#386 - IT’S NOT ENOUGH TO DO (5/7/21)
This week, we see how Jesus concludes His Sermon on the Mount with a parable about The Wise and Foolish builders.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24-25)
This parable with which Jesus ends this Sermon on the Mount is principally about being a true disciple by doing what Jesus teaches. To build on the rock is to do what He teaches. However, hearing God’s word is indispensable to obedience. We can only do what we know.
Many ‘do’ without hearing because they presume. We must not presume to know God’s will, we must hear His word. Too many in the church have strong opinions about character, prayer, money, family life, dealing with worry, marriage, relationships… often times they are good hearers to all sorts of advice but never seriously study God’s word!
Many people like doing good. They get busy doing lots of things. They are more like Martha - who was busy - than Mary who sat at Jesus’ feet to listen to Him. These are the activists. Unfortunately, activists can be busy climbing the wrong mountain! We need to hear Jesus! Paul wrote about this dedication to truth,
‘Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.’ (Romans 12:1-2)
To build on the rock requires, firstly, that we hear God’s word. The sermon on the Mount (Mathew 5:1 - 7:29) is an important section of teaching that we are to ‘hear’. In response, I suggest that you read this section through to remind yourself of its content.
This Sermon on the Mount is worthy of regular study and prayer. Maybe over the next few months, you could make a plan to read and pray through it.
When reading scripture, it’s vital to ask the Spirit to guide you to specific application for you. We’ll think a bit more about this later in the week.
COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY - SIV-WEEK - GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
Please share with the group
This is our second SIV-Week study. SIV stands for Serve, Invest and Invite. This is a simple way of thinking about reaching our community for Jesus. On Sunday, we finished our Sent series. During this series we’ve been considering The Great Commission where we are told,
‘Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”’ (Matthew 28:18-20)
During this series, we’ve been using The Sermon on the Mount to reflect on the important things that we need to know as disciples and be able to teach so as to be able to make disciples.
In this SIV study, I thought that it would be important to reflect on our Commission again. Here are a few brief thoughts from our Commission.
i) ALL AUTHORITY
Knowing that Jesus has authority over all creation and over our lives is meant to motivate us to let Him lead us in His mission. We all have a unique part to play. He has the power to make us fruitful.
ii) GO AND MAKE
Too often, we can practice this verse by helping mature Christians to get more mature. Too many mature Christians (if you been a Christian for around 3 years you should be pretty mature) are not engaged in growing new Christians and helping unbelievers to come to faith. I believe that Jesus wants all reasonably mature Christians involved in making disciples. It’s hard work, but I believe it’s a key feature that’s missing from many of our lives.
iii) ALL NATIONS
Beyond Putney, London, Britain…God wants disciples from all nations. This is something that we all need to pray about. We must all be open to playing our part in world evangelisation.
Wouldn’t you love to see baptisms happening every week in our church community? Wouldn’t you love to be in a Community Group which is truly making disciples? This is a vision that we all need to work toward together.
v) I AM WITH YOU
Jesus began with the command and reassurance that comes with His authority. He ends with the challenge and reassurance that He is with those who will seek to obey His commission.
THE THREE ELEMENTS OF SIV
Let’s now briefly discuss how we are doing on the three elements of SIV.
i) Serving real needs
Discuss: How are you or do you plan to serve others in your community? Is there anything that we could do together as a Community Group?
ii) Investing in friendships
Discuss: Who are the friends that you see regularly and how do you or could you invest in those friendships? How are you or could you be faithful to invest through prayer?
Discuss: What are the church events that we can invite people to? How can we be creative as a Community Group to create invitational settings? Do you have anyone that you could invite to an Alpha Course?
What do you plan to do personally as a result of this study? What are you planning to do as a group?
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