Student BBQ

Have you ever heard the song “Overwhelmed” by Big Daddy Weave?  I strongly encourage you to listen to the song, it is on YouTube.  One version on YouTube has the words.  Are you overwhelmed by the Lord today?  Too often I realize I am underwhelmed as I forget all that He has done and who He is.

Thanks for praying for California Baptist University (CBU) volunteer mission team.  They have especially focused their time on one university and two English classes.  As often as possible the CBU students would meet with the Polish students after classes.  A BBQ was also planned and 70 students signed up.  It was awesome, because not only did they sign up, they came.

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From about 5pm until nearly 10pm there were lots of students chatting, eating, playing games, and having a great time.  I heard many wonderful spiritual conversations were also taking place.  Pray now for the follow-up with the Polish students who showed interest in spiritual things.

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Praise the Lord for His many blessings.  We are truly overwhelmed by what He is doing.

Thanks for praying

Sharing Our Faith II

The following is my sermon “draft”.  It is not a full scripted version of the message, but intended to be mostly full for me to seek a logical flow and content for the message.  This is long. Bold text is for PowerPoint slides, I hope it is not too “loud”.

Rooted & Growing Up
Sharing our Faith II

What are you excited about?
How excited are you about your relationship with God?

Have you ever thought about how being excited about your relationship with God would affect you and others? How about being so excited that you share your faith in Jesus with others.

Examples from the Bible of people excited about their faith enough to share it with others!

Peter and John were arrested and taken before the Jewish leaders because they were excited about their faith in Jesus. This was a bad situation, but to them the consequences didn’t matter, Peter and John were going to keep sharing the Gospel. Acts 4:19-20 But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it’s right in the sight of God for us to listen to you rather than to God, you decide; for we are unable to stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

They were sent home! Do you believe this encouraged the believers in Jerusalem? It excited them enough to pray for more boldness – Acts 4:23-31

Do you believe this inspired even some of the Jewish leaders to believe? Acts 6:7 large group of priests became obedient to the faith.”

Paul and Silas sitting in a terrible jail at midnight? Do we find them in Acts 16 feeling sorry for themselves? They must have felt the situation was hopeless, right? Acts 16:25 “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.”

Paul and Silas didn’t trust their feelings, the situation, or rely on others people for encouragement and hope. They had the Holy Spirit in them! How do you believe Paul and Silas’ response to the situation affected the other prisoners?

Are you excited about what God is doing in your life? Does this excitement just naturally spill into your conversations with others and into your actions every day?

Here is the core of the message today. I believe if we continue to seek a closer relationship with God through Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit, we will be so excited about what God is doing in us we will naturally share our faith with others. (Matthew 6:33,

If we are Rooted & Built Up, Ephesians 3:17, then nothing should really keep us from being excited about what God has done for us. When we are rooted on the Rock and growing spiritually, our foundation is secure, Matthew 7:24-27.

It sounds like to me that true believer will be more like Peter, John, Paul, and Silas who could not and would not stop sharing their faith!

Lets think about this for a minute. As a believer we really rarely have a truly terrible day. Evan a bad day with the Lord is a good day when we look to Him.

Even if we are going through a very difficult situation, God is there loving us. Even when we don’t feel His presence, He is there loving us. I realize this is sometimes easier to say and harder to believe in the middle of the situation, but it is still true.

Did God leave any of these men in their time of trouble? We are promised;  I will never leave you or forsake you! Hebrews 13:5, quote of Deut. 31:6  Who can separate us from the Love of Christ? Romans 8:35

These are examples of what happens believe if we continue to seek a closer relationship with God through Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit, we will be so excited about what God is doing in us we will naturally share our faith with others.

Preparing this message again forced me to search my heart.  Am I like the Disciples as they lived and shared their faith in Jesus? I continue to be convicted about how often I share my faith.

I ask myself again and I now ask you – when was that last time you told someone about your faith in Jesus? I believe if I am sharing my faith with other, like the Disciples, it is evidence of God’s working in my life. If I am not sharing my faith, it shows something is blocking my spiritual life.

I am not saying it is easy to share faith in Jesus with others, or that it is comfortable, or that it isn’t even a scary. What I do believe is that if you aren’t regularly sharing your faith with other people then something needs to change in our spiritual life.

If you are sharing your faith regularly, wonderful, but if you are not then why not? Spend a few seconds searching your heart. Why aren’t or don’t you share your faith in Jesus?

Here are a few typical reasons people say they don’t share their faith.
It isn’t my spiritual gift
I am shy
I don’t know what to say
I tried and failed, so I don’t try anymore
I am afraid _____________ ; of what they will say, that they will reject me, it will affect my job, people won’t like me, etc

Are any of these really valid reasons not to share our faith? When we remember what Jesus did for us? This alone is reason for us to be excited about sharing out faith. We deserve death and eternity in hell separated from God, but instead Jesus died for our sins.

I believe if we continue to seek a closer relationship with God through Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit, we will be so excited about what God is doing in us we will naturally share our faith with others.

But to be honest here are some of the reasons I believe we truly don’t share our faith more often in word and action.           Not really a believer – don’t care people are dying without a personal relationship with Jesus.  Don’t believe there are consequences – for us or others.  Not seeking a close relationship with the Lord

Practical Issues
Relationships are required
Relationships with unbelievers
Do we ever go to meet them on their “turf”?

I believe if we continue to seek a closer relationship with God through Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit, we will be so excited about what God is doing in us we will naturally share our faith with others.

Lets look at Romans 10:1-17. This passage is way to full to explore in-depth, but I believe there are some important truths we can learn in the little time left.

How to share our faith? Practical ideas.
#1       Prayer            v 1      What is my hearts desire? What am I excited about? Paul was excited about praying for the salvation of his fellow Jews. Paul not only prayed for them, but also went and shared his faith with them at great cost to himself.
There is only one other prayer for lost people in the Bible, 1 Timothy 2:1 “First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone,”. For a long time it didn’t make sense why we are not taught more in the Bible about praying or the lost. I believe this is true because praying for the lost is a natural desire when our hearts are full of the Holy Spirit.

#2       Literal Transformation     v 2-3 (Matthew 7:21-23, Galatians 2:20, Romans 12:2)
Testify – personal experience.
Zeal – boiling for God
They had no testimony.
I believe Paul is making it clear our words and our own actions are not enough to make us righteous and right with God.  We require a personal experience with Jesus, to know Him by experience.  Everyone must have a personal knowledge of faith, a relationship with Jesus.  It must be based on God’s righteousness and the only way that happens is by our total submission to God’s righteousness.

#3       All about faith in Jesus       v 4-7               Deut 30:11-13
Jesus said He fulfilled the law, Matthew 5:17. We are no longer required to obey the Law legalistically, by our works, but can now live it through believing in Jesus our Savior.
v5 = Leviticus 18:5
v 6-7   Faith is about believing in the one who did what we needed to bring Righteousness. Lack of faith is questioning in our heart who will go for us. Apparently Jesus is not far away up, or down from us.

