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S.O.A.P. November 8, 2017

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November 8, 2017

Read: Matthew 7:13-29

To read this text click HERE.

ScriptureMatthew 7:24- “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.

Observations- Jesus was pretty clear in this section of the Sermon on the Mount that truly following Him would be quite difficult, but also very much worth it. Apprentices of Jesus will keep returning to His teaching in the gospels often, because He told those who wanted to come up higher with Him would need to build their lives on the solid foundation found in His life, teaching, words, and person. 

Application- Upon what foundation are we building a life? Is it the right foundation, or have we laid down something in sand that's only worthy to be blown away by the storms of life? Are we kidding ourselves that Jesus Christ and the truth of His teachings are the cornerstone we count on through thick and thin? We are offered the solid rock, but it's easy to settle for the sinking sand.

Prayer- (by Thomas à Kempis- 1380-1471) O God my Truth, make me one with You in eternal love. Often I become weary with reading and hearing many things. You are all I want and desire. Let all teachers be mute and creation keep silence before You. Speak to me, You, and You alone. Amen.

"Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself." (Ephesians 2:20),

Pastor Jamie

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S.O.A.P. November 7, 2017

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November 7, 2017

Read: Matthew 7:1-12

To read this text click HERE.

ScriptureMatthew 7:1- “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged."

Observations- This is probably one of the most familiarly famous, misquoted, and taken out of context verse in the Bible. What does Jesus mean for His followers to do here? What He can't mean is a refusal to discern right from wrong, for in verse 6 Jesus says, "Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs!" This sounds like a moral judgment that requires our discernment to me. "Not judging others" in this context means not taking it upon ourselves to put ourselves in the position that God alone gets to occupy when it comes to making decisions about one's eternal destiny. That's not our role.

Application- This is a warning about the kinds of judgments we make. We not only have to be careful, but we have to be generous, merciful, and graceful. It's vital that we not be lenient on ourselves and harsh towards the shortcomings, failures, and sins of others. We must remember that "all (that includes me!) have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) Holding up a biblical standard isn't "being judgmental," but we hold it gently and with love understanding human frailty and shortcomings.

Prayer- Lord, thank You for Your generous grace and forgiveness in my life. You are well aware of how much I continue to need it everyday. Help me get this right. Help us get this right Jesus' church. We don't want to be judgmental, but we do want to be properly discerning about right and wrong in a way that makes you smile and draws other people to Jesus for salvation and new life. Amen.

From the Message: “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own,"

Pastor Jamie

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