Sunday, April 26, 2020
Jesus begins these next few verses with the warning: "Beware!" Jesus doesn't want you to be paralyzed by fear, but a healthy dose of skepticism can go a long way. Our mission, Jesus's mission, to seek and save the lost and to announce the Good News that the Kingdom of Heaven is near, will take us to places we may not normally go or see people we wouldn't otherwise see. Along this journey, we encounter fellow believers as well. But, not all is as it seems. Jesus warns us that there are people that want to "sneak in", they will try to "fit in", and they will try to lead us down a path of destruction for their own benefit. This morning, we look at one example of a false prophet. This prophet (actually, a servant to the prophet), abused the trust he was given for personal gain and ultimately found himself trading places with the very one his master had healed. False prophets make themselves known to us by showing their true character: selfishness. This text challenges me, because Jesus says we will know the goodness or badness of a servant by the fruit they produce. Do I have faith inside me that works it way out through love and good deeds? Or do I have a faith that helps me play the part but doesn't actually lead me to sacrificial service?
Sunday, April 19, 2020
Today we look at a simple phrase in its larger context. It's so easy and tempting to just look at one verse or even just a few words from the Bible and ignore the larger context. Well-meaning people want to simplify the text to make it easier to understand, but we always run the risk of changing the meaning when we isolate words and phrases away from the larger passage. Today we look at Jesus's teaching not to judge. How can Christians relay what the Bible teaches as right and wrong if Christians cannot recognize right from wrong? What we'll see today is that instead of casting all forms of judgement into the fire, Jesus is condemning a specific kind of judgmental attitude. He replaces it with one of loving care, that guides a wayward soul back to the truth. I hope you can join us this morning and each week as we study God's Word and try to learn how best to apply it to our lives.