#4       Filled with the Holy Spirit            v 8                   Deut 30:14
What does “righteousness that comes from faith (v6)” say? Faith is not theoretical. Faith is having a personal experience, testimony, or first-hand knowledge – v2. It is surrendering to God’s righteousness by faith v3. It is placing your faith in the Savior, Jesus Christ, v4.
When faith is our living experience the following are true as evidence.
1. The message is faith in Jesus, and He is right here.
2. The message come freely from our mouth (Matthew 12:34)
3. Because the message is in our heart
When we have living faith we have personally experienced a transformation through salvation.   Evidence of transformation and a growing relationship with God through Jesus is when v8 is true for me.

Here is how it works!
#5       The message                        v 9-11 Faith that Jesus is Lord and was raised from the dead!

#6       The result                 v 12-13
Salvation for any and all who call on Him. An important detail is that the word call can also be translated petition or make a request and it is not just a one-time action. We continually require a time of surrendering to God’s will (v3) as we make our petition or request through Jesus.

#7       The messenger        v 14-15
We don’t have time to explore this at all. Do you remember Isaiah’s response to a similar situation? Isaiah 6:8 “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying: Who should I send? Who will go for Us? I said: Here I am. Send me.” Is this your response as well?

#8       Literal Transformation II v 16-17
Paul then inserts a harsh truth. “But all did not obey the gospel.” Clearly to me it that it is not enough to just hear about Jesus, say we believe in Jesus, and do what we believe is God’s will (v2-3). In the end we must not only hear the message, say we believe the message, but also obey God’s will, the gospel, the good new of Jesus as Lord who was raised from the dead”. This is only true when we have a personal relationship with God through experiencing personal salvation.

So what exactly does it mean to share my faith? Romans 10:8
    Step 1 Rooted, surrender to God’s Righteousness
Step 2 Pray, study God’s Word, keep seeking
Step 3 Be prepared always; full of the Spirit, full of a fresh experience in God’s word, formal training in Evangelism,
Step 4 Intentionally build relationships; serve others, earn the respect to share, make sure actions and words match.
Step 5 Be persistent and never give up = return to Step 1

I believe it is different in every situation, conversation and for every person. It is when God through the Holy Spirit is directing us. Matthew 10:19-20

I have never met someone who asked me directly – how can I be saved? But many days I realize I am sharing my faith when I help someone in some way, when I pray for someone silently, when I tell them I am praying for them, when I ask them how I can pray for them, when I praise the Lord in their presence for some little thing He has done, and sometimes I get to sit down with someone who wants to hear lots about my Jesus.

Serving others
Praying for others
Building relationships with others
Telling them what excites you – fresh testimony

Too often I believe we think God expects us to present some kind of perfect gospel presentation with verses and amazing illustrations. Too often we believe we are expected to convince and convert people with our words of testimony. Too often we wait for the perfect situation to share our faith.

I believe only satan wants to convince us of these partial-truths.

I believe if we continue to seek a closer relationship with God through Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit, we will be so excited about what God is doing in us we will naturally share our faith with others.

The problem is not seeking constantly a closer relationship with the Lord.   When seeking the Lord we are full of the Holy Spirit. I want to be full of the Holy Spirit and my own selfish desires. Only when a believer is full of the Holy Spirit can the rest of the desires in life remain under God’s control.

But I believe there is a simple, but hard solution.

Last week Luke challenged us to understand “our treasure” out of Matthew 6. He reminded us that our heart is where our treasure is – in heaven or on earth. I believe what we are excited about reveals much about our treasure. Don’t we like to talk about our treasure, what excites us?

I believe God continues to show me how I still like to build up treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy. My heart’s greatest desire is not based on God’s will. My heart has to many desires that are in conflict. Some of mine are; to much food, more bicycles, and a general lack of self-control.   I could go on, but will stop with these.

When I make sure to put God first in my life everyday, He makes me ready to be used in other people’s lives. A secondary benefit is my life is better in every way when I put God first.

I believe I put God first by choosing my first clear thought each morning to be putting God first. When I do this my next thought is nearly always a desire to spend time in prayer and time in God’s Word before the other things that day. This doesn’t always work because some days I want to choose to put God first, but I don’t and choose to put Him down the list. Worse are the days I don’t even want to put Him first.

When I do put God first, I look back at the end of the day and say how wonderful is our God. On these days, they are more often now than in the distant past, I look back and see in what ways God used me to share my faith in Jesus.

Sharing our faith is to be more about sharing our testimony than sharing information. Acts 4:33.  It is the natural result of our relationship with God.

Why am I excited about what God has done for me? What has He done? Have I forgotten?  Remember as a new believer when you were excited about your faith?  What happened? Not a new believer every day!

What is the goal of the message?     Encourage how to daily be filling by the Holy Spirit so that being the gospel is Jesus-natural, authentic, based on relationship, lived in action and in word.
What is God’s will for the message? Love = obey Him including sharing our testimony of what He has done.
What is the application in the message? Every believer inviting people into their life – and intro to Jesus intentionally and Jesus-naturally along the way.

Sharing our faith.

(Extremely abbreviated version of the message)

Generally what we are excited about is more likely to get other people’s interest. The opposite is also true.

Have you ever thought about how being excited about your relationship with God would affect you and others? How about being so excited that you share your faith in Jesus with others.

Peter and John, Acts 4:19-20 Do you believe their experience encouraged the believers? Prayed for more boldness, Acts 4:23-31

Core of the message today. If we continue to be full of the Holy Spirit then we will be so excited about our growing relationship with God, we will naturally share our faith with others.

Paul & Silas, Acts 16:25, didn’t trust their feelings, the situation, or rely on others people for hope. They had the Holy Spirit in them!

Evan a bad day with the Lord is a good day when we look to Jesus. Whatever is God’s plan it is for my good and His glory, James 1:2-4.

When we are rooted on the Rock and growing spiritually, our foundation is secure, Matthew 7:24-27.

When things get hard lets keep in mind Peter, John, Paul and Silas (Acts 16:25). How about Stephen, Acts 7:54-60, and the greatest example of all – Jesus and all that He suffered to be God’s Grace for us. Hebrews 12:2

When was that last time you told someone about your faith in Jesus? I believe if I am sharing my faith with other, like the Disciples, it is evidence of God’s working in my life.

Reasons I have not more automatically shared my faith.

  1. I am not remaining close to the Lord (John 15:1-8)
  2. I don’t believe there are consequences; for me or others
  3. I expect others to do the job
  4. I really don’t care enough
  5. When it isn’t easy I think it isn’t; the right time, etc.

Are any of these really valid reasons not to share our faith? When we remember what Jesus did for us? We deserve death and eternity in hell, but instead Jesus died for our sins.

Lets look at Romans 10:1-17. Brief outline

#1 Prayer, v 1

#2 True Transformation, v 2-3 (Matt 7:21-23, Gal 2:20, Rom 12:2)

#3 All about faith in Jesus, v 4-7

#4 Filled with the Holy Spirit, v 8   The message is inside us – Jesus!

#5 The message, v 9-11      Jesus is Lord and resurrected!

#6 The result, v 12-13         Salvation for all who petition Him.

#7 The messenger, v 14-15               Isaiah 6:8; is this your response?

#8 Literal Transformation II, v 16-17   Obedience required

I believe I put God first by choosing my first clear thought each morning to be putting God first. When I do this my next thought is nearly always a desire to spend time in prayer and time in God’s Word before the other things that day. This doesn’t always work because some days I want to choose to put God first, but I don’t and choose to put Him down the list.

