ripple effect: vacaville


d185 Huffing and Puffing
October 30, 2007, 10:05 am
Filed under: god, jesus, matthew

Read Matthew 7:13-29.

1. The small gate (narrow road) and the wide gate (broad road). The wide gate leads to destruction. The small gate leads to life. Hmm…this is all pretty vague. I guess Jesus is hinting at the fact that most people aren’t going to be able to identify who He is and experience everlasting life. My odd question of the day is, “Well, why does it have to be that way?” Isn’t that what preachers are for? I mean, shouldn’t “Spirit-filled” Christ-followers be able to reach multitudes and get them on the narrow road? It’s almost as if Jesus is saying that this is inevitable– that people won’t get it. Why do you think that is?

2. A wolf dresses up to make you feel “safe.” No one worries about killer attack sheep (well, maybe Monty Python). Then he eats you. Hmm…and this is what false prophets are like. They feel safe, but then they end up damaging you. So…how can we detect these wolves? By the fruit. So…if a “prophet” is living a life that bears fruit (I would assume that this would be publically and privately) that they are truly bringing messages from God. I definitely believe that my sin often clouds my ability to receive messages “directly” from God. A lot of times I feel like a sinner grasping for truth in God’s word. I definitely think those people who always name-drop God by saying “God told me to tell you…” and “I feel the Spirit telling me…” are on slippery ground. How can that be dangerous?

3. This is one of the most troubling passages in Scripture. “Not everyone who says to [Jesus], ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven.” We have to obey God and that takes a lot more than words. I read those “Left Behind” books a couple of years ago, and I remember being shocked that a minister was left behind after Jesus came to warp the believers into heaven. The guy explained that he had been preaching but never really “got it.” Do you think that’s possible? And, if it’s possible with preachers, is it possible for the rest of us?
4. It seems like “those” people were all about the demonstrative acts of God’s power: prophesying, casting out demons, and performing miracles. Note that there are no deeds of love or compassion here. Makes you wonder about what it really means to be “filled with the Spirit.”

5. I want to build my life on a rock. I can hear Bob Seager singing now…”Like a rock, oh baby, like a rock!”
6. Sometimes I am an in-one-ear-and-out-the-other Christian. That’s sandy. And that’s not good.
7. Notice that in both scenarios there are storms. What differs is where the foundation is. Reminds me of a song by Big Tent Revival called “Two Sets of Joneses.” Kind of cheesy, but it brings home the point of this parable very well.
8. The teachers of the law weren’t teaching like they had authority? Hmm…that’s a problem right there. Yeah, I guess Jesus would stick out.

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