Matthew 7

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1 μη G3361 P T-N κρινετε G2919 G5720 V-PAM-2P ινα G2443 CONJ μη G3361 P T-N κριθητε G2919 G5686 V-APS-2P

2 εν G1722 P EP ω G3739 -DSN γαρ G1063 CONJ κριματι G2917 N-DSN κρινετε G2919 G5719 V-PAI-2P κριθησεσθε G2919 G5701 V-FPI-2P και G2532 CONJ εν G1722 P EP ω G3739 -DSN μετρω G3358 N-DSN μετρειτε G3354 G5719 V-PAI-2P αντιμετρηθησεται G488 G5701 V-FPI-3S υμιν G5213 P-2DP

3 τι G5101 I-ASN δε G1161 CONJ βλεπεις G991 G5719 V-PAI-2S το G3588 T-ASN καρφος G2595 N-ASN το G3588 T-ASN εν G1722 P EP τω G3588 T-DSM οφθαλμω G3788 N-DSM του G3588 T-GSM αδελφου G80 N-GSM σου G4675 P-2GS την G3588 T-ASF δε G1161 CONJ εν G1722 P EP τω G3588 T-DSM σω G4674 S-2DSM οφθαλμω G3788 N-DSM δοκον G1385 N-ASF ου G3756 P T-N κατανοεις G2657 G5719 V-PAI-2S

4 η G2228 P T πως G4459 ADV-I ερεις G2046 G5692 V-FAI-2S τω G3588 T-DSM αδελφω G80 N-DSM σου G4675 P-2GS αφες G863 G5628 V-2AAM-2S εκβαλω G1544 G5632 V-2AAS-1S το G3588 T-ASN καρφος G2595 N-ASN απο G575 P EP του G3588 T-GSM οφθαλμου G3788 N-GSM σου G4675 P-2GS και G2532 CONJ ιδου G2400 G5628 V-2AAM-2S η G3588 T-NSF δοκος G1385 N-NSF εν G1722 P EP τω G3588 T-DSM οφθαλμω G3788 N-DSM σου G4675 P-2GS

5 υποκριτα G5273 N-VSM εκβαλε G1544 G5628 V-2AAM-2S πρωτον G4412 ADV την G3588 T-ASF δοκον G1385 N-ASF εκ G1537 P EP του G3588 T-GSM οφθαλμου G3788 N-GSM σου G4675 P-2GS και G2532 CONJ τοτε G5119 ADV διαβλεψεις G1227 G5692 V-FAI-2S εκβαλειν G1544 G5629 V-2AAN το G3588 T-ASN καρφος G2595 N-ASN εκ G1537 P EP του G3588 T-GSM οφθαλμου G3788 N-GSM του G3588 T-GSM αδελφου G80 N-GSM σου G4675 P-2GS

6 μη G3361 P T-N δωτε G1325 G5632 V-2AAS-2P το G3588 T-ASN αγιον G40 A-ASN τοις G3588 T-DPM κυσιν G2965 N-DPM μηδε G3366 CONJ βαλητε G906 G5632 V-2AAS-2P τους G3588 T-APM μαργαριτας G3135 N-APM υμων G5216 P-2GP εμπροσθεν G1715 P EP των G3588 T-GPM χοιρων G5519 N-GPM μηποτε G3379 ADV καταπατησωσιν G2662 G5661 V-AAS-3P αυτους G846 P-APM εν G1722 P EP τοις G3588 T-DPM ποσιν G4228 N-DPM αυτων G846 P-GPM και G2532 CONJ στραφεντες G4762 G5651 V-2APP-NPM ρηξωσιν G4486 G5661 V-AAS-3P υμας G5209 P-2AP

7 αιτειτε G154 G5720 V-PAM-2P και G2532 CONJ δοθησεται G1325 G5701 V-FPI-3S υμιν G5213 P-2DP ζητειτε G2212 G5720 V-PAM-2P και G2532 CONJ ευρησετε G2147 G5692 V-FAI-2P κρουετε G2925 G5720 V-PAM-2P και G2532 CONJ ανοιγησεται G455 G5691 V-2FPI-3S υμιν G5213 P-2DP

