Seeing Through God’s Eyes – Tools Not Rules
||Proverbs Ch. 4; Luke 10: 25-37
||Proverbs Ch. 5; Matthew 5: 1-16
||Proverbs Ch. 6; Matthew 5: 17-48
||Proverbs Ch. 7; Matthew 6: 1-18
||Proverbs Ch. 8; Matthew 6: 19-34
||Proverbs Ch. 9; Matthew 7: 1-14
||Proverbs Ch. 10; Matthew 7: 15-29
- Luke 10:25-29 – 25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” 27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[c]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d]” 28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” 29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
- The revelation of God’s truth for us to live by will not be extracted from the parable of the God Samaritan, but from the narrative describing the interaction between Jesus and the teacher of the law who prompted Jesus to offer the parable in response to his questions.
- Discuss the following:
- What is the attitude of the expert in the law toward Jesus?
- He wanted to trip-up Jesus and catch him in words
- He didn’t recognize that the Giver of the law who understands and articulates the mind of the Father is the One he is questioning.
- What is the attitude of the expert in the law toward the commands of God?
- He sees God’s commands as a set of rules one must comply with.
- He misses the very heart of God.
- God has given instructions for right relationship human beings to God
- God has given instruction for right relationship human beings to each other
- He misses the words of life as expressed by the Law and the Prophets and he misses the Word of Life standing before him in the flesh!
- The expert in the law is hung up in rules and is missing the tools for life God has given him.
- How about you?
- Do you see God’s commands as a set of rules you must comply with?
- Are we missing the benefits and blessing of God?
- Matthew 5: 17-20 – 17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; … but to fulfill them. 18 … until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
GOD GIVES US TOOLS NOT RULES!
TOOLS – Instructions that, when followed, result in benefits.
- PRINCIPLE #1 –
Jesus came to fulfill the law; not as a set of rules, but as God’s tools for our relationships with God and humankind.
- What we call the “Sermon on the Mount” is really a set of instructions from God providing us tools for living.
- Matthew 5: 21-22 – 21 “You have heard …, ‘You shall not murder…22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister[b][c] will be subject to judgment.
- Matthew 5: 43-44 – 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[i] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
- He is taking us further than laws and rules. He’s taking us to tools for living!
- GOD GIVES US TOOLS NOT RULES!
- Where we are going as a Church (The Body of Christ) requires a shift in our attitude toward God’s tools in our lives.
- The fulfillment of God’s promise for your individual life will be enhanced by your seeing instructions differently – as tools not rules!
- John 10: 10b – I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
PRINCIPLE # 2 –
WE ARE DEVELOPING TOOLS NOT RULES! wE WANT TO THRIVE IN ABUNDANT LIFE!
- Rules oppress. Tools lift!
- Rules constrain. Tools expand!
- Rules are broken. Tools are applied!
- Rules are complied with. Tools are valued!
- TOOLS NOT RULES!
- Tools for effective living.
- We seek exceptions to rules.
- We seek application of tools to our benefit!
- New accountability and safety measures from Bishop White are tools he is implementing to improve the effectiveness of the 4th District churches.
- Receiving 100 new members is a tool to motivate us to become the kind of church that attracts 100+ new members annually.
- Yes, the Bishop means get 100.
- We then choose to become the type of church that attracts 100 vs 25 per year.
- Instructions given can be a tool in the life of a person or a rule in the life of a person.
- Tell how Gerald asked for an example of a rule and an example of a tool.
- I said, “Get to work on time!” is a rule.
- He then asked, “Then give me an example of a tool?”
- I said, “Get to work on time!” is a tool.
PRINCIPLE #3 –
Distinguishing between tools and rules is a matter of the perception held by the person receiving the instructions.
- Tell Tammy Jackson-Taylor’s story. (The Prophet Tammyliah)
- She initially perceived the directive to “Get to work on time.” as a rule.
- She expressed that she “had better do it since she was being paid to be there.”
- This is the perspective of the directions given being received as a rule.
- Tammy later found that being at work on time made her work day go better.
- Stress was reduced.
- She could organize her work day.
- And she now perceived “Be at work on time.” as an instruction that when followed resulted in benefits to her.
- That is the perspective of a tool.
INVITATION TO CHRISTIAN DISCIPLESHIP
God’s desire is for loving relationship with us and for us to have loving relationship with each other.
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