Too often I believe we think God expects us to present a perfect gospel presentation with verses, amazing illustrations. Too often we wait for the perfect situation to share our faith.

Deut. 6:4-6     Love God with everything and share Him with others.

Steps to naturally sharing our faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Step 1 Be Rooted (Matthew 7:24-27)
Step 2 Pray    (Romans 10:1, Matthew 9:38)
Step 3 Be prepared always; full of the Spirit, full of a fresh experience in God’s word, formal training in Evangelism
Step 4 Intentionally build relationships; serve others, earn the respect and right to share, make sure actions and words match.
Step 5 Be persistent and never give up

Importance of 1 Degree

Lets imagine you went to a big sporting event by car.   You parked with the thousands of people in a huge parking lot. The game ends (in your team’s favor of course) and you begin the process of returning to your car. If you know exactly what direction to walk from the correct exit you will find your car. What happens if you are 1 degree angle or more off of the exact direction?

I know not everyone likes math problems, but if you want to find your car and get home after the game then we need to do a little math. In order to make the calculations we need to establish a few facts. Thankfully this is a hypothetical example and we can choose easy numbers. The car is 100 yards from the stadium exit. The exact direction is 0 degrees.

So if you walk 0 degrees for 100 yards, you will literally bump into the car. Have you ever walked perfectly straight in a parking lot to your car? It is impossible.

What happens if you are 10 degrees off of the perfect direction? Walk 100 yards just 10 degree angle off of perfect and you will be over 17 yards (more than 52 feet) from your car, and you don’t know which direction in the dark. Lets try to find your car.

Parking spaces are about (Wikipedia) 16 feet long. In the end you are three parking spaces from your car and thankfully you can probably find it from this distance.

Now lets make it more personal. You attend a huge conference hall with your 6th grader. You leave them at a booth to go to the bathroom 200 feet away. If you are just ten degrees off in your return, you will miss finding your child by 35 feet. Only one degree off and you are still 3 and a half feet off the mark.

What about something that is one mile away? One degree off at this distance and you are over 92 feet from your goal.

Have I convinced you that one degree can be really significant? Next time we will apply this to our spiritual lives. I think you will find this is really important, important enough to change your life.

1 Degree Principle Introduction

For a few years I believe the Lord has been teaching me a principle related to living and God’s will.

Actually this principle is rooted in a much longer-term spiritual learning concept for me – God’s will, God’s way. For about 10 years I have been seeking the Lord’s direction for what it means to live according to not only God’s will, but also as He designed and therefore God’s way. The 1 Degree Principle is one important part of God’s will, God’s way, but only one part.

I think my pondering over the 1 degree started when I was preparing messages on the Sermon on the Mount at the InterNational Church of Wroclaw (INCW). Primarily Matthew 5:48 caught my attention as most translations of the Bible say “be perfect”.

Though it is true the verb in verse 48 is in the future tense, therefore it is that we “will be made perfect”, and I learned it is more about being mature and or complete, it still remains that there is a spiritual type of path for believers.

Add John 14:6 with Matthew 7:13-23 and we get an even better, I believe, idea of the overall process Jesus was teaching. He is the “way” and we are to follow Him (Matthew 16:24).   Jesus implies in Matthew 7 that He is the spiritual “narrow” way, and stating it another way He is the perfect way or path.

That led to me wondering what happens when I fail to follow, as it were perfectly, Jesus according to God’s will (Matthew 7:21-23)?  Thankfully it is by God’s grace, not only for salvation, but also the long-term process of making us “mature and complete to lack nothing” (James 1:2-3) that any of us can spiritually follow Jesus at any time or in any way (read Romans 7:13-25 for an example).  In the end it is God who is truly doing the “hard work” of making it possible for any of us to follow Jesus.

Always keeping God’s grace in mind, it still remains that whenever I swerve even 1 degree from obedience to God’s will, ie following Jesus, I am going down the wrong path. It seems so minor at first to be only a tiny bit off of following Jesus, but the long-term affects can be catastrophic.

My intent is to continue to hone my understanding of this principle as I seek the Lord for His insight on the subject through the Holy Spirit. In response to the search I also intend to begin documenting not only what I learn, but how it affects us in application as well.

I would be honored if you feel led by the Lord to join me in this journey so don’t hesitate to write any comments, insights, suggestions, and or kind disagreement.

Serving Our Savior

Aiming for the Best.

It is said that the “road to hell is paved by good intentions”. As I start this very “overdue” post I reflect on my good intentions of many kinds.

I comfort myself with the idea that my good intentions were a series of some kind of experimentation. Though this is somewhat true, I am concerned that the greatest truth is that I too often fail to make the best use of my time.

How does the spectrum of bad to best work? This is a question to ponder. It occurs to me that it is quite rare that most of us choose the bad side of this spectrum. My guess is that most of us fall in the ok to good area. Does this area leave a bad taste in your mouth?

I am reminded of what the Bible says God will do with everyone in the ok to good area of the spectrum, Revelation 3:16-18. Without going into a deep discussion I hear the need for a focus on the area of the spectrum from good to best or great.

We are told in this passage how to live in the good to great spectrum. I believe it is teaching us to not be satisfied with the lesser and to seek God for the greater. This is easy to say and more challenging to do. This also opens up a huge discussion to which I have too few answers. The one answer I believe summarizes them all is the necessity to repent and surrender everything to God.

As I wrap up this short foray of thoughtful meandering, I think a summary is prudent.

I believe Solomon already pondered and revealed the summary – Ecclesiastes 12:9-14.

Our last six months

I just looked and it has been about six months since I have written.  A lot has happened in these months.  We prepared our Wroclaw apartment for our departure and moved for seven months to Richland, Washington.

We hit the ground running as we served at two Columbia Basin Baptist Association camps: girls and youth.  Then we made our families a priority by spending a month with them.  For me this included about two weeks at our cabin with my parent, brother, sister-in-law, and twin 1.5 year old nephews.

Starting in September we went into speaking mode.  Every Sunday we are speaking at a church until just before Christmas.  Also during this time I have represented the IMB in Alaska and Montana, and we attended DiscipleShift 1 training in Post Falls, ID.  I also completed my first Triathlon during this time, it went well.

Our last trip was to share at the Northwest Baptist Convention senior adult retreat meeting at Canon Beach, OR.  We had a great time leading the Bible study times starting at 7:30am and sharing with everyone what the Lord has us doing in Wroclaw, Poland.

A unique activity at the retreat for me was to run five miles barefoot on the beach, the weather was great, and then to change my clothes and get on my mountain bike and ride eight miles on the beach as well.  It was fun, but tiring.  I did both back-to-back because I was concerned the weather would go bad the next day, and it did.

The most exciting thing at the retreat, on top of studying the Great Commission each morning together, was to share our dream of a Multi-National Church Planting Team.  Denise and I are convinced that a team of retirees will be ideal church planters.  At this stage we are sharing the vision.  God has already revealed interest so we will keep sharing and preparing.  More on this in the future.

At the end of our last trip we shared at a Missions Conference in Springfield, OR.  It was a great three days as we shared about Wroclaw and Multi-National Church Planting.

While in Springfield we reconnected with longtime prayer supporters.  It was our joy to learn about one of their new business adventures – Cosmos Creations.  I strongly encourage you to find and buy their puffed corn products wherever you can find them, for example they sell Carmel flavored Cosmos Creations at Costco.