8 πας G3956 A-NSM γαρ G1063 CONJ ο G3588 T-NSM αιτων G154 G5723 V-PAP-NSM λαμβανει G2983 G5719 V-PAI-3S και G2532 CONJ ο G3588 T-NSM ζητων G2212 G5723 V-PAP-NSM ευρισκει G2147 G5719 V-PAI-3S και G2532 CONJ τω G3588 T-DSM κρουοντι G2925 G5723 V-PAP-DSM ανοιγησεται G455 G5691 V-2FPI-3S

9 η G2228 P T τις G5101 I-NSM εστιν G2076 G5748 V-PXI-3S εξ G1537 P EP υμων G5216 P-2GP ανθρωπος G444 N-NSM ον G3739 -ASM εαν G1437 COND αιτηση G154 G5661 V-AAS-3S ο G3588 T-NSM υιος G5207 N-NSM αυτου G846 P-GSM αρτον G740 N-ASM μη G3361 P T-N λιθον G3037 N-ASM επιδωσει G1929 G5692 V-FAI-3S αυτω G846 P-DSM

10 και G2532 CONJ εαν G1437 COND ιχθυν G2486 N-ASM αιτηση G154 G5661 V-AAS-3S μη G3361 P T-N οφιν G3789 N-ASM επιδωσει G1929 G5692 V-FAI-3S αυτω G846 P-DSM

11 ει G1487 COND ουν G3767 CONJ υμεις G5210 P-2NP πονηροι G4190 A-NPM οντες G5607 G5752 V-PXP-NPM οιδατε G1492 G5758 V- AI-2P δοματα G1390 N-APN αγαθα G18 A-APN διδοναι G1325 G5721 V-PAN τοις G3588 T-DPN τεκνοις G5043 N-DPN υμων G5216 P-2GP ποσω G4214 Q-DSN μαλλον G3123 ADV ο G3588 T-NSM πατηρ G3962 N-NSM υμων G5216 P-2GP ο G3588 T-NSM εν G1722 P EP τοις G3588 T-DPM ουρανοις G3772 N-DPM δωσει G1325 G5692 V-FAI-3S αγαθα G18 A-APN τοις G3588 T-DPM αιτουσιν G154 G5723 V-PAP-DPM αυτον G846 P-ASM

12 παντα G3956 A-APN ουν G3767 CONJ οσα G3745 K-APN αν G302 P T θελητε G2309 G5725 V-PAS-2P ινα G2443 CONJ ποιωσιν G4160 G5725 V-PAS-3P υμιν G5213 P-2DP οι G3588 T-NPM ανθρωποι G444 N-NPM ουτως G3779 ADV και G2532 CONJ υμεις G5210 P-2NP ποιειτε G4160 G5720 V-PAM-2P αυτοις G846 P-DPM ουτος G3778 D-NSM γαρ G1063 CONJ εστιν G2076 G5748 V-PXI-3S ο G3588 T-NSM νομος G3551 N-NSM και G2532 CONJ οι G3588 T-NPM προφηται G4396 N-NPM

13 εισελθετε G1525 G5628 V-2AAM-2P δια G1223 P EP της G3588 T-GSF στενης G4728 A-GSF πυλης G4439 N-GSF οτι G3754 CONJ πλατεια G4116 A-NSF η G3588 T-NSF πυλη G4439 N-NSF και G2532 CONJ ευρυχωρος G2149 A-NSF η G3588 T-NSF οδος G3598 N-NSF η G3588 T-NSF απαγουσα G520 G5723 V-PAP-NSF εις G1519 P EP την G3588 T-ASF απωλειαν G684 N-ASF και G2532 CONJ πολλοι G4183 A-NPM εισιν G1526 G5748 V-PXI-3P οι G3588 T-NPM εισερχομενοι G1525 G5740 V-PNP-NPM δι G1223 P EP αυτης G846 P-GSF

