"A Spiritual Smorgasbord"
Date: 06 October, 2015
Title: Spiritual Smorgasbord
Text: Matthew 7:1-12
The Sermon on the Mount has been very convicting. Last week we looked at living for eternal treasure.
The sermon on the mount is difficult at times to outline as Jesus goes from one topic to the next. I'm not going to try to connect those ideas for us this morning.
Do you know the word "smorgasbord." I grew up in WI and there are a lot of Scandinavians that live there. This is a good Sweedish word that means a buffet.
The nice thing about Buffets is there is something for everybody. We are going to visit a spiritual smorgasbord today served up by the Lord Jesus Christ. There will be something for everybody. If it isn't to our apetite may God make it so. We need to digest this truth and letit change our lives.
I. The judge and the judgment.
A. Don't be the judge.
1 ¶ Judge not,
exp. The judge is the person who examines the case and passes sentence upon the guitly. Jesus commands us not to do it.
ill. Witnessing to unbelievers/ atheist "Damn you" or "Go to Hell" are meaningless empty statements if there is no hell and if there is no God. It "feels good" because it is sin. You are acting as if you are God and you are not.
Isaiah 14:14-16 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;
exp.Satan said, "I will be like the most high God" in his pride and the great angel was cast out of heaven.
app. The one who fell by desire to be in God's place will tempt us to take God's place as well.
B. God is the judge.
1. If we judge, we will be judged.
that ye be not judged.
exp. He's just commaned mankind not to judge. He's speaking of divine judgment.
2. We will be held to the same standard.
a. What we say will be said to us.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged:
ill. We've all seen the portrayal of gossips looking down their nose at some poor soul and slandering them in the hearing of others. They stand as the great judge upon their fellow men.
app. As meanly as they treated others with their words, so shall they be treated.
b. What we do will be done to us.
and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
ill. Man forgiven by king and then imprioning a fellow servant.
Matthew 18: 32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
exp. If you are unmercifully exacting anything from anybody, you had better repent and ask their forgiveness. If not, be ready to have judgment without mercy..
app. We better be warned. Having a critical spirit towards others is going to hurt us when we stand before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
C. Can you really see the speck in your brother's eye?
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye,
ill. Job's rebuke to his "friends". Job 16:4-5 I also could speak as ye do: if your soul were in my soul’s stead, I could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you. But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should asswage your grief.
exp. Job was right with God and these men were wrong. Job would pray for them but they wanted to stand in condemnation upon him.
Job 42: 7 ¶ And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.
8 Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job.
9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went, and did according as the LORD commanded them: the LORD also accepted Job.
10 ¶ And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends:
app. Is your eyesight as good as God's? Can you see the heart to know the motive? Do you understand the pressure and the circumstances? Do you know the emotions?
D. Haven't you overlooked the plank in your eye?
but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
exp. Uh oh, Jesus isn't going to let us get off easy without self examination.
ill. Paul encouraged self consideration WHEN DEALING WITH THE FAILURE OF OTHERS. Ga 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
app. If you are above that sin, you are greater than Paul. Paul said to be warned because none of us is above ANY SIN INTO WHICH OUR BROTHER HAS FALLEN.
E. Shouldn't you help yourself before you help others?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
ill. Flight attendant safety - get your oxygen mask on first and then help others.
app. Jesus has already exposed murder and adultery in our hearts. He warns here that what we see in others is often greater in our lives BUT UNSCRUTINIZED.
ill. Dealing with a difficulty with my boss and speaking to Pastor Reggie about it. Realizing that there was bitterness in my heart. I had a magnifying glass in examing by boss and was near sighted about my own short comings.
app. Our first consideration of relationships ought to be - what is there in my life that needs to change to make this better?
F. If you deal with your sin you can help others others to victory.
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
exp. We are hypocritical if we try to fix something in someone else's life when we have a greater problem or the same problem in our own.
reminder: Jesus is preaching where the self righteous are in attendance. The pharisees saw themselves as fine and despised the sinners around them. They needed salvation so that they could help reach the sinners they condemned.
note: If we deal with our sin, we can effectively help others to victory.
ill. Layton Kelly's ministry in Ireland. He is helping addicts get victory BECAUSE GOD GAVE HIM VICTORY. The old Layton Kelly (heroine addict) could help no other addicts because he was addicted himself. But, because of God's grace, he can assist others to victory.
app. Jesus rebukes our attempt to condemn others. But, he encourages us to TRUE VICTORY (salvation and sanctification) so that we can help those whom we were condemning.
II. The clean and the unclean.
exp. When we are right with God, we will not be able to help every sinner. There are some who will not respond to encouragement to live holy lives. And we are told to turn away from them.
A. Dogs will not appreciate purity.
6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs,
exp. Jesus is going to use to unclean animals to represent wicked unrepentant mankind. The unclean won't appreciate sincere efforts to make them clean.
Mark 6:11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
exp. They were to get every bit of that city off of them because it was going to receive severe judgment from God.
app. Don't be suprised by the reaction you receive at times from the wicked who reject Christ.
B. Pigs will despise valuables.
...neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
exp. We have been given precious truth from God, but we aren't required to share it when men don't want to hear it.
