Monday Morning: 26 Aug 2019 – Matthew 7:15-29 ~ Jesus’ teaching on Identifying People, Obedience, and Rock Solid Foundations.

Monday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (A Collect for the Renewal of Life – Monday)

O God, the King eternal, whose light divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning: Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that, having done your will with cheerfulness during the day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – Matthew 7:15-29 (NLT)

The Sermon on the Mount (Continued)

The Tree and Its Fruit

“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.

True Disciples

“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’

Building on a Solid Foundation

Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”

When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, for he taught with real authority—quite unlike their teachers of religious law.
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Morning Reflection:

Jesus’ teaching on Rock Solid Foundations

“When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching,
for he taught with real authority—quite unlike their teachers of religious law.”

– Matthew 7:28-29 –

Jesus concludes his Sermon on the Mount with an appeal for us to listen and follow his teaching. To do so is to live wisely, building our lives on a rock solid foundation. What are the benefits of obedience?

+ Discernment of Character – People can be identified by their actions, just as trees can be identified their fruit. Our words and works eventually reveal our true character. Of these two criteria, words and works, works are the more reliable indicator of character.

+ Citizenship in Heaven – Proximity to Jesus does not guarantee that we have a ticket to heaven. We gain entrance to heaven by God’s grace through faith in God’s Son, Jesus Christ. Trusting Jesus with our lives, and making God’s will our priority, validates our citizenship.

+ Survival of Troubles – Trials and troubles hit everyone, whether or not we are believers – the issue is survival. Will we survive the storms, or collapse under their onslaught? Wise believers who trust Jesus and put his words into practice will remain rock-solid.

Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount is not simply a recommended way of life – it is far more than that. Jesus’ teaching is a call to an allegiance that means the difference between life and death, between blessing and woe.

Questions for consideration:

  • If you are a believer, would anyone know it by the way you live your life? Do your actions reliably reflect your beliefs? Please explain.
  • People can know a lot about Jesus, and still not have a personal relationship with Jesus? Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus? (Click here if you’re not sure.) How do you nurture that relationship? Please explain.
  • What constitutes the foundation of your life? What is your source of identity and purpose? How do you hold up under pressure? Please explain.
  • Do you accept Jesus’ teaching as recorded in the Gospels as authoritative? How does that affect your life? What do you do when Jesus’ teaching doesn’t make sense to you, or seems unrealistic? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer: For Submission to God’s Will

Lord Jesus Christ, I love you. Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, and empower me by your Word and Spirit. Tell me what I should do; give me your orders – that I may submit myself to all that you desire of me, and accept all that you permit to happen to me. Let me only know your will. In your name, and for your sake I pray. Amen.

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“The Solid Rock” – Mennonite Hour Singers

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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