14 οτι G3754 CONJ στενη G4728 A-NSF η G3588 T-NSF πυλη G4439 N-NSF και G2532 CONJ τεθλιμμενη G2346 G5772 V- PP-NSF η G3588 T-NSF οδος G3598 N-NSF η G3588 T-NSF απαγουσα G520 G5723 V-PAP-NSF εις G1519 P EP την G3588 T-ASF ζωην G2222 N-ASF και G2532 CONJ ολιγοι G3641 A-NPM εισιν G1526 G5748 V-PXI-3P οι G3588 T-NPM ευρισκοντες G2147 G5723 V-PAP-NPM αυτην G846 P-ASF

15 προσεχετε G4337 G5720 V-PAM-2P δε G1161 CONJ απο G575 P EP των G3588 T-GPM ψευδοπροφητων G5578 N-GPM οιτινες G3748 -NPM ερχονται G2064 G5736 V-PNI-3P προς G4314 P EP υμας G5209 P-2AP εν G1722 P EP ενδυμασιν G1742 N-DPN προβατων G4263 N-GPN εσωθεν G2081 ADV δε G1161 CONJ εισιν G1526 G5748 V-PXI-3P λυκοι G3074 N-NPM αρπαγες G727 A-NPM

16 απο G575 P EP των G3588 T-GPM καρπων G2590 N-GPM αυτων G846 P-GPM επιγνωσεσθε G1921 G5695 V-FDI-2P αυτους G846 P-APM μητι G3385 P T-I συλλεγουσιν G4816 G5719 V-PAI-3P απο G575 P EP ακανθων G173 N-GPF σταφυλην G4718 N-ASF η G2228 P T απο G575 P EP τριβολων G5146 N-GPM συκα G4810 N-APN

17 ουτως G3779 ADV παν G3956 A-NSN δενδρον G1186 N-NSN αγαθον G18 A-NSN καρπους G2590 N-APM καλους G2570 A-APM ποιει G4160 G5719 V-PAI-3S το G3588 T-NSN δε G1161 CONJ σαπρον G4550 A-NSN δενδρον G1186 N-NSN καρπους G2590 N-APM πονηρους G4190 A-APM ποιει G4160 G5719 V-PAI-3S

18 ου G3756 P T-N δυναται G1410 G5736 V-PNI-3S δενδρον G1186 N-NSN αγαθον G18 A-NSN καρπους G2590 N-APM πονηρους G4190 A-APM ποιειν G4160 G5721 V-PAN ουδε G3761 ADV δενδρον G1186 N-NSN σαπρον G4550 A-NSN καρπους G2590 N-APM καλους G2570 A-APM ποιειν G4160 G5721 V-PAN

19 παν G3956 A-NSN δενδρον G1186 N-NSN μη G3361 P T-N ποιουν G4160 G5723 V-PAP-NSN καρπον G2590 N-ASM καλον G2570 A-ASM εκκοπτεται G1581 G5743 V-PPI-3S και G2532 CONJ εις G1519 P EP πυρ G4442 N-ASN βαλλεται G906 G5743 V-PPI-3S

20 αραγε G686 P T απο G575 P EP των G3588 T-GPM καρπων G2590 N-GPM αυτων G846 P-GPM επιγνωσεσθε G1921 G5695 V-FDI-2P αυτους G846 P-APM

21 ου G3756 P T-N πας G3956 A-NSM ο G3588 T-NSM λεγων G3004 G5723 V-PAP-NSM μοι G3427 P-1DS κυριε G2962 N-VSM κυριε G2962 N-VSM εισελευσεται G1525 G5695 V-FDI-3S εις G1519 P EP την G3588 T-ASF βασιλειαν G932 N-ASF των G3588 T-GPM ουρανων G3772 N-GPM αλλ G235 CONJ ο G3588 T-NSM ποιων G4160 G5723 V-PAP-NSM το G3588 T-ASN θελημα G2307 N-ASN του G3588 T-GSM πατρος G3962 N-GSM μου G3450 P-1GS του G3588 T-GSM εν G1722 P EP ουρανοις G3772 N-DPM