Today we started our next adventure.  We woke at 4am and will arrive in Richmond, VA later today some time.  Tomorrow we start a week long debriefing conference.  We attend these a minimum of every five years, so essentially every time we return to the states.

This meeting, we believe, may have special significance for us and yet we have no idea how.  We are trusting the Lord to continue to lead us according to His will.  It is so liberating to not feel like we have to control our present or future.  God takes care of those if we continue to seek Him and His will.

Is there something you would like me to share more about?  Please let me know any suggestions.

Jesus’ Command Verbs in the Sermon on the Mount

“All that I commanded you” Matthew 28:20
Sermon on the Mount

These are all the commands in the S on the M.    51 verbs out of

Imitation is the greatest form of flattery!
Why would we want to do what Jesus says?  How can we do what Jesus taught?  Why don’t we often do what Jesus taught?

5:12    Rejoice    Definition: rejoice, am glad; also a salutation: Hail.
(from the root word, “favorably disposed, leaning towards” which is the basis for the word, “grace”) – properly, to delight in God’s grace (“rejoice”) – literally, to experience God’s grace (favor), be conscious (glad) for His grace.

5:12    Exalt        Definition: exult, am full of joy.
(from the words, “much, very” and, “jump, leap”) – properly, getting so glad one jumps in celebration; to exult (boast) because so experientially joyful.

5:16    (let) Shine    Definition: shine, give light.

5:24    leave        Definition: (a) send away, (b) let go, release, permit to depart, (c) remit, forgive, (d) permit, suffer.
(from the words, “away from” and, “send”) – properly, send away; release (discharge).

5:24    go away    Definition: go away, depart, begone, die.
(from, “under” and, “lead away”) – properly, to lead away under someone’s authority (mission, objective).  (literally, “going under”) indicates a change of relation which is only defined by the context.

5:24    be reconciled    Definition: change, exchange; reconcile, change enmity for friendship.
(from, “thoroughly,” intensifying, “experience change”) – properly, to reconcile (reach mutual concession), i.e. where people in conflict come together through meaningful change (used only in Mt 5:24).

5:25    Be (reconciled)    Definition: am, exist.
(the basic Greek verb which expresses being, i.e. “to be”) – am, is and its counterparts, (properly) convey “straight-forward” being (existence, i.e. without explicit limits).

5:29    Pluck (out eye)    Definition: take out, remove
(from, “completely out from,” intensifying, “personally choose, prefer”) – properly, remove completely (“totally out from”), i.e. bring into a “complete rescue (full removal).”

5:29    Cast         Definition: (a) cast, throw, rush, (b) often, in the weaker sense: place, put, drop.

5:30    Cut off        Definition: cut out (off, away), remove, prevent.
(from, “out from and to” and, “cut”) – properly, cut off (out) and left to the inevitable outcome: (figuratively) entirely remove (cut off), emphasizing complete detachment (removal, severance).

5:30    Cast         Same as in 5:29

5:31    Give (let him)    Definition: offer, give; put, place.

5:37    Be (let it)    Same as in 5:25

5:39    Turn        Definition: turn, am converted, change, change my direction.
Properly, to turn (transition); (figuratively) to convert by changing (switching) direction, i.e. go the other way (an “about-face”); taking an opposite or divergent course.  Usually has a straightforward meaning (“turn”), graphically illustrating dynamic change (transitioning). See Mt 18:3 and Jn 12:40.

5:40    Yeild (cloak)        Definition: (a) send away, (b) let go, release, permit to depart, (c) remit, forgive.      (from, “away from” and, “send”) – properly, send away; release (discharge).

5:41    Go        Definition: I go away, depart, begone, die.
5217 hypágō (from 5259 /hypó, “under” and 71 /ágō, “lead away”) – properly, to lead away under someone’s authority (mission, objective). 5217 /hypágō (literally, “going under”) indicates a change of relation which is only defined by the context.

5:42    Give        Same as in 5:31

5:44    Love        Definition: love, wish well to, take pleasure in, long for; denotes the love of reason, esteem.
agapáō – properly, to prefer, to love; for the believer, preferring to “live through Christ” (1 Jn 4:9,10), i.e. embracing God’s will (choosing His choices) and obeying them through His power.  Preeminently refers to what God prefers as He “is love” (1 Jn 4:8,16).  See Strong’s number 26 (agapē).
With the believer, 25 /agapáō (“to love”) means actively doing what the Lord prefers, with Him (by His power and direction). True 25 /agapáō (“loving”) is always defined by God – a “discriminating affection which involves choice and selection”. 1 Jn 4:8,16,17 for example convey how loving is Christ living His life through the believer.

5:44    Pray        Definition: pray, pray for, offer prayer.
(from, “towards, exchange” and, “to wish, pray”) – properly, to exchange wishes; pray – literally, to interact with the Lord by switching human wishes (ideas) for His wishes as He imparts faith (“divine persuasion”). Accordingly, praying is closely inter-connected with “faith” in the NT. See: Ac 6:5,6,14:22,23; Eph 6:16-18; Col 1:3,4; 2 Thes 3:1,2; Js 5:13-15; Jude 20.

5:44    Bless        Definition: (literally – speak well of) bless; pass: am blessed.
(from, “well, good” and, “word, reason”) – properly, to speak (reason) which confers benefit; hence, bless.  (“confer what is beneficial”) is used of God blessing people (Lk 1:28; Eph 1:3; Heb 6:14, etc.) – and His people blessing Him (Lk 1:64, 2:28, 24:53; 1 Cor 14:16; Js 3:9).

6:1    Beware    Definition: (a) attend to, pay attention to, (b) beware, am cautious, (c) join, devote myself to.
(from, “towards” and, “have”) – properly, have towards, i.e. to give full attention; to set a course and keep to it.

6:3    Know (let)        Definition: am taking in knowledge, come to know, learn; or: ascertained, realized.
ginṓskō – properly, to know, especially through personal experience (first-hand acquaintance). (“experientially know”) is used for example in Lk 1:34, “And Mary [a virgin] said to the angel, ‘How will this be since I do not know (= sexual intimacy) a man?'”

6:6    Enter        Definition: go in, come in, enter.
(from, “into, unto” and, “come”) – properly, come into, go (enter) into; (figuratively) to enter into for an important purpose – for the believer, doing so to experience the result of the Lord’s eternal blessing.

6:6    Pray        Same as in 5:44

6:9    Pray        same as 6:6

6:9    Hallowed be        Definition: make holy, treat as holy, set apart as holy, sanctify, hallow, purify.
(from, “holy”) – to regard as special (sacred), i.e. holy (“set apart”), sanctify.

6:10    Come (let)        Definition: come, go.

6:10    Done (let be)        Definition: come into being, am born, become, come about, happen.
(properly, to emerge, become, transitioning from one point (realm, condition) to another, fundamentally means “become” (becoming, became) so it is not an exact equivalent to the ordinary equative verb “to be” (is, was, will be).

6:11    Give    Definition: offer, give; put, place.

6:12    Forgive (first one of God)    Definition: (a) send away, (b) let go, release, permit to depart, (c) remit, forgive, (d) permit, suffer.        (from, “away from” and, “send”) – properly, send away; release (discharge).

