06.5 BSF Matthew Week 6, Day 5

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

I don’t think Christians are called to be ignorant pansies that are constantly taken advantage of, bullied and abused.  We are not called to be a doormat for others to simply wipe their feet on.

We are called to follow our mission.  If we are following it fully, if we are truly committed to that mission then it and it alone is critical in everything we do and every decision we make.  When you are a soldier in battle you don’t decide to ignore the mission because you don’t want to get your uniform dirty.  When you are a surgeon with a patient on the table you don’t decide to operate of some other part because it is easier and quicker.  You stick with the mission – it is what it is all about.

Our mission is simple.  We heard it last week.  Be salt and light to the world.  Take the strength and word and light of God and use it to witness, heal, baptize and save.  Period.  That is the mission.

If walking a mile accomplishes that – walk the mile.  If giving up a shirt accomplishes that, give up the shirt.  But, in all of it, stay true to the mission.  If giving someone your shirt does not bring them closer to God, then the mission is not to give shirts – it is to figure out what brings them closer to God.

One of my friends talked about an interaction with a homeless person this week at a coffee shop.  The man asked my friend, “can you help me?” and he gave him a few dollars.  But that weighed heavy on his heart.  There is nothing wrong with giving the money, and God can use that, but what if he had, instead, invited the man to sit down with him and bought him food that they shared together.  How much more could the investment of 10 minutes meant in the mission my brother carried?

I can get so focused on “what is rightfully mine” that I fall back into the trap of justice = revenge or getting even.  But this is based on a mindset of finite resources.  For me to get even I have to take it back from the person who wronged me.  But I am the child of an infinite God and creator.  There is so much more.  God honors that which honors Him!

My Answers:

12.
a.
If your yes is yes and your no is no, then there is no “qualification” to speaking the truth, you just always do.  There is no provision for falsehood

b.
“To be honest with you…”  These words imply that at other times you are not honest or don’t mean it.  Hard to tell when is when and what is what

c.
Know the truth and stick to it.  No “white lies”.

13.
a.
Fear and Concern over being a doormat keeps me out of ministry opportunities and witnessing to others.  I need to keep in mind what is truly important (bringing others to Christ).  If being slapped or giving a shirt or walking a mile helps with that, then, by all means, that is what I should be doing

b.
God will honor that which honors Him.

14.
Gal: walk with the spirt not gratify the desires of the fleshEph: Put off old self and deceitful desires, new in attitude, righteousness and holiness like God
Phil: Obey, work out with God and allow Him to act in my to fulfill His good purpose
Phil: think about: true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy

06.3 BSF Matthew, Week 6, Day 3

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

1. I didn’t know for sure what the word meant so I looked it up: Raca: vain, empty, worthless, only found in Matt. 5:22. The Jews used it as a word of contempt. It is derived from a root meaning “to spit.”

2. I was moved by the 1 John 2:11 passage, “But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.”

The thought it brought to mind was the realization that anger and hatred that I carry in my are like a dark spot in my eye.  That spot is blacked out and doesn’t absorb any light.  Clearly greed and lust are the same way.

So, I looked up how big of a dark spot would it take to affect my vision.  Literally.  Here is what I learned:  The receptors in our eyes are in an area called the macula.  At the center of the macula is the fovea centralis.  This is the “point of sharpest, most acute visual acuity.”  At the center of the fovea centralis is the foveola.  The closer ones cones are clustered  to this are, the better your vision.  A dark spot in this are, something blocking the cones, would have a significant impact on the ability to see and could cause blindness.  The foveola is about 0.35 mm.  In other words, a little less than half the size of this period.

So, how much anger and hatred can I allow to reside in my heart and in my eye?  This was a good visual for me (no pun intended).

I want to see.  I want to be able to see the world with Jesus’ eyes.

3. I had a whole part on trying to explain Matthew 5:25-26 but I moved it to Day 5

My Answers:

5.
a.
Deut 5:17 (Also Exodus 20:13)

b.
They separated the hands from the heart.  Hatred and desire to murder someone was fine as long as they didn’t physically do it.  They followed the letter of the law but not the intent

6.
Anger and hatred are in me as darkness.  It is impossible to be filled with the light if I have darkness in me.  Even a little darkness is blinding.

7.
Pray, forgive, reconcile if possible – but regardless, take it out of my heart

8.
What can I do to love and save my brother? vs. What can I do to get what is rightfully mine? Cain’s Protection (Gen 4:15) Lamech’s Arrogance (Gen 4:23-24) Eye for eye (Ex 21:23-25)