Final Thoughts: Part 1

Matthew 7: 7-20

This particular post will focus on three sections of the Sermon and next week we will finish up our TAWG Blog series by sharing the concluding thoughts of Jesus to his disciples, and he has some tough stuff to tell them.  Stay tuned for that next week.

Ask and It Will Be Given:

In this section of the Sermon, Jesus calls for his disciples to seek answers and to ask God to guide them.  Jesus informs his disciples that they will receive what they need.  Sometimes we struggle to believe this and feel as if God never answers our prayers.  I love the part of this section that speaks about how God can give us greater gifts than we may even be able to imagine.  This takes a lot of trust and patience; things that many people have trouble with from day to day.  A couple of verses to consider include Romans 8:18, 28.  In fact I would encourage you to read this entire chapter to help you understand how God works and cares for us.

Take a little time to reflect and ask God to guide you.  Be present and focused so that you may better grasp what God is trying to do for you.  Times of solitude, silence, and reflection are so important to growth and learning.  It is also valuable to have people pour into you such as mentors and pastors who may help transform your perspective on life.

The Golden Rule:

Most of you probably were taught the Golden Rule at some point in your life, but many of us tend to abuse it.  What I mean by this is that sometimes we do something for someone expecting that other person to do something for us.  This may not always be the case and it may take time for someone to change.  This does not give us an excuse to treat that other individual poorly, but should be all the more reason for us to show compassion and love so that they may also learn to be compassionate and loving.

I think this may be why Jesus then goes on to talk about the entering the narrow gate.  Walking with Christ is not easy and it requires a lot of sacrifice.  It may be hard and more difficult, but it is the better way to go.  If you really want to make a difference, it is crucial to develop deep relationships, to learn names and stories, and to humbly demonstrate compassion.  If you do all for God’s glory and not your own you will be headed towards the narrow gate, the road less traveled so to speak.  We will talk a little more about this next week as we look at the final instructions Jesus has for his disciples.

Think about how you can start living more intentionally for Christ each day.  What does that look like for you?  What changes will be necessary?

A Tree and Its Fruit:

This section is another crucial part of following Christ and living to glorify God.  There are many false prophets out in the world today; people who are not living to genuinely glorify God, but rather are seeking fame, riches, and attention.  Sometimes it can be hard to recognize this at first but as you look more closely at their life you may begin to recognize that they are producing bad fruit.  It is hard for a person to develop good, Christ-like disciples if they are not being poured into and learning, or if they are not living as Christ as well.  For instance, think about someone trying to train someone to be great at a sport or art form.  You would most likely want an instructor or coach that has some knowledge and experience in what they are teaching you.  It is much more effective when a person knows a lot, but also continues to learn as they teach.

This section also point out that a good tree cannot produce bad fruit.  This is key in making disciples who will then go on to make more disciples, all for the glory of God.  You must be trained and learning constantly, allowing good to be poured into you so that you may pour out that good fruit onto others.  A few years ago at teen camp there was an analogy used of a sponge pouring out water.  In order to continue pouring out, and giving, you must also receive otherwise the well will run dry.

Take some time to go over these three sections again.  Read through them slowly and pray through them.  Let the Spirit guide you and fill you as you continue to learn and transform.

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