DAILY DISCIPLINE #132
By Colleen Donahue

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Watch out! Beware! Peppered throughout the Lord's teaching to us are these warnings. In the world and sadly within the church there are "wolves dressed in sheep's clothing." The bad is mixed with the good and we must be able to tell the difference. Jesus gives us some guidelines in showing how .....

 

Belief is Exposed by Actions - Matthew 7:15-23

 

Day 1- Read first Matthew 7:15-20
This section begins with a command to watch out or beware of false prophets. In the Jewish world false prophets abounded and were usually referred to as wolves -- wolves that were dressed in sheep's clothing.

Day 2- This is a saying that we use even today. It gives us a picture of someone disguised as good, gentle and trusting when in fact they are liars, deceivers, and ready to do men evil.
Jeremiah 14:14 / Jeremiah 23:16 / Ezekiel 13:8 / Zephaniah 3:4
Now we don't have prophets as such today but we have plenty of authors, teachers, preachers and leaders who claim to write and speak God's truth on any number of topics.

Day 3- The basic fault of these false teachers, preachers and leaders is their self interest. Ambition for power, prestige or money is at the base of their words and actions. Here are some examples.
2 Samuel 15:1-6 / Jeremiah 6:13-14 / Jeremiah 23:11-12 / Micah 3: 11-12 / Ecclesiastes 6:7 / 1 Timothy 6:3-4

Day 4- There may also be an ignorance in these leaders by which they go off onto tangents with their teaching and become imbalanced.
1 Timothy 1:3-7 / 1 Timothy 4:1-4 / Isaiah 56:11-12

Day 5- How will we recognize these false teachers, preachers, and leaders?
Matthew 7:16-20

Day 6- A good leader will produce initiatives and actions that will serve for the good of the people and continually be working for them.
Ezekiel 47:12 / Jeremiah 23:4

Day 7- The good that why do for others will be consistently seen throughout their life.
Psalm 92: 12-14

Day 8 - The opposite will also be true. A bad leader will produce actions that will mainly benefit himself and often be a bitter pill for the people he leads.
Ezekiel 34:1-10 / James 3:16 / Galatians 6:7-8

We can see the character of a good leader by the example of Christ.....

Day 9- The people won't be without things that they need.
Psalm 23:1

Day 10- The people will be able to go about their daily lives in peace.
Psalm 23:2

Day 11- The people will sense their leaders have their best interest at heart.
Isaiah 40:11

Day 12- The people will see a willingness of the leaders to sacrifice for them.
John 10:11

Day 13- The people will know that they are protected.
2 Thessalonians 3:3

As Jesus so aptly sums it up: "We will know them by their fruits." Matthew 7:20

Day 14- In Christ's warning to watch out for false prophets, he is sadly saying that within the church body of believers there will be men and women that have selfish hearts disguised with a religious cloak. In these verses Jesus warns us that hypocrites will say and do things that look very religious and holy but it's all show. They operate under false pretences towards God and men by speech and actions that have the appearance of godliness while their hearts are full of self and sin.(Proverbs 26:23). Other men may be fooled but God is not. Throughout history there have been men and women giving false profession. What similarities do they display?
Psalm 78:35-36 / Isaiah 48:1 / Ezekiel 33:31-32 / Mark 7:6 / Titus 1:16 / Isaiah 58:1-5

Day 15- God poses a question to each one of us today and again at the end of our life.
Luke 6:46

Day 16- In other words, our obedience to God's will is what matters to God.
Deuteronomy 26:16 / Joshua 1:8 / 1 Samuel 15:22 / Matthew 12:50 / Romans 2:13 / James 1:22 / 1 John 2:3-6

Day 17- God will apply the service test to each of our words and actions.
Deuteronomy 10:13 / 1 John 3:18

Day 18- What we do for our fellow men, we actually do for Christ and thus God himself.
Matthew 25:35-36

Day 19- Those who feel they are too holy to get involved with a person needing our help are a stench in God's nostrils!
Isaiah 65:5

Day 20- They will be disowned by Christ on the day of judgment.
Luke 13:25-27 / Matthew 7:23

Day 21- And they will be treated the same as those that blatantly did evil during their lifetime.
Matthew 7:23b / Matthew 25:45-46

Day 22- The first main truth of this passage (Read: Matthew 7:21-23) is the importance of obedience in regards to God's will. But the second main truth that there will be a judgment for every man. We may fool others our entire lifetime but we can never fool God for even a day.
Jeremiah 2:35 / Romans 14:12 / 2 Corinthians 5:10

Day 23- How do you know that you are obeying God's will? You must first look at your real desire. Is it to do God's will with all of your heart so that He will be pleased? If this is your heart's attitude God will not allow you to miss His will.
Psalm 40:8 / Psalm 119:47

Day 24- Notice in Psalm 40:8 the last part of this verses says, "You law is within my heart." God's general will for every man and woman is written out for us in the Bible. If our desire is to do God's will, some time must be spent each day in His Word. His Word must become part of our thinking and stored within our heart.
Psalm 37:31 / Jeremiah 31:33-34 / Romans 7:22 / Jeremiah 15:16 / Deuteronomy 6:6 / Deuteronomy 11:18

Day 25- The more we hide God's word within our heart and minds, the less we will sin against Him.
Psalm 119:11, 105, 130

Day 26- When it comes to God's specific will for your life regarding who you should marry, where you should live, or what career path you will take, you'll need to ask God in prayer for His way in the matter. He will lead you along "level ground".
(Note: God does not lead us in wild, erratic pathways. If this seems to be the way your life goes, then you should question whether you are walking in God's will.) God does not want us to miss his will for our lives and so even if we don't quite know how to pray or what to ask for, He gives us a Helper -- the Holy Spirit who will intercede for us in accordance with God's will.
Romans 8:26-27

Day 27- So what remains for us is to give our heart to God, live each day in His will according to the light we have and to do it wholeheartedly.
Proverbs 23:26 / James 4:15 / Ephesians 6:7

Day 28 - When we walk through life with our eyes fixed on Jesus, He will be all the light we need for every step of our journey.
John 1:4 / John 8:12

 

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