6:13    Deliver    Definition: rescue, deliver (from danger or destruction).
(from, “draw to oneself”) – properly, draw (pull) to oneself; to rescue (“snatch up”); to draw or rescue a person to and for the deliverer.
In Mt 6:13 (“the Lord’s Prayer”), is used in the closing sentence, “Deliver us from evil” – i.e. “Deliver me to Yourself and for Yourself.” That is, “Lord deliver me out of my (personal) pains and bring me to You and for You.”

6:16    Be    (not the same as in 5:2)    Definition: come into being, am born, become, come about, happen.
Properly, to emerge, become, transitioning from one point (realm, condition) to another. Fundamentally means “become” (becoming, became) so it is not an exact equivalent to the ordinary equative verb “to be” (is, was, will be).

6:17    Anoint        Definition: anoint: festively, in homage, medicinally, or in anointing the dead.
Properly, to rub or smear olive oil on the body, is the ordinary term used for physically anointing the body with (olive) oil. Anointing brought healing and relief and hence became synonymous with gladness (festivity).

6:17    Wash        Definition: wash; wash my own (hands, etc.).

6:19 (not) Store Up        Definition: store up, treasure up, save, lay up.
Properly, to put away, “store up”; lay aside treasure, built up (accumulated) for the day of future recompense.  The word thesaurus.

6:20    (do) Store Up        Same as 6:19

6:25    (not) Be Anxious        Definition: am over-anxious; am anxious about, care for.
(from, “a part, as opposed to the whole”) – properly, drawn in opposite directions; “divided into parts”; (figuratively) “to go to pieces” because pulled apart (in different directions), like the force exerted by sinful anxiety (worry). Positively, is used of effectively distributing concern, in proper relation to the whole picture (cf. 1 Cor 12:25; Phil 2:20).

6:26    Look        Definition: look into (upon); consider; see clearly.
(from, “engaged in” and, “look”) – properly, stare (look) at with a “locked-in gaze”; look at in a sustained, concentrated way, i.e. with special “interest, love or concern”.

6:28    Observe    Definition: understand, take in a fact about, consider carefully.
(from, “down to a point, exactly according to,” which intensifies, “learn”) – properly, thoroughly (exactly) learn; to grasp something conclusively by considering it carefully.  It is only used in Mt 6:28.

6:33    Seek        Definition: seek, search for, desire, require, demand.
properly, to seek by inquiring; to investigate to reach a binding (terminal) resolution; to search, “getting to the bottom of a matter.”

7:1    Judge        Definition: (a) judge, whether in a law-court or privately: (b) decide, think (it) good.
properly, to separate (distinguish), i.e. judge; come to a choice (decision, judgment) by making a judgment – either positive (a verdict in favor of) or negative (which rejects or condemns).

7:4    Permits        Same as in 5:24 & 40 also 6:12,14,15

7:4    Behold        Definition: see, look upon, experience, perceive, discern, beware.
properly, see, often with metaphorical meaning: “to see with the mind” (i.e. spiritually see), i.e. perceive (with inward spiritual perception).

7:5    Cast Out        Definition: I throw (cast, put) out; I banish; I bring forth, produce.

7:7    Ask        Definition: ask, request, petition, demand.

7:7    Seek        Definition: seek, search for, desire, require, demand.
properly, to seek by inquiring; to investigate to reach a binding (terminal) resolution; to search, “getting to the bottom of a matter.”

7:7    Knock        Definition: knock, beat a door with a stick, to gain admittance.

7:12    Do        Definition: (a) make, manufacture, construct, (b) do, act, cause.

7:13    Enter        Same as in 5:20, see 6:6, 7:21

7:15    Beware    Definition: (a) attend to, pay attention to, (b) beware, am cautious, (c) join, devote myself to.
(from, “towards” and, “have”) – properly, have towards, i.e. to give full attention; to set a course and keep to it.
7:23    Depart    Definition: go away, depart, withdraw.

 

The same verbs with the Greek details.

5:12    Rejoice    Definition: I rejoice, am glad; also a salutation: Hail.
5463 xaírō (from the root xar-, “favorably disposed, leaning towards” and cognate with 5485 /xáris, “grace”) – properly, to delight in God’s grace (“rejoice”) – literally, to experience God’s grace (favor), be conscious (glad) for His grace.
5463 /xaírō (“glad for grace”) has a direct “etymological connection with xaris (grace)” (DNTT, 2, 356). S. Zodhiates (Dict, 1467) likewise comments that 5479 /xará (“joy”) and 5485 /xáris (“grace”) are cognate with 5463 /xaírō (“to rejoice”), i.e. all share the same root and therefore the same core (fundamental) meaning.
[The etymological link between 5463 /xaírō (“rejoice”), 5479 /xará (“joy”) and 5485 /xáris (“grace”) – i.e. that they are all cognates – is brought out by LS (p 1,976), Zod (Dict), CBL, Wigram’s Englishman’s Greek Concordance (Ed. Ralph Winters), Word Study Greek-English NT (Tyndale, Ed. Paul McReynolds); see also DNTT (2,356) and TDNT (9; 359,60).

5:12    Exalt        Definition: I exult, am full of joy.
21 agalliáō (from agan, “much, very” and 242 /hállomai, “jump, leap”) – properly, getting so glad one jumps in celebration; to exult (boast) because so experientially joyful.

5:16    let Shine    Definition: I shine, give light.

5:24    leave        Definition: (a) I send away, (b) I let go, release, permit to depart, (c) I remit, forgive, (d) I permit, suffer.    863 aphíēmi (from 575 /apó, “away from” and hiēmi, “send”) – properly, send away; release (discharge).

5:24    go away    Definition: I go away, depart, begone, die.
5217 hypágō (from 5259 /hypó, “under” and 71 /ágō, “lead away”) – properly, to lead away under someone’s authority (mission, objective). 5217 /hypágō (literally, “going under”) indicates a change of relation which is only defined by the context.

5:24    be reconciled    Definition: I change, exchange; I reconcile, change enmity for friendship.
1259 diallássō (from 1223 /diá, “thoroughly,” intensifying 236 /allássō, “experience change”) – properly, to reconcile (reach mutual concession), i.e. where people in conflict come together through meaningful change (used only in Mt 5:24).
1259 /diallássō (“be reconciled”) ends needless hostility – an idea absent from 2644 /katallássō (so J. B. Lightfoot, Notes, 288).  [1259 (diallássō) sometimes appears as 1259 (diallássō).]

5:25    Be (reconciled)    Definition: I am, exist.
1510 eimí (the basic Greek verb which expresses being, i.e. “to be”) – am, is. 1510 (eimí), and its counterparts, (properly) convey “straight-forward” being (existence, i.e. without explicit limits).
1510 /eimí (“is, am”) – in the present tense, indicative mood – can be time-inclusive (“omnitemporal,” like the Hebrew imperfect tense). Only the context indicates whether the present tense also has “timeless” implications. For example, 1510 (eimí) is aptly used in Christ’s great “I am” (ego eimi  . . . ) that also include His eternality (self-existent life) as our life, bread, light,” etc. See Jn 7:34, 8:58, etc.
Example: Jn 14:6: “I am (1510 /eimí) the way, the truth and the life.” Here 1510 (eimí) naturally accords with the fact Christ is eternal – maning “I am (was, will be).” The “I am formula (Gk egō eimi)” harks back to God’s only name, “Yahweh” (OT/3068, “the lord”) – meaning “He who always was, is, and will be.” Compare Jn 8:58 with Ex 3:14. See also Rev 4:8 and 2962 /kýrios (“Lord”).

