Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Matthew 7 Firm Foundations


SLIDE 1Building on a firm foundation Matthew 7
      Getting our House in order
      Living with our Neighbors
      Producing good Fruit
      Building on the Rock

 How firm is your foundation?

SLIDE 2This is the third installment of the Sermon on the Mount. What a wealth of wisdom in these three chapters.
 1"Judge not, that you be not judged. 2For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use… it will be measured to you. God is the only one worthy to judge others. We have no right to judge another person’s motives. Only God knows the heart of an individual. We have no idea what is going on in that person’s life: what battles they are fighting in their spirit.

This verse is used by unbelievers perhaps more than Christians. It has been thrown at me when counseling a wayward family member. Hypocrisy is the battle cry that people use with this verse. But let’s take the next four verses to discover a more accurate interpretation.

3Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye?5You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.
Truly we will all be judged by Christ in the last days for every act. Verse 5 tells us to carefully scrutinize our own life (get our own life in order) before we try to encourage, enlighten, and help our brother with the speck in his eye.  Several other verses may help us be discerning sheep.

SLIDE 3 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge with righteous judgment. - John 7:24. What we can see through our clouded eyes is the outward appearance. Only God can see the heart. We are not called to be lawyers and judges; we are called to be witnesses. It is true we can help others through our testimony of our lives before Christ and share the transformation after he came into our life. If we are going to mentor or exhort others in their Christian journey we must make sure we are living the life of Christ. Make sure your foundation is on solid ground.

In 2 Timothy 4:2, Paul tells us to "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.  

SLIDE 4 The reason for judgment is not to condemn but to minister.
Those who work with machinery can get a splinter of metal embedded in the eye. Then a trip to the eye doctor is necessary to have it removed. With tenderness and a gentle touch we can minister to others.  We can do more harm than a speck in the eye if we approach others with the wrong attitude.  Ladies I admit this is not easy for me!

Like Paul wrote in Romans 7:15, For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want,  but I do the very thing that I hate. This speaks to our sinful nature and our need for salvation. We all sin, just differently. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23. But “Praise God” He promises redemption for you and for others; His broken sons and daughters.

Check for cracks and gaps around your foundation.
·        Living with our neighbors takes discernment.

SLIDE 5 6"Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.
This is a troubling verse to me but I could not pass up this photo. I needed some help to understand this one. Warren Wiersbe says although we are to spread the gospel to all people, we should not cheapen the gospel by a ministry that lacks discernment. I thought these verses might help us understand.
SLIDE 6 2 Timothy 2:23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. Have you been here discussing end times or lifestyles or tithing?
Proverbs26:4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Or you will also be like him.
Proverbs 22:10 Drive out the scoffer, and contention will go out, Even strife and dishonor will cease.
Sometimes we just have to walk away from scoffers and mockers, Jesus did not answer Herod in his taunting. And Paul had to walk away from a crowd  in Acts 13.
SLIDE 7 “Treat others as you would like to be treated.” Luke 6:31
Often called the Golden Rule Verse 12 deals with our neighbors. In my research I noted almost every religion and philosopher has some form of this moral principle.
Just remember our faith is build on nothing less that Jesus blood and righteousness.
"So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. If we love God we will obey his commands to Love one another. When we practice this principle in every aspect of our lives it releases the love of God we claim to possess and enables us to help others even if they intend to hurt us. As Christians we should  refuse to listen or repeat gossip, avoid saying or doing anything that would harm another person. Put the feeling of the  other person first.

