#388 - IT’S NOT ENOUGH TO HEAR (7/7/21)
Over the last two days, we have seen that if we are to build on the rock by doing what Jesus teaches we first have to hear and learn from Him. Today we consider how we are to ‘do’ - it’s not enough to just hear!
“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. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7:24-27)
Hearing is vital. However, Jesus makes it clear that hearing God’s word is not enough. We must do what He teaches. It’s not enough to read, study, meditate, memorise or sing God’s word. One must do these, but accompany this with prayerful submission in obedience.
Here’s a simple method of reading so as to apply God’s word that I like to use in the mornings.
1. PRAY - Pray for God to help and speak. It’s often helpful to write your meditations. As you read, choose a short text that inspires you.
2. GOSPEL - 'Gaze on the cross'- how does this text speak about salvation through Jesus?
3. UP – What does this text says about God – His worth, character and attributes?
4. IN – What does this say about me, the church and how we are to relate? Is there a promise to believe, command to do, attitude to have, something to avoid, is there forgiveness to seek or give?
5. OUT – What does this say about my community and mission?
6. DO – Is the Holy Spirit leading me to any particular response - action or attitude - from today’s meditation? It’s helpful to write this down.
It’s not possible to go through this meditation practice with everything you read in the bible! I find it helpful to have a bible-reading plan whilst also having a plan as to what I’ll meditate on each day. For example, I recently worked through the Psalms using this method.
After washing His disciples’ feet as an example of how they are to live. Jesus tells them,
"Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” (John 13:17).
It vital to hear, but hearing is worthless without doing!
Let’s get building. How are you taking seriously Jesus will that we build on the rock by doing His teaching?
‘They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock…’ (Luke 6:48)
Do you have a plan that is working for you? Do you build on the rock purposefully, or are we trying we build without any plan?
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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