READ | SERMON NOTES
Summary | Through the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught us God’s Kingdom values. In the sermon series, we have learnt about:
- The Beatitudes – the blessedness of embracing Kingdom values.
- The Extensions – being true disciples of Christ through a fresh understanding of Old Testament commandments.
- Practicing Righteousness – being salt and light of the world through a right relationship with God.
- Our Father – having a prayer life that deepens our relationship with God.
- Find Your Treasure – storing heavenly treasures which signify allegiance to our King Jesus.
In this final sermon in the series, we focus on living in God’s Kingdom. We do this by welcoming and submitting to the rule of Christ. “But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand” (Matt 7:26) is a sober reminder about putting our lives in jeopardy when we do not apply His Word. We need to welcome Jesus into all aspects of our lives. We must build a relationship with God, allowing Him into every part of our lives.
Ask, Search, Knock (vs 7-11). God invites us to persistently ask and seek after Him. Jesus reveals God’s heart as a loving Father who provides for His children. God is a good, good Father. Our response should be to trust Him to define His goodness (not what we think is good for ourselves). But we should not stop at the phase of welcoming God but to submit to His rule.
Jesus sets for us paths of contrasting images which we are to make a choice on:
- Narrow and wide gates (vs. 13,14). Jesus teaches us the importance of staying on the narrow road that leads to life. This requires continual repentance. This is not merely being sorry but involves a change of mind and direction. A deep sense of regret must lead to a willingness to turn away from our sinful ways and towards God. Like a pebble in our shoe, our sin can first be ignored, or wriggled hidden in our toes or even tolerated. When we finally remove the pebble, we realise the discomfort and pain had prevented us from seeing the lovely road we had journeyed through. Let us remove the sinful stone in our lives. Through Christ, we can turn back to God. In confidence we know that as we repent, He will forgive and accept us.
- Good and bad trees (vs. 15-20). Fruitfulness distinguishes between the two types of trees. Vs.15-16 describe true and false prophets. The litmus test is the message they bring and the lives they lead. So also, it is the presence of the Fruit of the Spirit (Gal.5:22-23) in our lives that show if we are truly following Christ. None of us is sinless but we work towards perfection in the perfect love of Christ.
- True and false declarations (vs. 21-23). How genuine are we? In vs 23, Jesus declares, “I never knew you”. He is not disowning us but warning us that it is not enough to profess faith and go through Christian rituals. Jesus is reminding us of the importance of a genuine faith and relationship with Him. Are our hearts set on obeying Him? Are we guilty of wanting a bit of good feeling as a Christian but not being fully committed? Spiritual indifference is not unbelief but an inability to commit our whole lives to God.
- Wise and foolish builders (vs 24-27). Wise decisions not only impact our lives in the here and now but for eternity. We may have delusions of having plenty of time and be tempted to spiritually procrastinate on taking the next step in our discipleship journey. Jesus teaches us to put faith into action, to actively put into practice what He has taught us.
As citizens of God’s Kingdom, let us be ambassadors of Christ, extending His love to those around us!
PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS
Let’s Recall, Reflect, Consider and Commit.
- Recall a situation where you have been encouraged by a fellow believer in life and in ministry when it comes to the kingdom values as Jesus taught in this SOTM series.
- Reflect on this week’s sermon from Matthew 7:7-27.
• What did you learn about Jesus teaching us that we should ask, search and knock?
• In this SOTM sermon series, which kingdom value or values taught by Jesus are the most difficult to embrace thus far in your spiritual walk with God, and why?
- Consider how you have grown as a disciple of Christ from the day you welcomed Jesus into your life and submitting every aspect to His Lordship.
• What are the areas in your life that you are still struggling to submit?
• Pause and allow the Spirit to reveal to you these areas.
- Commit to the Lord your next steps as a disciple of Christ and being a kingdom person.
• In this season of LENT, is there an opportunity for greater surrenderence before Christ our Hosanna?
• Take some time to repent from our easy ways that lead to destruction and seek God anew in His ways and narrow road, with Jesus at the centre of it all.