22 πολλοι G4183 A-NPM ερουσιν G2046 G5692 V-FAI-3P μοι G3427 P-1DS εν G1722 P EP εκεινη G1565 D-DSF τη G3588 T-DSF ημερα G2250 N-DSF κυριε G2962 N-VSM κυριε G2962 N-VSM ου G3756 P T-N τω G3588 T-DSM σω G4674 S-2DSM ονοματι G3686 N-DSN προεφητευσαμεν G4395 G5656 V-AAI-1P και G2532 CONJ τω G3588 T-DSM σω G4674 S-2DSM ονοματι G3686 N-DSN δαιμονια G1140 N-APN εξεβαλομεν G1544 G5627 V-2AAI-1P και G2532 CONJ τω G3588 T-DSM σω G4674 S-2DSM ονοματι G3686 N-DSN δυναμεις G1411 N-APF πολλας G4183 A-APF εποιησαμεν G4160 G5656 V-AAI-1P

23 και G2532 CONJ τοτε G5119 ADV ομολογησω G3670 G5692 V-FAI-1S αυτοις G846 P-DPM οτι G3754 CONJ ουδεποτε G3763 ADV εγνων G1097 G5627 V-2AAI-1S υμας G5209 P-2AP αποχωρειτε G672 G5720 V-PAM-2P απ G575 P EP εμου G1700 P-1GS οι G3588 T-NPM εργαζομενοι G2038 G5740 V-PNP-NPM την G3588 T-ASF ανομιαν G458 N-ASF

24 πας G3956 A-NSM ουν G3767 CONJ οστις G3748 -NSM ακουει G191 G5719 V-PAI-3S μου G3450 P-1GS τους G3588 T-APM λογους G3056 N-APM τουτους G5128 D-APM και G2532 CONJ ποιει G4160 G5719 V-PAI-3S αυτους G846 P-APM ομοιωσω G3666 G5692 V-FAI-1S αυτον G846 P-ASM ανδρι G435 N-DSM φρονιμω G5429 A-DSM οστις G3748 -NSM ωκοδομησεν G3618 G5656 V-AAI-3S την G3588 T-ASF οικιαν G3614 N-ASF αυτου G846 P-GSM επι G1909 P EP την G3588 T-ASF πετραν G4073 N-ASF

25 και G2532 CONJ κατεβη G2597 G5627 V-2AAI-3S η G3588 T-NSF βροχη G1028 N-NSF και G2532 CONJ ηλθον G2064 G5627 V-2AAI-3P οι G3588 T-NPM ποταμοι G4215 N-NPM και G2532 CONJ επνευσαν G4154 G5656 V-AAI-3P οι G3588 T-NPM ανεμοι G417 N-NPM και G2532 CONJ προσεπεσον G4363 G5627 V-2AAI-3P τη G3588 T-DSF οικια G3614 N-DSF εκεινη G1565 D-DSF και G2532 CONJ ουκ G3756 P T-N επεσεν G4098 G5627 V-2AAI-3S τεθεμελιωτο G2311 G5718 V-LPI-3S γαρ G1063 CONJ επι G1909 P EP την G3588 T-ASF πετραν G4073 N-ASF

26 και G2532 CONJ πας G3956 A-NSM ο G3588 T-NSM ακουων G191 G5723 V-PAP-NSM μου G3450 P-1GS τους G3588 T-APM λογους G3056 N-APM τουτους G5128 D-APM και G2532 CONJ μη G3361 P T-N ποιων G4160 G5723 V-PAP-NSM αυτους G846 P-APM ομοιωθησεται G3666 G5701 V-FPI-3S ανδρι G435 N-DSM μωρω G3474 A-DSM οστις G3748 -NSM ωκοδομησεν G3618 G5656 V-AAI-3S την G3588 T-ASF οικιαν G3614 N-ASF αυτου G846 P-GSM επι G1909 P EP την G3588 T-ASF αμμον G285 N-ASF