5:29    Pluck (out eye)    Definition: I take out, remove; sometimes (mid): I choose, sometimes: I rescue.
1807 eksairéō (from 1537 /ek, “completely out from,” intensifying 138 /hairéomai, “personally choose, prefer”) – properly, remove completely (“totally out from”), i.e. bring into a “complete rescue (full removal).”  [1807 (eksairéō) emphasizes total removal (“wholly out from”). This refers to a complete rescue, bringing a person into full deliverance.]
5:29    Cast         Definition: (a) I cast, throw, rush, (b) often, in the weaker sense: I place, put, drop.

5:30    Cut off        Definition: I cut out (off, away), remove, prevent.
1581 ekkóptō (from 1537 /ek, “out from and to” and 2875 /kóptō, “cut”) – properly, cut off (out) and left to the inevitable outcome: (figuratively) entirely remove (cut off), emphasizing complete detachment (removal, severance).

5:30    Cast         Definition: (a) I cast, throw, rush, (b) often, in the weaker sense: I place, put, drop.

5:31    Give (let him)    Definition: I offer, give; I put, place.

5:37    Be (let it)        Definition: I am, exist.        See 5:25

5:39    Turn        Definition: I turn, am converted, change, change my direction.
4762 stréphō – properly, to turn (transition); (figuratively) to convert by changing (switching) direction, i.e. go the other way (an “about-face”); taking an opposite or divergent course. 4762 (stréphō) usually has a straightforward meaning (“turn”), graphically illustrating dynamic change (transitioning). See Mt 18:3 and Jn 12:40.

5:40    Yeild (cloak)        Definition: (a) I send away, (b) I let go, release, permit to depart, (c) I remit, forgive, (d) I permit, suffer.      863 aphíēmi (from 575 /apó, “away from” and hiēmi, “send”) – properly, send away; release (discharge).

5:41    Go        Definition: I go away, depart, begone, die.
5217 hypágō (from 5259 /hypó, “under” and 71 /ágō, “lead away”) – properly, to lead away under someone’s authority (mission, objective). 5217 /hypágō (literally, “going under”) indicates a change of relation which is only defined by the context.

5:42    Give        Definition: I offer, give; I put, place.

5:44    Love        Definition: I love, wish well to, take pleasure in, long for; denotes the love of reason, esteem.
Cognate: 25 agapáō – properly, to prefer, to love; for the believer, preferring to “live through Christ” (1 Jn 4:9,10), i.e. embracing God’s will (choosing His choices) and obeying them through His power. 25 (agapáō) preeminently refers to what God prefers as He “is love” (1 Jn 4:8,16). See 26 (agapē).
With the believer, 25 /agapáō (“to love”) means actively doing what the Lord prefers, with Him (by His power and direction). True 25 /agapáō (“loving”) is always defined by God – a “discriminating affection which involves choice and selection” (WS, 477). 1 Jn 4:8,16,17 for example convey how loving (“preferring,” 25 /agapáō) is Christ living His life through the believer.

5:44    Pray        Definition: I pray, pray for, offer prayer.
4336 proseúxomai (from 4314 /prós, “towards, exchange” and 2172/euxomai, “to wish, pray”) – properly, to exchange wishes; pray – literally, to interact with the Lord by switching human wishes (ideas) for His wishes as He imparts faith (“divine persuasion”). Accordingly, praying (4336/proseuxomai) is closely inter-connected with 4102 /pístis (“faith”) in the NT. See: Ac 6:5,6,14:22,23; Eph 6:16-18; Col 1:3,4; 2 Thes 3:1,2; Js 5:13-15; Jude 20.

5:44    Bless        Definition: (lit: I speak well of) I bless; pass: I am blessed.
2127 eulogéō (from 2095 /eú, “well, good” and 3056 /lógos, “word, reason”) – properly, to speak (reason) which confers benefit; hence, bless.
2127 /eulogéō (“confer what is beneficial”) is used of God blessing people (Lk 1:28; Eph 1:3; Heb 6:14, etc.) – and His people blessing Him (Lk 1:64, 2:28, 24:53; 1 Cor 14:16; Js 3:9).

6:1    Beware    Definition: (a) I attend to, pay attention to, (b) I beware, am cautious, (c) I join, devote myself to.
4337 proséxō (from 4314 /prós, “towards” and 2192 /éxō, “have”) – properly, have towards, i.e. to give full attention; to set a course and keep to it.

6:3    Know (let)        Definition: I am taking in knowledge, come to know, learn; aor: I ascertained, realized.
1097 ginṓskō – properly, to know, especially through personal experience (first-hand acquaintance). 1097 /ginṓskō (“experientially know”) is used for example in Lk 1:34, “And Mary [a virgin] said to the angel, ‘How will this be since I do not know (1097 /ginṓskō = sexual intimacy) a man?'”

6:6    Enter        Definition: I go in, come in, enter.
1525 eisérxomai (from 1519 /eis, “into, unto” and 2064/erxomai, “come”) – properly, come into, go (enter) into; (figuratively) to enter into for an important purpose – for the believer, doing so to experience the result of the Lord’s eternal blessing.

6:6    Pray        Definition: I pray, pray for, offer prayer.
4336 proseúxomai (from 4314 /prós, “towards, exchange” and 2172/euxomai, “to wish, pray”) – properly, to exchange wishes; pray – literally, to interact with the Lord by switching human wishes (ideas) for His wishes as He imparts faith (“divine persuasion”). Accordingly, praying (4336/proseuxomai) is closely inter-connected with 4102 /pístis (“faith”) in the NT. See: Ac 6:5,6,14:22,23; Eph 6:16-18; Col 1:3,4; 2 Thes 3:1,2; Js 5:13-15; Jude 20.

6:9    Pray        same as 6:6

6:9    Hallowed be        Definition: I make holy, treat as holy, set apart as holy, sanctify, hallow, purify.
Cognate: 37 hagiázō (from 40 /hágios, “holy”) – to regard as special (sacred), i.e. holy (“set apart”), sanctify. See 40 (hagios).
[37 (hagiázō) means “to make holy, consecrate, sanctify; to dedicate, separate” (Abbott-Smith).]

6:10    Come (let)        Definition: I come, go.

6:10    Done (let be)        Definition: I come into being, am born, become, come about, happen.
1096 gínomai – properly, to emerge, become, transitioning from one point (realm, condition) to another. 1096 (gínomai) fundamentally means “become” (becoming, became) so it is not an exact equivalent to the ordinary equative verb “to be” (is, was, will be) as with 1510 /eimí (1511 /eínai, 2258 /ēn).
1096 (ginomai) means “to become, and signifies a change of condition, state or place” (Vine, Unger, White, NT, 109).
M. Vincent, “1096 (gínomai) means to come into being/manifestation implying motion, movement, or growth” (at 2 Pet 1:4). Thus it is used for God’s actions as emerging from eternity and becoming (showing themselves) in time (physical space).

6:11    Give    Definition: I offer, give; I put, place.

