Tonight we are carrying on in our series, Jesus said Matthew 22 we find Jesus having regular confrontations with religious leaders. They are all trying to discredit Jesus. The Pharisees are the leaders and teachers of religion and they don’t like Jesus, but Jesus, knowing their hearts, answers their question brilliantly. Matthew 22:34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. // Paul addresses this in romans chapter 2. He talks about what it really means to be a person of God. Here uses some biblical terms: to be a Jew is to be set-apart representing God to the nations Gentiles were other people, not a part of the group Circumcision is a physical procedure that Jews did to mark that they are set apart for God. It was a mark of Belonging to God. The ‘Law’ is referring to the Jewish law, basically summarised in the 10 commandments. In summary: Jew: set apart for God / Gentile: anyone else / Circumcision: mark of belonging / Law: 10 commandments Romans 2:25-29 25Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. 26So then, if those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? 27The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the c written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker.
28A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical.29No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God. There’s no use being called a christian if your heart is far from him. God looks at the heart. Jake version 25the label of christian has value if you follow christ, but if you rebel, you have become as though you had not called yourself a christian. 26So then, if those who are not called christians keep the bibles teachings, will they not be regarded as though they were Christians? 27The one who is not explicitly a Christian and yet obeys the bible will condemn you who, even though you have the c bible and your group of Christian friends, you rebel against God. 28A person is not a christian who is one only outwardly, nor is christianity merely outward and physical. 29No, a person is a christian who is one inwardly; and christianinty is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the rules. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God. // God chose Israel’s king not on outward leadership qualities, but because of what most people couldn’t see, his heart. God sends Samuel the prophet to find the new king to be I in 1 Samuel 16:7 Samuel thinks it will be one person, but God has someone else in mind. “But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." Say to your neighbor, “God looks at the heart” People look at the outside appearance, the way we present ourselves. we often judge on the obvious things, we make assumptions based off things we see. God isn’t like people. God sees through all the layers and sees our hearts.
We see first the outside, he sees first in inside. Look at your neighbor and say God knows your heart. Look at your other neighbor and say God knows my heart. Can I ask you, What’s in your heart tonight? What are you carrying in your heart? When God looks at you, seeing firstly your heart, what does he see? Proverbs 4:23 | NIV Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. You could say, in our hearts there is a deep well. in this well we find our deeper beliefs, beliefs about God, what we really believe about him. Beliefs about ourselves, what we really believe Beliefs about other people and the world we live in. When we make decisions, we draw up from this deep well to make them. Often without realising that we doing that. The deeper motivation behind our words, actions and reactions. Jesus says in Luke 6:43-45 43“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45A 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. What is your heart full of? While we may have conflicting beliefs in our minds, the bible tells us that our hearts we can be only one way or another... either pure or poisoned.
A heart of faith and trust in God.... or a heart of selfishness and envy. James flak’s about this in James 3: 11-17 . 11Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water. 13Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. If we harbour envy and selfish ambition it can colour the way we see a situation so that we can be in total denial of the truth. Especially if we are the ones truely at fault. 15Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. For a team, marriage or family to live and work in harmony, individuals have to lay aside envy and selfish ambition. Otherwise individuals within that union or group will create disorder. Selfish ambition says I’ll go first Envy says you’ll go last Selfish ambition says, you’re just a rung in my ladder Envy says that person is a threat to me These are demonic because they come to break apart and divide what is supposed to be unified. the pharisees thought they were wise but they showed envy and selfish ambition. But Jesus new their hearts. true wisdom, is a matter of the heart, and is described here in verse 17:
17But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. A person with a heart for God, this wisdom from heaven Is in their heart is Firstly pure in heart. Pure in motives. What’s your motive? When you say that thing or respond that way? Ask yourself What’s my motive? Jesus says blessed is the pure in heart, for they will see God. Is my heart pure? They love peace, making peace, keeping peace. Restoring peace. Do you create peace or disorder? They are considerate. Not dominating or bowling others over, but considering others. Do you consider others? & They are submissive, when you don’t have selfish ambition then you can submit to authority, you respect and honour those around you. They are full of mercy, and good fruit comes from this person, they refresh others. They are impartial because they’re not desperate to get ahead or look good. They are sincere. ///// BAND UP ///////// God wants to restore some hearts tonight ———Altar call———— Ezekiel 36:26 | NIV I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.