How to make sure you’re really here (Matt 7:13-20) ----------------------------------------------- We sometimes feel that we should make the rules for our lives and that our opinions should matter a lot to the rest of humanity. Because we in America are so blessed, we begin to think that we are privileged, but we lose sight of WHY: because God is gracious to us. The irony is that Bible-believing Christians are sometimes accused of being egotistical because we say that there is only one way to God, and that Jesus is the only One Who can save us from our sins. It’s not an opinion, it’s what God says. Unbelievers often just don’t see their need for God. Sin is about attitude. We think “It’s about me and what I want,” not about God’s way.” “Sin” comes from an archery term for “missing the mark.” It makes us spiritually dead and only Jesus can bring us to spiritual life. Christianity is the only religion honest enough to say that we cannot save ourselves from the consequences of our sin, but God is loving and gracious enough to offer us life through His Son. That offer is for ALL who put their faith in Jesus for their salvation. We need to trust completely in Christ alone to live. Application points -- Inspect your life to ascertain which road you’re walking. The narrow way is Jesus; the broad way is destruction. -- Trust in Christ alone. -- Beware of false prophets.
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Learning Wisdom in Relationships (Matt 7:1-6) ----------------------------------------------- The world believes a lot of ½ truths, like “Do not judge”. Consider how you would feel if people said ½ truths about what you say. In this context, in Greek, “judge” means to condemn, as in eternal judgment, which is Jesus’ job. We need to understand the difference between condemning and discerning. We should apply our energy to deal with our own sin first, and let God do surgery on our hearts so that we walk closer to Him. It really is about our attitude. God deserves our best. You wouldn’t take something precious and throw it to pigs where it will get trampled. Likewise, we shouldn’t allow others to take what was intended for God. Lots of people spout off concerning things they know little about. Our time and resources should go to shine Jesus’ light. If someone attacks us, we should keep being the light of the world and salt of the earth. This does not mean that we become a doormat. It is OK to say somebody “You don’t get to shred me.” We shouldn’t let them trample or control us. When they stop attacking, THEN we can talk. We should show love, forgive, and not condemn. If they don’t want to hear about God’s love, then that is between them and God. Application points -- Start with yourself. Ask God for a “plankectomy.” What is the plank in our own eye? We need to consider whether we are asking for forgiveness or asking Him to excuse it. -- Lose any condemning attitude or spirit. -- Encourage holiness in your fellow Christians (Hebrews 19:19-25) -- Discern whether you need to make changes in your relationships.