6:12    Forgive (first one of God)    Definition: (a) I send away, (b) I let go, release, permit to depart, (c) I remit, forgive, (d) I permit, suffer.        863 aphíēmi (from 575 /apó, “away from” and hiēmi, “send”) – properly, send away; release (discharge).

6:13    Deliver    Definition: I rescue, deliver (from danger or destruction).
4506 rhýomai (from eryō, “draw to oneself”) – properly, draw (pull) to oneself; to rescue (“snatch up”); to draw or rescue a person to and for the deliverer.
In Mt 6:13 (“the Lord’s Prayer”), 4506 (rhýomai) is used in the closing sentence, “Deliver (4506 /rhýomai) us from evil” – i.e. “Deliver me to Yourself and for Yourself.” That is, “Lord deliver me out of my (personal) pains and bring me to You and for You.”
[4506 (rhýomai) properly means, “to snatch out for oneself” (H. Cremer, G. Winer).
J. Thayer, “Properly, 4506 (rhýomai) means to draw out . . . to one’s self” – i.e. to rescue for oneself (to oneself). 4506 /rhýomai (“rescue”) implies removing someone in the midst (presence) of danger or oppression, i.e. delivered “right out of” and to (for) the rescuer.]

6:16    Be        Definition: I come into being, am born, become, come about, happen.
1096 gínomai – properly, to emerge, become, transitioning from one point (realm, condition) to another. 1096 (gínomai) fundamentally means “become” (becoming, became) so it is not an exact equivalent to the ordinary equative verb “to be” (is, was, will be) as with 1510 /eimí (1511 /eínai, 2258 /ēn).
1096 (ginomai) means “to become, and signifies a change of condition, state or place” (Vine, Unger, White, NT, 109).
M. Vincent, “1096 (gínomai) means to come into being/manifestation implying motion, movement, or growth” (at 2 Pet 1:4). Thus it is used for God’s actions as emerging from eternity and becoming (showing themselves) in time (physical space).

6:17    Anoint        Definition: I anoint: festivally, in homage, medicinally, or in anointing the dead.
218 aleíphō – properly, to rub or smear olive oil on the body. 218 (aleíphō) is the ordinary term used for physically anointing the body with (olive) oil. Anointing brought healing and relief and hence became synonymous with gladness (festivity).
[“Anointing” (218 /aleíphō) usually applied olive oil on the face, to refresh a guest. Oil was also applied to the feet to soothe and show honor (courtesy, respect). Anointing shares a “penetrating comfort” to impart strength and healing (joy).]

6:17    Wash        Definition: I wash; mid. I wash my own (hands, etc.).

6:19 (not) Store Up        Definition: I store up, treasure up, save, lay up.
Cognate: 2343 thēsaurízō – properly, to put away, “store up”; lay aside treasure, built up (accumulated) for the day of future recompense. See 2344 (thēsauros).

6:20    Store Up        same as 19

6:25    (not) Be Anxious About        Definition: I am over-anxious; with acc: I am anxious about, distracted; I care for.
3309 merimnáō (from 3308 /mérimna, “a part, as opposed to the whole”) – properly, drawn in opposite directions; “divided into parts” (A. T. Robertson); (figuratively) “to go to pieces” because pulled apart (in different directions), like the force exerted by sinful anxiety (worry). Positively, 3309 (merimnáō) is used of effectively distributing concern, in proper relation to the whole picture (cf. 1 Cor 12:25; Phil 2:20).
3809 (merimnaō ) is “an old verb for worry and anxiety – literally, to be divided, distracted” (WP, 2, 156). It is more commonly used in this negative sense in the NT.

6:26    Look        Definition: I look into (upon); met: I consider; I see clearly.
1689 emblépō (from 1722 /en, “engaged in” and 991 /blépō, “look”) – properly, stare (look) at with a “locked-in gaze”; look at in a sustained, concentrated way, i.e. with special “interest, love or concern” (DNTT, 3, 519).

6:28    Observe    Definition: I understand, take in a fact about, consider carefully.
2648 katamanthánō (from 2596 /katá, “down to a point, exactly according to,” which intensifies 3129 /manthánō, “learn”) – properly, thoroughly (exactly) learn; to grasp something conclusively by considering it carefully (AS). It is only used in Mt 6:28.

6:33    Seek        Definition: I seek, search for, desire, require, demand.
2212 zētéō – properly, to seek by inquiring; to investigate to reach a binding (terminal) resolution; to search, “getting to the bottom of a matter.”

7:1    Judge        Definition: (a) I judge, whether in a law-court or privately: sometimes with cognate nouns emphasizing the notion of the verb, (b) I decide, I think (it) good.
2919 krínō – properly, to separate (distinguish), i.e. judge; come to a choice (decision, judgment) by making a judgment – either positive (a verdict in favor of) or negative (which rejects or condemns).
J. Thayer comments that “the proper meaning of 2919 (krínō) is to pick out (choose) by separating” (as also used in Homer, Herodotus, Aeschyl., Xenophon, Plato). 2919 /krínō (“distinguish, judge”) typically refers to making a determination of right or wrong (innocence or guilt), especially on an official (legal) standard. We only judge (2919 /krínō) accurately by intelligent comparison and contrast based on God’s word, i.e. to approve (prefer) what is correct and reject what is inferior (wrong).
[2919 (krínō) is used of “bringing to trial” (the trying of fact) in a court of law.
2919 (krinō) originally meant “separate.” So Homer, of Ceres separating the grain from the chaff (Iliad, v, 501). Thence, ‘to distinguish, to pick out, to be of opinion, to judge’ ” (WS, 418).]

7:4    Permits that        Definition: (a) I send away, (b) I let go, release, permit to depart, (c) I remit, forgive, (d) I permit, suffer.        863 aphíēmi (from 575 /apó, “away from” and hiēmi, “send”) – properly, send away; release (discharge).

7:4    Behold        Definition: I see, look upon, experience, perceive, discern, beware.
3708 horáō – properly, see, often with metaphorical meaning: “to see with the mind” (i.e. spiritually see), i.e. perceive (with inward spiritual perception).
[The aorist form (eidon), is discussed at 1492 /eídō, “see.” The future tense, and middle-passive form, are discussed under 3700 /optánomai, “see.”]

7:5    Cast Out        Definition: I throw (cast, put) out; I banish; I bring forth, produce.

7:7    Ask        Definition: I ask, request, petition, demand.

7:7    Seek        Definition: I seek, search for, desire, require, demand.
2212 zētéō – properly, to seek by inquiring; to investigate to reach a binding (terminal) resolution; to search, “getting to the bottom of a matter.”

7:7    Knock        Definition: I knock, beat a door with a stick, to gain admittance.

7:12    Do        Definition: (a) I make, manufacture, construct, (b) I do, act, cause.

7:13    Enter        Definition: I go in, come in, enter.
1525 eisérxomai (from 1519 /eis, “into, unto” and 2064/erxomai, “come”) – properly, come into, go (enter) into; (figuratively) to enter into for an important purpose – for the believer, doing so to experience the result of the Lord’s eternal blessing.

7:15    Beware    Definition: (a) I attend to, pay attention to, (b) I beware, am cautious, (c) I join, devote myself to.
4337 proséxō (from 4314 /prós, “towards” and 2192 /éxō, “have”) – properly, have towards, i.e. to give full attention; to set a course and keep to it.