II Timothy 2: 24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
II Timothy 3: 1 ¶ This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
app. We want to do our best to share Christ. However, there is a time to turn away from men who are violently opposed to God's truth.
III. The prayer and the answer.
exp. Jesus has already hit on prayer. When you pray - no vain repetitions, place of privacy, the model prayer. But, now he deals more with the motivation behind prayer.
A. The crisis.
1. Something you can't get.
7 ¶ Ask, and it shall be given you;
exp. We have needs that we can't supply. Jesus has already spoken of God's ability to meet our needs and his understanding of our needs before we ask. But, WE MUST ASK.
James 4: yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
ill. Children at times will be frustrated because they have a need that is not being met. Finally as a parent you hear about it and you say, "Why didn't you just ask instead of getting upset?"
app. Are you frustrated by a lack of provision? Have you prayed about it and asked God to provide it?
2. Something you can't find.
...seek, and ye shall find;
exp. The unknown is going to be in front of us often in life. What do we do? How do we do it? We need to seek the guidance in prayer.
ill. Praying about college, praying about wife, praying about work, praying about parenting? etc.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
app. Have you had a crisis of direction? Pray - seek and ye shall find. God has an answer and he will make known Hiw will to you in His perfect time.
3. Something you can't open.
...knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
exp. The dead end - seemingly. You followed the Lord and now the door seems shut.
ill. Praying that Katie and I could get married a year earlier. I remember where I was when God answered that prayer. I knew he had answered.
- We had the blessing of both of our parents.
- We had a little bit of money and a lot of love.
- We were able to get married a year earlier.
app. Closed doors are not fun until they open. When they open it is a joy to step through them with God. 1Co 16:9 For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.
B. The confidence.
question: Do you believe this morning that all the asking, seeking, knocking is in vain? GOD SAYS THAT IT IS NOT IN VAIN.
8 For every one that asketh receiveth;
and he that seeketh findeth;
and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
app. Take it by faith. Jesus wouldn't have said it if we don't need it. There are other conditions to answered prayer - but Jesus does not list them here. He assumes right praying - AND ENCOURAGES US TO PRAY ON. It takes courage to ask when the need has not yet been met, when the direction has not been found, when the door has yet to open.
C. The consideration.
9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? 10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
exp. Even earthly fathers give GOOD THINGS to their children.
ill. What kind of a father gives stones and serpents to his hungry children?
exp. Even logic says that we are to expect good answers in accordance to WHAT WE ARE ASKING.
ill. If I am praying for a car, I'm not going to assume that I ought to get a moped instead because that is all the better God can do.
app. Are you expecting good things from God - or are you expecting him to pull a switch on you?
D. The conclusion.
11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
exp. If sinful men have the grace to give good gifts to their children, do you think God would do otherwise. (If so, what a mean view of God.)
ill. If churches anticipate missionaries wearing rags and driving down broken automobiles, they ought to reconsider their view of God. (Much in a missionary barrel is not from God it is from men, because God wouldn't give rubbish to his servants.) NOTE - some churches give things worthy of God. - BUT GOD ALWAYS DOES BETTER THAN MAN WOULD EVER DO.
app. This is not the health and wealth Gospel. This is the Gospel of Jesus which reminds us of the quality of the answers to prayer which are truly from God. Are you weary in your prayer life? Don't give up. Pray the prayers, the answers will come.
IV. The investment and the return.
exp. There are many good investments in God's Word and much about sowing and reaping. Here is the sowing and reaping of goodness.
A. Your expectation of the return you would like to receive.
12 ¶ Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you,
exp. If God gives such good things, shouldn't you? You would like to receive nice things from others and earthly fathers give good things. Shouldn't you participate by doing that for others.
ill. Baptist World Mission sent a hand signed card to my wife with condolences after the death of her mother. What a blessing!
app. I am so thankful that they did that as it was a great blessing to us and is something I would like done every time we face a crisis like that.
B. Your investment of the same into the lives of others.
do ye even so to them:
exp. I need to remember to send personal notes of condolence to those who have lost loved ones. I need to respond to prayer requests. I need to pray for others and let them know I'm praying. I need to give things to meet needs. I need to weep with those who weep and laugh with those who laugh. THOSE THINGS THAT I KNOW I LOVE, I NEED TO DO FOR OTHERS.
C. Your reason for such a risky investment.
for this is the law and the prophets.
app. In doing so you have a right relationship with those who are about you. (Note - the golden rule is not capable of giving me righteousness. But, it keeps me right with those about me.)
conclusion: Smorgasbords (buffets) are awesome because there is something for everyone. Jesus has given us a smorgasbord of spiritual truth today. We need to take it in and digest it.
1.) Are you guilty of a critical (judgmental) spirit? Get the sin out of your life and help those of whom you are critical.
2.) Are you trying to give truth to the unclean? Be patient. Until they change natures they can't appreciate spiritual truth and value.
3.) Are you in a crisis of need, direction, or open doors? Don't quit praying. God gives good things to those who wait on Him.
4.) Are you investing goodness in others? Consider what you want and give it fulfilling the royal law.