27 και G2532 CONJ κατεβη G2597 G5627 V-2AAI-3S η G3588 T-NSF βροχη G1028 N-NSF και G2532 CONJ ηλθον G2064 G5627 V-2AAI-3P οι G3588 T-NPM ποταμοι G4215 N-NPM και G2532 CONJ επνευσαν G4154 G5656 V-AAI-3P οι G3588 T-NPM ανεμοι G417 N-NPM και G2532 CONJ προσεκοψαν G4350 G5656 V-AAI-3P τη G3588 T-DSF οικια G3614 N-DSF εκεινη G1565 D-DSF και G2532 CONJ επεσεν G4098 G5627 V-2AAI-3S και G2532 CONJ ην G2258 G5713 V-IXI-3S η G3588 T-NSF πτωσις G4431 N-NSF αυτης G846 P-GSF μεγαλη G3173 A-NSF

28 και G2532 CONJ εγενετο G1096 G5633 V-2ADI-3S οτε G3753 ADV συνετελεσεν G4931 G5656 V-AAI-3S ο G3588 T-NSM ιησους G2424 N-NSM τους G3588 T-APM λογους G3056 N-APM τουτους G5128 D-APM εξεπλησσοντο G1605 G5712 V-IPI-3P οι G3588 T-NPM οχλοι G3793 N-NPM επι G1909 P EP τη G3588 T-DSF διδαχη G1322 N-DSF αυτου G846 P-GSM

29 ην G2258 G5713 V-IXI-3S γαρ G1063 CONJ διδασκων G1321 G5723 V-PAP-NSM αυτους G846 P-APM ως G5613 ADV εξουσιαν G1849 N-ASF εχων G2192 G5723 V-PAP-NSM και G2532 CONJ ουχ G3756 P T-N ως G5613 ADV οι G3588 T-NPM γραμματεις G1122 N-NPM

  


Exploring the Meaning of Matthew 7      

Napsal(a) Rev. Dr. Ray Silverman

Chapter 7.

Examining our Motives

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1. “Judge not, that you be not judged.

2. For in what judgment you judge, you shall be judged; and in what measure you measure, it shall be measured back to you.

3. And why dost thou look at the bit of straw in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam in thine own eye?

4. Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Permit [me] to cast out the bit of straw from thine eye, and behold, the beam [is] in thine own eye?

5. Hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye, and then thou shalt look carefully to cast out the bit of straw out of thy brother’s eye.

6. Give not that which is holy to the dogs, neither cast your pearls in front of swine, lest they trample them by their feet, and turning, tear you.

7. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.

8. For everyone that asks, receives; and he that seeks, finds; and to him that knocks, it shall be opened.

9. Or what man is there of you, who, if his son ask [for] bread, will give him a stone?

10. And if he ask [for] a fish, will he give [him] a serpent?

11. If you then, being wicked, know [how] to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father that [is] in the heavens give good [things] to those that ask Him?

12. Therefore all things whatsoever you will that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them; for this is the Law and the Prophets.

13. Enter ye in through the tight gate, for wide [is] the gate and broad [is] the way that leads away into destruction, and there are many who come in through it,

14. Because tight [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way that leads into life, and there are few who find it.

15. And beware ye of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s raiment, but inside they are rapacious wolves.

16. From their fruits you shall know them. Do [men] collect grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?

17. So every good tree makes good fruits; but a rotten tree makes bad fruits.

18. A good tree cannot make bad fruits; neither [can] a rotten tree make good fruits.

19. Every tree not making good fruit is cut down, and cast into the fire.

20. Therefore from their fruits you shall know them.”
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The previous episode ended with the words, “sufficient unto the day is its own evil.” These words remind us that there is nothing more important than examining the hidden evils in our own lives, investigating our own motives, and determining to what extent we are putting God first. This is absolutely essential if we ever hope to do good towards the neighbor that truly is good. In other words, in order to do good we must first examine our deeper motives and ask God to remove any evil, selfish inclinations that might still be in our heart. This is a daily process, even moment to moment, identifying and removing one selfish inclination at a time.