7:23    Depart    Definition: I go away, depart, withdraw.

Matthew 7:13-23 Part II

Sermon on the Mount          7:13-23                                             Part II

Intro

Do any of you know Gandhi? Or maybe the leader of your home country? Do you know these people’s names? If so, you know them, or you know of them. Is this valuable? I think so.

Do any of you know your mother? Please forgive me if this is not an easy subject for you if you never knew your mother. Is there a difference between knowing your mother and knowing your countries leader? Maybe just a little bit. One big difference is that you have met your mother. You have talked with her and have had literal contact.   You probably know your mother’s full name, and maybe even her mother’s name. I think you get the idea.

Verse 23 is an amazingly emphatic statement by Jesus. It is only one way or the other. He either knows you, or He doesn’t.

Today we are focusing on the same passage from last week, but mostly on verses 13 & 14, 21-23. Last week I tried to share more about what Jesus said, and the details of the passage. This week we are focusing on how it works in our lives.

Verse 13       13“Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it.

Jesus begins with a command, not a suggestion. Which gate leads to spiritual life is not by our choosing. God chose which gate, what kind of gate, how the gate works, and everything else about the gate. Jesus is now commanding us to take the narrow gate if we want to enter the kingdom of God.

Verse 14       14But (How) narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it.

Whether we like it or not is not the point. The wide or easy gate leads to destruction = separation from God. Only the narrow or small gate leads to real life both here on earth and for eternity.

The difficult road is describing how it will be to travel the road or way. It will be hard, literally pressing or constrictive. He is not saying we must suffer along the way or do hard works. He is saying the way is not easy.

(Jesus just taught in verses 7-8 7“Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Why do few find the narrow gate and the difficult road? Because they do not ask God, seek, and knock. Jesus said everyone who searches finds in verse 8. )

God has not made it complicated to enter the narrow gate. But He does teach there is only one way to enter – His way!

Illustration                   Maybe it is a bit like this?

Verse 21       21“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord! ’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven.

Jesus is clearly speaking to people who say they are His followers. They call Him Lord. But words are not enough. If the tree is good – then the fruit will be good as well.

Jesus is not accusing or condemning anyone. I don’t believe He wants this statement to be true, but it is true. In John 3:18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

Do I think I am going to heaven? Am I truly going there? I can be assured of the answer when I follow Jesus, when I take the difficult road and the narrow gate.

Are you asking this of yourself yet? Do you think you are going to heaven? Are you going there? God has done everything, but force you to be able to say with confidence – YES!!!

The key, I believe, is that what we say matches who we are in Christ. Who we truly are leads to what we do. What we say is not the fruit. The fruit is what we do which comes from who we really are. The fruit must be the will of My Father in heaven.

Verse 22       22On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name? ’

There is much we can say about this verse and in the next hour we will. For now I am going to overly simplify what I believe Jesus is teaching.

There are many “spiritual” leaders who say they are followers of Jesus. Many of them say they are leading other people to follow Jesus as well. They use the name of Jesus and they seem to have God’s power working through them. Jesus called some of these leaders “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!” in Matthew 23:13-39.

It is quite clear that using the name of Jesus does not alway mean the person is obeying God.

Verse 23       23Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers!’

Jesus taught on the judgement day He will declare publicly – He will announce. ‘I never knew you

Never means never. Knew is the past tense of know by experience with the person. It is knowing someone personally, through a real personal encounter.

Depart is a command from Jesus meaning literally – go away. And He says go away, not because He wants to say so, but because He must. He must because the person was literally – working lawlessness so they are a law breaker. The word lawless can also be translated disobedient or sinful depending on the context.

Does Jesus know you? I believe this is vital question upon which all of the Sermon on the Mount is based.

Application

There are two parables I encourage you to study this past week. The first is the parable of the wedding banquet in Matthew 22:1-14. The second is the parable of the 10 virgins in Matthew 25:1-13. Did you make time to study these parables and what Jesus is teaching in chapter 7.

Matthew 22:12So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes? ’ The man was speechless.

13“Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him up hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14“For many are invited, but few are chosen.”

The servants had invited people off the streets, both good and bad, v 10. Was the king “fair” to his “friend”? Is the moral of the parable about the error of the king or of the man unproperly dressed?

Matthew 25:11“Later the rest of the virgins also came and said, ‘Master, master, open up for us! ’ 12“But he replied, ‘I assure you: I do not know you! ’

Was the master cruel and incorrect? Or were the virgins at fault?

My point, and one of the points of these two parables is that we are not God. Obvious right? I don’t think it is so obvious that we don’t think we are God. Look at the fruit of your life last week. What do all your thoughts, actions, wishes, reactions, decisions, how you spent your time, how you spent your money, etc. say about who is your Lord?

If Jesus is your Lord then your fruit will be like evidence in a courtroom. If your fruit was God’s will then you would be convicted, Jesus is your Lord. Case closed.

But if the fruit is all what you wanted, your will, for your pleasures then effectively you are your Lord.

Last week I opened myself up to scrutiny, for evaluation. I said I believe not only my words are evidence that Jesus is my Lord. So, here is the fruit of last week.

Monday and Tuesday I took things intentionally easy. I didn’t schedule meetings, I cancelled Polish lesson, I did some fun things. About 7 am each day I got up and spent a little more than 30 min. in prayer. I realized Tuesday I had not spent time reading God’s word so I caught up on two days of Proverbs and read Matthew 7:13-23. Wednesday – Saturday I daily spent over 30 min. in prayer and also studied the Bible.

Wednesday I had two meetings with men where we focused on discipleship. Thursday was Polish lesson and I met another man for discipleship. Friday I focused on preparations to lead the 1st Baptist youth time on Saturday in James 3:13-18. I also prepared some for this message.

Every day, but Tuesday I exercised about 1 hour each day. I also had great conversations with men who are not yet believes. One said he wants to visit us some Sunday morning soon and the other accepted that I pray for his health.

Saturday I continued to prepare for the youth meeting and for today’s message before a dinner with a wonderful couple in our midst today.

But I would be dishonest if I did not admit that I was not always honoring Denise with my words and deeds. I believe I did spend time unwisely playing a card game on my Kindle, reading headlines, and watching tv one day.

In the end my fruit was a mixture. But I don’t believe this is exactly what Jesus was teaching. Fruit inspection is a good idea. But the greater evidence, fruit, that matches my statement of Jesus is Lord is what is going on inside. It is what He has been doing to me for weeks, months, years, and even decades. We don’t have time for that story.

When I was 9 years old I asked Jesus to save me, and I believe He did. When I was 13 I made a decision, one I believe God put on my heart, to make Him my Lord. I believe the overwhelming evidence is that I am God’s child.

If I was in the parable of the banquet. I would be one of the people invited off of the street. When I got to the kings castle, I told to go through the narrow gate. So I took everything off to go through the gate. On the other side I had wedding clothes. Compliments of the King.

Jesus and I met when I was 9 years old on a Friday night around a campfire at church family camp. Since then I have traveled the difficult way, by God’s grace and power. I am a different man since Jesus met me. I am a child of the King.

How about you? When did you and Jesus meet? What does the fruit of your life say about when or if Jesus met you and knows you?