"Christians Are Narrow (Pt. 3)"
TEXTS: Matthew 5-7; Jer. 5, 23:9
1. We must be cautious and guarded against having a prideful heart. God’s work in and through us is His–we must refrain from taking credit and glory for it.
2. A biblical principle found in the Sermon on the Mount reveals that we will be given mercy to the degree that we show mercy. If someone extends grace to others, they will experience more grace extended to them. It is possible to live this way because of the change in our hearts that came from God extending mercy to us through the sacrifice of His Son.
3. We have been called to cover the shame and nakedness of others. If you make a practice of exposing others, then the same will happen to you.
4. Christians are directed to not judge others. This command does not erase the need for making sound and healthy judgments. Having good discernment and judgment will often help us in a practical sense to stay away from harmful and foolish situations.
5. Believers are directed to ask, seek, and knock for God’s presence and guidance. But this exhortation is not a one-time only event. We are called to persevere and to keep seeking God’s Kingdom. This persistence (and waiting) makes the receiving of God’s blessings more valuable.
6. Jesus exhorts us to treat others the way we would want to be treated. This simple idea is often hard to live out. Our flesh and humanity make obeying this command very difficult at times. We should therefore put concerted effort and focus into how we can obey the Lord concerning this matter.
7. The most frequent warning in the Bible is related to false teachers and prophets. So it’s no surprise that Jesus ends the Sermon on the Mount with this same warning. Our fallen humanity will often steer us towards listening to what we want to hear rather than what the Lord would have us hear.
8. If someone will build their life on the work and words of Christ, they will experience God’s grace and sustaining power as they are included in either: (1) the remnant of God’s people, (2) the work of revival, or (3) the return of Christ. In other words, a committed follower of Christ can’t lose and they will not be left out!
TALK TO EACH OTHER:
1. How does waiting on the Lord refine our hearts and make receiving blessings more valuable?
2. What does it mean to judge others? What is the line between making sound judgments and judging others?
3. What are some signs that pride may have entered into someone’s heart and mind? How can we be on guard against slipping into pride?
4. Why do you think the Lord spends so much time on warning His children about false teachers?
TALK TO GOD:
Pray as you feel led concerning the following areas:
- That our hearts and actions towards others would reflect how the Lord has treated us
- That we would recognize the false and cling to what is true