DAILY DISCIPLINE #130
By Colleen Donahue
We will look at "truth" in this study and man's willingness (or unwillingness) to hear and act upon it. When you read the first verse in this study - Matthew 7:6 - you might find it quite shocking. Is Jesus trying to be exclusive? Is he calling some people dogs and pigs? The answer is no to both questions. He is speaking these words to his disciples and giving them another tidbit of truth to save them from trouble later on.
Christ is acknowledging to them that there are people who will never accept God's truth. (Later in the parable of The Sower he talks with them again about those that don't or won't accept truth - Matthew 13:19). The Lord, who knows all men's hearts, knows that those who willfully choose to walk a certain way in their life will not be open to truth. Let's look at ......
Truth and Those Willing To Listen
Matthew 7:6, 24-27
Truth and Those Willing To Listen -Read Matthew 7:6
Day 1- Who are the people who will not be open to truth?
Proverbs 1:7 / Proverbs 18:2 / Isaiah 27:11b / Isaiah 30:9 / Isaiah 44:9-10 / Jeremiah 4:22 / Jeremiah 6:10 / Hosea 4:6 / Matthew 13:15
Day 2- How do they treat the truth when it's spoken to them?
2 Chronicles 30:10 / 2 Chronicles 36:16 / Job 21:14 / Psalm 50:17 / Zechariah 7:11-12 / Mark 7:9 / Titus 1:15-16/ 2 Peter 3:5 / Jude 10
Day 3- Therefore Jesus is comparing these men and women with the actions that a dog and a pig would take to truth. If you read your pet dog the Bible, he may look attentive but he has no perception of what you are telling him. If you throw a string of plastic beads into your pig's pen along with a string of real pearls, the pig will do the same with both of them. They will sniff with interest and then trample them into the mud. Sadly, the same is true of some men and women when they hear the words of God through the Bible, a sermon, a friend or other teaching of some sort. They are completely imperceptive to its truth. What should we do with this kind of person?
Proverbs 23:9 / Proverbs 26:4-5
Note: Proverbs 26:4-5 seems completely contradictory -- but it's not. Here is what Albert Barnes in his commentary on the Bible says of these two verses:
"These verses show two sides of a truth. To "answer a fool according to his folly" as spoken in verse 4 is to bandy words with him, to descend to his level of coarse anger and vile abuse; in Proverbs 26:5 it is to say the right word at the right time, to expose his unwisdom and untruth to others and to himself, not by a teaching beyond his reach, but by words that he is just able to apprehend."
Day 4- So this is a warning to us that these people will be among the audiences we may speak with during our life and that they are dangerous. They may take truth -- twist and turn it -- so that it does harm to you and others.
Proverbs 9:7-8 / Matthew 7:6b / 2 Timothy 3:1-5
Day 5- We are not to spend our energies on these fools but let the Lord deal with them in his own time.
Hebrews 10:26-31 / 2 Peter 2:9-10,13,17
Day 6- Does this mean that there is a whole group of people that are beyond the power of the gospel to change their heart? Are these people hopeless? While it is true that words have no effect on them, they may be won to Christ by the testimony of our lives. God's word lived out through our lives, even if a word is never spoken, is the most powerful testimony in the world. Our pet dog may not understand the Bible words we read to him but he can understand the love and care that we give to him and that is what our dog responds to - NOT the words.
Matthew 5:16 / 1 Peter 2:12
Day 7- A living witness speaks louder than words.
Mark 2:12 / Mark 5: 15-19 / John 9:8-9 / John 12:9 / Acts 4:14
Day 8- We are to "live" as Christ's followers before the world first and foremost. And when they ask about the faith we live by, how are we to respond?
1 Peter 3:15
Acting on Principle: Read - Matthew 7:24-27
Day 9- As in previous verses, Jesus is stressing the importance not only of hearing his words but putting them into practice. We may "hear" his words in a sermon, in a teaching, by reading a book or being in conversation with another. But God wants to speak to each of us daily through reading the Bible for ourselves -- and then through prayer. We can develop no greater habits in our lives than Bible study and prayer. These are the foundation rocks that Christ is talking about in Matthew 7:24-27.
Matthew 7:24 / John 8:31-32
Day 10- Why is God's Word to us ,as written in the Bible, such a sure foundation for our lives?
Psalm 119:89 / Matthew 24:35 / 2 Timothy 3:16 / 1 Peter 1:25
Day 11- The more we read God's Word and let it become a part of our heart, the more we will crave it.
Psalm 119:103 / Jeremiah 15:16 / 1 Peter 2:2
Day 12- While reading the Word is important, it is also necessary that we meditate on some part of the Word that the Holy Spirit has illuminated for us in our reading. In meditation we ponder and contemplate a particular verse until that becomes a part of the fabric of our life.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 / Deuteronomy 11:18-22 / Psalm 119:11
Day 13 - It is certain that we will have problems and adversities throughout our life. How will God's Word stored in our heart help us during these times?
Psalm 119:105 / Proverbs 6:23 / Romans 15:4
Day 14- What is certain about men who hear Christ's words but do not put them into practice?
Deuteronomy 11:26-28 / 1 Samuel 12:15 / 2 Chronicles 25:2 / Matthew 7:26-27 / Acts 28:26-27 / Hebrews 2:1-3 / James 4:17
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