08.4 BSF Matthew Week 8, Day 4

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

Hero Worship:  It amazes me how people follow and worship other people.  They have a NASCAR driver they follow.  They can tell the stats of each player on their favorite team.  They invest time watching and discussing singers and actors, turning them into American Idols.

But if these “heroes” do not stand for God, then they are tricks and lies.  If they lead others into temptation, then they are counterfeit heroes.  They are not the real deal.  They are counterfeit.  They are also not just misguided.  If they oppose the one true God, seeking praise for themselves over God, then they are to be avoided.  Deliver us from evil.

My Answers:

9.
a.
13-14: Narrow vs wide gate/broad road.  Narrow to life, wide to destruction
15 False prophets (sheep/wolves) 16 (fruit: grape from thornbush, fig from thistles) 17-18 (tree bearing fruit)

b.
good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

10.
a.
Do not trust outward appearances, particularly in regard to teachers of faith.  They may “look the part”, but they are a shell containing viciousness

b.
They are not “misguided” they are wicked.  False teaching of the gospel and thus, opposing God, is ranked among worse offenses.  They may have Reverend as a title but that does not mean they are to be revered.  Christ had no issue calling the highest church leaders a brood of vipers.

c.
1. Beware – trickery abounds and what looks good and easy is seldom right
2. Make sure my life and ministry is bearing good fruit from the Spirit within me.  Trust it and the Word of God alone, not my desire for what I want it to say instead.  Guard my heart from evil and watch my words, they cannot be taken back.

08.3 BSF Matthew Week 8, Day 3

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

My wife gets some friendly teasing from her group for her passion for getting deep into God’s word and looking up the Greek behind our English biblical words.  She jokingly said this morning that she looked up the word “knock” in Greek and it means to “knock, as on a door.”

While she said this tongue in cheek, it is actually a very relevant point.

Lots of people ask.  They scream out in their words and actions.  Some people seek.  They look for answers.  They look for help.  But knocking – that is something different.

You can ask from afar and anonymously.  You can seek answers from unreliable sources.  We have a neighbor who asks her deepest questions to Google search like some sort of magic eight ball to give guidance to her life.

But knocking requires personal action and personal involvement.  To knock in prayer, you have to show up on God’s doorstep.  You have to know the right house, the right door.  You must spiritually get up and carry your prayers to Him.  You have to extend your hand.  You have to take action, engage directly and personally.

God does not just want our requests and wishes, He wants our connection with Him.  He doesn’t want us to just phone it in, He wants us to enter His home.

My Answers:

6.
a.
Ask, Seek, Knock

b.
Yes, sick child, guidance for another child, restful sleep for spouse

7.
The promise of the Holy Spirit.  Good gifts could mean any blessing, but the H/S is the ultimate gift and blessing

8.
a.
The ultimate answer to prayer (according to God’s will) is salvation and reconciliation.  He purchased that gift for us while we were still sinner (Rom 5:8), but we still must choose to accept the gift and submit to Him

b.
God is not a vending machine that you insert prayer and out pops blessings or your get your own way.  God does what is in His will and His mercy out of love.  All prayer is heard and answered, some not as we wish for teaching/change

c.
It fits unselfish love.  God has nothing to gain through prayer, but through His love of us He delights in giving