If, for example, we have been highly critical of others, we are taught to examine this aspect of our nature: “Judge not, that you be not judged,” says Jesus. “For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged” (7:1-2). This does not mean that we are never to make any judgments at all, for in order for society to survive, civil and moral judgments must be made. Personnel managers must decide whether a particular individual is more or less qualified for a job; physicians must decide whether or not to perform a life threatening operation; referees must make decisions about the games at which they officiate; judges must make decisions that are consistent with the law. Judgments of this nature must be made continually in order for society to properly function.

What then does Jesus mean when He says, “Judge not, that you be not judged”? He means that we should not make spiritual judgments about people. We should be most cautious when it comes to assessing the motives and intentions of others. We really cannot see into another person’s soul; therefore we do not know what drives a person, what anyone’s motivations are, or what reasons lurk behind a person’s external words and actions. Because all of this is in the realm of the spirit, we are forbidden to make judgments about anyone’s deeper motivations or essential character. 1

We are, however, strongly encouraged to judge our own motives and intentions. This is why Jesus says, “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank that is in your own eye? . . . Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye” (7:3, 5). Self-examination, as we shall see, is the key to spiritual growth. To the extent that we examine and remove evils from ourselves, we open the way for good to flow in from God.

But the process of examining ourselves, identifying evils and overcoming them, requires prayer to God for the light and the will to do so: “Ask, and it will be given you,” says Jesus. “Seek, and you will find; knock and it will be opened” (7:7). Jesus’ words are filled with assurance: “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (7:8).

As the sermon continues, Jesus offers several keys for how we can go about examining our motives and intentions. Perhaps the most famous and the most widely practiced of all is the golden rule: “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (7:12). This universal principle of self-examination applies to all people, in all faiths, at all times. It calls us to ask ourselves, “Would you want someone to do to you what you are about to do to them?” If the answer is “no,” we should not do it. If the answer is “yes,” we should do it.

But even though the golden rule is a universal principle, it can also be a “narrow path” if we rarely walk it. If we choose instead to walk the pathway of self-indulgence and harsh judgment of others, the more we walk that pathway, the broader it becomes.

Therefore, Jesus says, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way that leads to life, and there are few who find it” (7:13-14). Jesus knows that the pathway of careful self-examination and consideration of others is a narrow one. It is not well-trodden, simply because people have not walked it very often. Even so, it is the way that leads to the fullest life.

As the process of self-examination deepens, we must be especially aware of our tendency to use scripture to promote our own selfish ends. Jesus therefore warns us to “beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” (7:15). “False prophets” are our own tendencies to use sacred scripture (“sheep’s clothing”) as a way of achieving selfish ambitions (“inwardly they are ravenous wolves”). As long as we have self-serving ulterior motives, nothing truly good can be produced. Bushes that produce “thistles” and “thorns” symbolize the barrenness of actions that have self-interest within them — the empty, fruitless efforts to appear righteous in the eyes of others, while inwardly there is no righteousness at all. As Jesus says, “You will know them by their fruits; do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?” (7:16).

None of us, no matter how often we read or quote scripture, is on the path that leads to life until we begin to serve others from a truly spiritual motive. Service to others and faith in God must not be separated. For example, there are many contemplative paths that focus on prayer, meditation, study, and reflection. While these faith-oriented disciplines are vitally important, they must also include useful service. If not, they are incomplete.

Similarly, there are many paths that emphasize charity and good will. These service-oriented disciplines focus on saving the environment, establishing schools, providing homeless shelters, feeding the hungry, helping the handicapped, and caring for the poor and needy around the world. These works of outward compassion are vitally important, but if they are not motivated by a genuine love for the neighbor, they have little actual good in them. In fact, they can become another form in which the ravenous wolf (desire to be appreciated, rewarded, and esteemed) disguises itself in sheep’s clothing (doing external good works for others).

