Read Matthew 9:9-13.
Why were the Pharisees critical of Jesus? How did Jesus love the tax collectors and “sinners”? Did the Pharisees love the tax collectors
and “sinners”? What is the difference
between sacrificing and being merciful?
6:6. According to this
verse, what is equivalent to “acknowledgement of God”? What is equivalent to “burnt
offerings”? How were the Pharisees not
acknowledging God in their treatment of “sinners”? Was the Pharisees’ love conditional? Did their love depend on the worthiness on the individuals they were
willing to love? Were the Pharisees
just concerned with sacrifice or with showing mercy? From these passages you can see that Jesus notices when we are
merciful because having mercy implies that we are deciding to love based on who
God has made us.
How do we know when we are loving like God loves? Let’s examine the fruit of love. Read Hebrews 6:7, 8.
What does the land represent in this passage? Is it up to the land to decide what it does with God’s
blessing? Does God bless everyone
evenly? Are all opportunities given to
everyone or does God discriminate? What
is in store for the land that bears good fruit? What is in store for the land that produces thorns and
thistles? Are thorns and thistles the
fruits of perfect love? No other
Scriptures distinguish the fruits of love and sin better than Galatians 5:19-24.
What does the fruit of the flesh look
and smell like? What about the fruit of
the Spirit, what are the end products (read also 2 Corinthians 2:14-16)? So, if you have ever generated attitudes,
bitterness, or anger in your relationships, what kind of fruit has been
produced? Let the fruit that you bear
testify to the kind of love you have decided to give, whether it is true love,
or merely selfish gain. Don’t be
surprised if you fall short, for if you do—then it is time to let the Spirit of
God work in you. Test yourself (2 Corinthians 13:5)!!!!
If you want to be the land that produces good fruit
you need to be in the habit of testing yourself for selfish motives. Read Psalm 139:23, 24. Describe David’s attitude in this prayer. Was he smug (Romans 12:3-5)? Was he open to correction, or did he resent
15:31)? Read 2 Peter 1:5-9,
13-16. What do we
constantly need to work on? What if we
don’t actively seek to work on our faith, what happens? Does our salvation have to be continuously
worked out (Philippians
2:12)? Read Psalm 51:16, 17. What are the real sacrifices to God? Are we justified necessarily by what we do,
or does attitude count more in God’s eyes?
Is God just looking for a change of action on our part, or a change of
will? Is Christianity to you a
short-term diet, or a lifetime commitment?
In the world we work toward achieving a certain
position. In Christ, we have received a position (taken a stand) and we’re
working from this position to make a difference in the rest of the world. We don’t win others to Christ to be won
ourselves, but because we have
already been won! We don’t serve other
to be saved, but because we have been saved!
Corinthians 15:1, 2 and Ephesians 2:8-10. Do we work to be saved?
Why, then, do we work? The more
you believe that you are sons and daughters of your Father, the more you will
act according to who you realize you are.
You are so used to acting the way Satan has lead you to believe. Stop believing him and believe God! Are you God’s workmanship or the devil’s?