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

Daily Reading: 14 June – The Teachings of Jesus – Sermon on the Mount (Part II) – Matthew 6:5-7:29

Tuesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

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

E100:12.b – The Teachings of Jesus

Sermon on the Mount (Part II) – Matthew 6:5-7:29 (NLT)

Teaching about Prayer and Fasting

The Sermon on the Mountain Károly Ferenczy, 1896 Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest
The Sermon on the Mountain
Károly Ferenczy, 1896
Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest

Matthew 6:5  “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. 6 But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

7 “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. 8 Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him! 9 Pray like this:

Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. 10 May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today the food we need, 12 and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. 13 And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.

14 “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.

16 “And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. 17 But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. 18 Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

Teaching about Money and Possessions

19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

22 “Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. 23 But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!

no one can serve two masters

24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.

25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Do Not Judge Others

Matthew 7  “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. 2 For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.

3 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 4 How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.

6 “Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.

Effective Prayer

Person-Praying

7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

9 “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? 10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.

The Golden Rule

12 “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.

The Narrow Gate

13 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.

The Tree and Its Fruit

15 “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. 16 You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? 17 A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. 19 So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. 20 Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.

you are the Bible

True Disciples

21 “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. 22 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.’ 23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’

Building on a Solid Foundation

24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 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. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”

28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 for he taught with real authority—quite unlike their teachers of religious law.

Prayer

Heavenly Father – as I read through Jesus’ teaching, your Spirit brings to my attention, areas of my life that I have been struggling with for years – specifically______________________________________________________. Nevertheless, Jesus tells me to persevere in prayer and to trust you to respond, in your way and in your time – for my good and for your glory.

+ “Keep on asking”: once again, Lord, _______________________________.

+ “Keep on seeking”: open my heart and mind to new possibilities that I haven’t considered before.

+ “Keep on knocking”: but most of all, open the windows of heaven that I may see your glory.

I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

“The Lord’s Prayer” – Michael W Smith

Closing Sentence

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.
– Ephesians 3:20-21

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