"Christians are Narrow (and you want to be)"
TEXTS: Matthew 7:13, Revelation 22: 1-11; Matthew 5
1. There is a narrow road that leads to blessings in this life, and the boundaries of that path are the commands of God put in place for your good. To stay on the narrow path means that you take the Word of God seriously- the promises as well as the warnings and commands. To live a life with no regard to the Lord’s commands will lead to destruction.
2. As Christians, it is not our job to try to argue evildoers into agreeing with our beliefs; it’s our job to pray for those people while we live out the commands of Christ.
3. The Lord is perfect in His discipline, and He lovingly corrects His children. We should be asking as David did in the Psalms for the Lord to show us areas where we may be ignorant/self-deluded to our sin.
4. In the sermon on the mount, the Lord gives five areas of the heart that we should continually examine to stay within the narrow path:
1 - Anger - we are responsible for our own anger. Besides being angry at our own sin, there are very few areas where we are to be angry as a Christian
2 - Lust/Divorce - we are responsible to keep our hearts from longing after what others have that we don’t.
3 - Oaths- we are to let our ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and our ‘no’ be ‘no’. Our lives shouldn’t be so full of deceit or faithlessness that we need to swear on a promise for another person to believe we’re speaking truthfully.
4 - Revenge/Retaliation - we must be very careful when we’re wronged to not allow a spirit of bitterness and revenge into our hearts. A heart full of revenge will not be able to hear the Lord’s voice.
5- Love your enemies
6. Being “narrow” does not mean judging others, but seeking to keep our own hearts repentant and obedient to the commands of God.
TALK TO EACH OTHER:
1. Which of the five areas of the heart discussed in truth 5 is most difficult for you? Which is easiest?
2. What are some ways we can actively seek forgiveness rather than revenge/bitterness when we’ve been wronged?
3. What are some examples of what it means to “let your yes be yes and your no be no”?
4. Can you think of some examples of our modern day “enemies” that Jesus is commanding us to love in our everyday life? What does loving them look like?
5. What do you think Jesus is trying to portray to His listeners when he says, "You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect"?
TALK TO GOD:
Pray as you feel led concerning the following areas:
- That we would take the Word of God and the Lord's commands seriously
- That we would continue with seeking conviction and true repentance