Friday, January 25, 2013

Day 23: Matthew 7

Click the picture for link to the song "Words to Build a Life On" by Mike Crawford and His Secret Siblings

Once more – my interpretation of the verses in Matthew chapter 7, and some of my thoughts along the way J

v. 1-6

Don’t judge others, but when you do judge you will be judged as you judge others.  “Sweep off your own porch before you go out sweeping others” – take care of the junk in your own life before you go worrying about the junk in someone else’s life.  Don’t be hypocritical.

I remember a time when I was really struggling with gossip and judging others.  I found that the more I talked about other people, the more I either heard or suspected of others speaking poorly of me.  I know this is referencing the judgment of God and not of others, but it really struck me hard at that time. 
I also find that if I ever try to place judgment on someone else’s life or relationships, etc., God is quick to show me some things that need work in my own life. 

Keep what is sacred, sacred. 

When I was in high-school youth group, our small group of girls did a purity study through the book, “And the Bride wore white.”  I distinctly remember this verse about throwing your pearls to pigs – the book talked about how your bodies belong to the Lord and how you are to keep them pure and holy, not giving into any lustful temptations before the day you are united with your husband.  (At least that is how I am remembering it.)

v. 7-12

Live by the golden rule: Do unto others what you would have them do to you.  Your Father will take care of you, ask, seek and knock; you will be given what you ask, find what you are seeking and the door in which you knock will be opened (perhaps, not in exactly the way you think it should be).

The golden rule seems pretty simple, yet it is a constant struggle.  These verses are a good reminder to be always very thoughtful of and graceful with people, because that is what I desire them to do to me.  I love how simple the following verses are as well.  Ask and you will receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened.  I think this is a good reminder that God desires human action.

v. 13-23

Narrow is the gate that leads to eternity, but wide is the gate that leads to destruction – enter through the narrow gate, you few who will find it.

Watch out for false teachers, you can tell they are false by the way they bear bad fruit. 

True vs. false disciples – Not everyone who talks to the Lord will enter into heaven – but those who do God’s will, will enter.  Many will do many things in the Lord’s name, but have never known Him personally; they will be rejected just as they have rejected our Savior.

I’m reading Radical by David Platt right now and the chapter I just finished talked a lot about how we, as Americans, have glamorized the gospel and made it so comfortable and easy.  In response to verses 22 and 23, Platt reminds us that Jesus was speaking to religious people, not pagans or atheists, who were convinced they were on the narrow path but were instead on the road to hell.  Jesus speaks of a time when people, lots of people, will be shocked to find out they never even knew God.  “[T]he gospel demands and enables us to turn from our sin, to take up our cross, to die to ourselves, and to follow Jesus,” NOT to make a “one-time decision, maybe even mere intellectual assent to Jesus, but after that we need not worry about his commands, his standards, or his glory.”  “We are saved from our sins by a free gift of grace, something that only God can do in us and that we cannot manufacture ourselves.  But that gift of grace involves the gift of a new heart.  New desires.  New longings.  For the first time, we want God.  We see our need for him, and we love him.  We seek after him, and we find him, and we discover that he is indeed the great reward of our salvation.   We realize that we are saved not just to be forgiven of our sins or to be assured of our eternity in heaven, but we are saved to know God.  So we yearn for him.  We want him so much that we abandon everything else to experience him.  This is the only proper response to the revelation of God in the gospel.”  Amen brother!

Platt  also states that we “cannot settle for anything less than a God-centered, Christ-exalting, self-denying gospel.”  I love that.

v. 24-29

When you hear God’s words and put them into practice, you have set up for yourself a firm foundation; when you don’t put them into practice, your foundation will crumble like a house built on sand. 

Jesus amazed the crowds with His teachings because he spoke with much authority.

“These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living.  They are foundational words, words to build a life on.  If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock…but if you use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on a sandy beach.” – The Message

No comments:

Post a Comment