Be. Become. Do. - Day 05

Day 05 - Friday, September 15
Read Matthew 7

Jesus ends his famous Sermon on the Mount with four warnings, each with a paired contrast: two ways, two trees, two claims, and two builders.  The theme of these contrasted pairs is to make it abundantly clear that there is no neutral position that someone can hold on Jesus.  You either follow him, or you don’t.  One of the reasons this is so important can be shown in the response of the people at the end of his sermon: “they were amazed by his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority.” (v28-29)  They don’t just mean that Jesus had a lot of confidence.  They mean that he is personally claiming authority that no one else claimed.  

When prophets would teach the things of the Kingdom of God, they would end with “Thus says the Lord,” showing that their authority comes from Him.  But Jesus has been saying, “But *I* say to you.”  This claim to authority is unique, and the crowds recognized it as a claim to Messianic authority, even if they didn’t fully understand the true purpose of the Messiah.  The authority that Jesus has claimed in his teaching is about to be confirmed in the performing of miracles.

Reflection & Prayer
For this reading plan we will be using a tool to guide our study of Scripture that’s called the S.O.A.P. Method.  It stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer.  We recommend you use a journal with this method and write out your thoughts on each of these areas for each day of reading.  It doesn’t have to be long-winded and you don’t need a fancy journal.  But for anyone that has not journaled before, the benefit is that it often helps us focus and avoid distractions during prayer and Bible study.

S.O.A.P. Method

Scripture - Pick a verse or two that stood out to you and write it in your journal.  Be looking for a “Holy Spirit Highlight.”  What did you read and think “I needed to hear that” or felt like it was written just for you?

Observation - Now write some observations about the verse(s) or passage. What is this passage or verse saying? About God? About people? How is Jesus revealed in these verses?

Application - Now write a few sentences on how this passage applies to your life. Is there truth about God that you are to believe? A promise to receive? Is the Holy Spirit convicting you of something you need to do or stop doing in light of God’s truth?

Prayer - Now write out a prayer to God in response to this Scripture. This is a way to turn God’s Word to you back to Him. Be honest and express your heart to Him. God always listens and He delights in your prayers. (Psalm 34:15; Proverbs 15:8)
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