not only helps us see we can’t get to God on our own, but he is the way to God. He paid the penalty we all deserve and won the victory we never could through his sinless life, death and resurrection. When we come to him, he restores our relationship with God, paving the way for our relationships with others to be restored as well.


Now is an excellent time if you’ve never come to Jesus and asked for the forgiveness of sins. Pray and tell God you know you cannot restore your relationship with him on your own and that you believe Jesus has paid the penalty for you. “God, I know I have sinned against you. I believe Jesus paid the penalty for my sin, and I desire to commit my life to you. Please forgive me and take control of my life. Amen.” If you’ve accepted forgiveness through Jesus before, thank him again for restoring your relationship with God.


Join us this year as we read through the New Testament.

Today’s reading is Acts 24.

Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.

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