Stepping Up To The Scale
Topic: Stepping Up To The Scale Passage: Proverbs 16, Jeremiah 17:9–17:10, James 4:1–4:3, Psalm 51:10, Matthew 5:8
Stepping Up To The Scale
As we continue reflecting on what the Kingdom of Heaven is, we are taking a bit of a detour to look at it from the perspective of its citizens. Jesus begins a 5-part sermon in Matthew by talking about the state of Blessedness the citizens of Heaven are in with a contrast to the citizenship with the world around them.
In a world driven by gaining through force, Jesus models a lifestyle that gains through releasing such passions. We give up to receive from God. We are to be living as citizens of God’s Kingdom, not to gain but because we have already received.
But before we get into this, let’s consider the following:
The Kingdom of Heaven is radical on many levels.
First, a random carpenter shows up healing people- delivering them from diseases, giving them sight or hearing- even making them walk or come back from death.
Second, this carpenter, named Jesus is teaching people about God in a way that makes Him seem close and fatherly rather than distant and tyrannical.
Third, he also taught that while sin has sent the world in a violent direction, Jesus is here to bring a kingdom that will not be brought by the force of the sword, but the change of one’s heart.
We must let go of our ideas of God and the way the world is around us and embrace Jesus’ teachings in a way that it changes how we live. By ourselves this is impossible; but with God it is all possible. God’s Kingdom is coming and it begins with you here today. Will you take one step closer to Him? God gives us the desires of our hearts when we take delight in Him (Psalm 37:4). This is what we call the Give and Take.
If you have your outline / notes from last week’s sermon, go ahead and pull those out now. Let’s Begin!
We begin by looking at our motives. Someone turn and read Jeremiah 17: 9-10.
Why does God search our hearts?
Is He truly looking to discover something?
What are your thoughts?
Pastor Damian talked about how this was more God searching and revealing the layers of our own heart through the varying circumstances we are led into to show us our sin for repentance, forgiveness, and indwelling work of the Holy Spirit (Reference Galatians 5).
Have you ever found yourself in a situation to where how you responded surprised you?
Maybe you were very angry.
Maybe you lied.
Maybe you entertained lust in your heart.
Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.
None of this is coincidence; but in fact it is a Sovereign God working through your circumstances to peel back the layers of your sinful heart in order that you can confess, let go and receive. Remember, Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to face the Devil, emptying Himself He returns filled / empowered by the Holy Spirit. We need to let go to receive from God all that He declares over and for us.
This sounds like a simple process, right? Someone turn to and read Proverbs 16.
The problem is found in verse 2; while God weighs our motives we see them already as pure. Take a look at the following:
• God offers opportunity to step on the scale; to deny is considered pride. (Vv. 5,18)
• God’s scale is honest and weigh in by His standards (v.11)
In a sense God is offering each of us the opportunity to step up onto His scale. If we:
1) Do not = Pride (Death).
2) Do and disagree with it’s verdict= Pride (Death).
3) Do and accept it’s verdict= Wisdom (Life).
Consider this invitation is going out to those who consider themselves God’s people already by birthright as many of us consider ourselves citizens of Heaven because of: __________________.
- How willing are you to step on to God’s Scale?
- What are the weights created by God to hold us accountable to (v.11)?
- Why do we ignore the scale or disagree with God?
- Can you remember a specific time you knew something was wrong, yet you disregarding wisdom and pursued something to your own harm or the harm of others?
God is trying to show us that our motive is also our guide and goal- that is why it’s importance is a constant evaluation with Him.
Let’s look at the damaging effects of Pride. Someone Re-read Proverbs 16: 25-30.
What stands out to you and why? Do you agree with the author?
Now someone turn to and read James 4: 1-3.
Pastor Damian mentioned a scene from a movie he watched where the main character was asked, “Are we fighting the battle in front of us or behind us”?
Considering what we read in James, why is it important to understand our hearts- how wicked and bent from God they are- to truly be pursuing God?
When James mentions our outward actions reflecting inward battles, do you agree with this? How has this been real or truth for you personally?
Someone Re-read Proverbs 16: 3-4, 9.
- What is the difference between changing our behavior and heart transformation? (Someone read Psalm 51:10)
Now read Proverbs 16: 6, 17 & 20.
- What has God done for us?
As we accept this (by letting go our own- no matter how noble the intention- motive) we are led upon a highway that leads to a greater intimacy with God- greater maturity. As Jesus was led, then empowered so are we. This is what it means to be walking in the Will of God.
Now Read Proverbs 16: 21, 31-32.
- How important are fellow believers in your life?
- Do you have people around you, such as men in our Men’s Ministry or women in our Women’s Ministry?
These should be people who know us well enough to challenge a false motive and spur us on to holy living in Christ. Their value is beyond gold.
And finally, someone turn to and read Matthew 5:8.
If we make Jesus our motive what happens?
We are led by Him and He becomes our goal; the object of our pursuit. Our lives become one of obedience.
- We love as Jesus has loved.
- We live as Jesus has lived.
- We walk as Jesus walked.
- We delight in what Jesus takes delight in.
God invites us to step on His scale to weigh our motives because He loves us and desires life for us- not just future but here and now.
Will you, in Faith take another step closer to Jesus today?
Will you deny yourself and pursue Him in all that you are?