Matthew 7:7 "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. “
Just like the disciples, we don’t know how we ought to pray. But we have a generous loving father waiting to hear from us. Ask and ye shall receive.
When I taught in the public school we had loads of paperwork to fill in at the closing of school. One sheet many teachers ignored was a request for repairs or equipment. Now remember I have been retired eleven years, before Chrome books and electronic whiteboards. Back in my day we used paperback books and bookshelves. At the beginning of every year my coworkers would come into my room and gaze at my new custom built bookcases. When they wondered how I was privy; I simply replied, “I asked for it.” My motto is you don’t ask; you don’t get!
Matthew 7:11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

SLIDE 9 Define Good Gifts!  Sometimes I look at young people today and in my mind I say “What are they thinking?!”  (This sucker was a gift.) If your child has every technology known to man and they are ungrateful for their overabundance; who made them that way? We have to gift our children with good manners, skills to handle money, empathy for the less fortunate.
Qualifier: Now you know that your heavenly Father is looking out for our best interests. There are many foolish things that I have prayed for and my Father denied or delayed. I am so thankful He knows what is best.
SLIDE 10 Ladies we have a Father who has 1000 cattle on 1000 hills. Jesus loved us enough to die for us, why would He withhold any good thing from us?
Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Spend time with your Abba Father. Last week we learned by the model prayer how to approach our Father in the right manner and attitude. Sisters get alone with Him and share the burdens of your heart and listen for His response. It is the best time you can spend. How firm is your foundation?

SLIDE 11 13"Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.14For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

We all know the highway to heaven is not easy. Jesus says you will have troubles. We will be judged and hated by the world. But ladies it will be worth every lost friend, every mocking relative, and every activity we passed over for the sake of Christ. The joy and peace of his love and care, and the security being able to sleep at night without fear is worth the hard and narrow way.
SLIDE 12 15"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

Ladies you know that there are wolves in sheep’s clothing perverting the gospel and teaching only what will tickle the ears.  Are they teaching the Bible?

16You will recognize them by their fruits.
SLIDE 13 Let’s talk about fruit! Where do you find good fruit? If we try to gather grapes from a thorn bush not only would we be hungry but we would wood probably get stuck from the long prickly thorns. Why would be look to a diseased tree to find good fruit?
False prophets bring divisive teaching into the house of God. We must be wary if their message does not line up with the BIBLE. A half truth is not the truth.
20Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. Be looking for the fruit they produce.
Check around their foundation.
SLIDE 14 We know the fruit of the spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23gentleness, self-control;  We all want these don’t we ladies?

If we want to produce Good Fruit, we probably need to enrich the growing medium with the right things.

When my house built eight years ago, my yard contained red mud and brick and pavement and rocks. Lots of rocks. Grass would not grow in the hard ground so I had to start by removing the objects that were hindering growth.

In our lives we have some things we’ve been carrying around for some time. Unforgiveness, bitterness, pride, self-righteousness; these things need to be removed sometimes with great effort. If we lay them down at the master feet He will replace them with fruit of the spirit. My grass is now beautiful and thick and green through regular application of the right minerals. My spiritual life can be enriched by spending time in the Word and leaning on my LORD.

SLIDE 15 24    "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25          And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. How firm is your foundation?

26    And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it."
A barrier island which one day could be 1,000 feet wide could be gone in a hurricane or a solid nor’easter. It is sand. It is meant to move. It is not meant to be built on. It is not wise to build any structure which one wants to last on sand, especially sand which is often wet.
From Insight for living with Charles Swindoll
So how firm is your foundation? Is your theological and biblical knowledge riddled with gaps and cracks? Is your Christian life in danger of shifting, sinking, or even collapsing? Unless you dig deep down to the solid biblical foundation, you’ll never be able to grow deep in the Christian life. How firm is your foundation?

Something happened in the last hundred years. Perhaps it was in response to the liberal takeover of many seminaries and universities that once stood for sound doctrine. Maybe it was under the influence of popular revivalist movements that emphasized religious experience over learning. - See more at:
Sisters we still need bible study, we need to recognize when false prophet are speaking contrary to the Bible.
SLIDE 17 Dietrich Bonhoeffer German theologian and resister

 “Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline,… Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.

SLIDE 18 Are you willing to be obedient and build your faith on a firm foundation?