TEXTS: Luke 14:11; 1 John 1:5-9, 5:16; Rom. 7
1. We should regularly be examining if we are properly discerning what matters and what doesn't matter to our God. It has become increasingly easier for believers to find themselves being motivated by a worldview that is centered around what doesn't matter to God while neglecting what truly does.
2. It would have been quite shocking to those selling the sacrificial animals in the temple when Jesus flipped over their tables. They would have thought they were serving the people and providing a necessary service to those who had come to offer an animal sacrifice. They had no idea they were focusing on what doesn't matter to God while neglecting what does.
3. Jesus calls out the Jewish religious leaders of His day for their unhealthy desire to appear important, powerful, and more righteous than other people. They knew the Law and followed it closely. But they did so with the wrong heart. It was if they were obeying so they could say, "Look at us! We're holy and right and you are all wrong!"
4. Jesus also speaks against passivity (related to our Christian faith). He tells a parable about inviting people to feast at a great banquet but they declined because they had other matters to take care of. This reveals our need to remain committed to personal spiritual growth and to the advancement of God's Kingdom. There is no "retirement" in the Kingdom of God.
5. Romans 7 speaks of sin as doing what we don't want to do (following our old, sinful nature) while failing to do what we want to do (following our new, born-again nature). The Lord expects us to discern where we are falling short in those areas and regularly confess them as sin.
6. Jesus goes after the lame, the broken, and the needy and expects His body to do the same.
TALK TO EACH OTHER:
1. How do we discern what matters and what doesn't matter to God? What is the process for figuring out what matters and what doesn't?
2. In what ways are present day believers tempted to try to appear important, powerful, and holier than others? How can we recognize such a disastrous motivation in our own hearts and thinking?
3. We have discussed in recent weeks the danger of becoming hyper-focused on sin. How can a child of God properly discern what sin is in their heart and life without placing an unhealthy focus on sin?
4. What does "Christian passivity" look like in 21st Century American evangelicalism?
TALK TO GOD:
Pray as you feel led concerning the following areas:
- For humble hearts
- To be filled with passion and zeal as we seek the Lord