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.

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)