Whether we tend towards the path of contemplation or the path of service, the narrow path should not be neglected, for it is at the heart of both approaches. It reminds us to stay spiritually awake and to be conscious of what is arising in our inner world. It calls us to first of all look to God in His Word, shunning evils as sins against Him (faith-oriented disciplines), and then looks outward towards the neighbor, striving to see and serve God in everyone (service-oriented disciplines). If our works are to be truly good and our service efforts are to bear noble fruit, they must flow from our highest intentions. These are the finer instincts and nobler promptings of a heart that is being cleansed through self-examination in the light of God’s commandments. 2

Whenever we carefully and honestly examine our motives, praying to God to help us remove every selfish desire and false thought, we open a way for God to work in and through us. It is at this point that our “good” works become truly good: “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit . . . a good tree cannot bear bad fruit” (7:17-18). But if we avoid the hard work of self-examination (the narrow path) we never get around to rooting out the selfish desires that will contaminate every good work that we do. In that case, the fruit of our outwardly good works will not be good, since the root of the tree is corrupt: “A bad tree bears bad fruit” (7:19).

Unless we choose the narrow path, continually rooting out and eliminating all forms of selfish concern, we will not be able to produce good fruit. As a result, we will be increasingly consumed by the flames of selfish desire: “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (7:19).

In the end, the only thing that counts is our sincere desire to rise above selfish concerns so that our motives may be as pure as possible. That is why this section begins with an exhortation to first remove the plank from our own eye. When the plank of self-interest is removed, we see clearly how we can help others in the most useful and loving ways — ways that are devoid of ego concerns. Whenever this happens, we produce fruit that is truly good. This, then, is what Jesus means when He says, “By their fruits you will know them” (7:20).

Doing the Will of the Father

---
21. “Not everyone that says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but he that does the will of My Father that [is] in the heavens.

22. Many shall say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name, and in Thy name cast out demons, and in Thy name done many [works of] power?

23. And then I will profess to them, I never knew you; depart from me, you that work iniquity.

24. Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a prudent man, who built his house on the rock.

25. And the rain descended, and the rivers came, and the winds blew, and they fell upon that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

26. And everyone that hears these words of Mine, and does them not, shall be likened to a foolish man, who built his house on the sand.

27. And the rain descended, and the rivers came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell, and the fall of it was great.

28. And it came to pass when Jesus had ended these words, the crowds wondered at His teaching.

29. For He was teaching them as [One] having authority, and not as the scribes.”
---

As mentioned in the previous section, a contemplative life, however prayerful and pious, without good works, is useless. Similarly an active life, filled with external good works, without first identifying and shunning our evils, is also useless. Both the extremely pious and the strenuously service-oriented may believe they are serving God and doing their best. But Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (7:21).

To do the will of the Father is to keep the commandments; it is the foundation and basis of everything else. 3 Without first keeping the commandments, nothing else really matters. Even if we cast out demons and do wonders, it will not help. As Jesus says “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’” (7:22). In other words, each of us is called to do the deeper work of self-examination. This involves identifying evils within ourselves and shunning them as sins against God. But if we do not obey the fundamental laws of spiritual life, which include shunning the evils of murder, adultery, theft, false witness, and coveting, we cannot claim to be followers of God. Therefore Jesus will say to us, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (7:23).

The spiritual teaching given throughout this chapter is quite clear: just to the extent that we shun evils in ourselves as sins against God, the good that we do is truly good. This is what it means to do the will of God. It is not complicated. Just keep the commandments, and pray for the power to do so.

Whoever does this is like “a wise man who built his house upon a rock.” And who ever does not do this is like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand. When the storms came, the house of the foolish man, built on the shifting sands of human opinion, did not stand. But the house which was built upon the rock — faith in the Lord and a life according to His teachings — was able to withstand the most violent storms of life. As Jesus says, “The rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock” (7:25).

In the stormy setbacks of life — represented by the rain, the floods, and the wind beating upon the house — our true motives are exposed. During these moments we can freely choose to turn to God, asking Him to help us cleanse our heart from every self-serving desire. And when we do so, the rains cease, the floods subside, and the winds die down.

As the storm clouds pass, and the sun begins to shine, peace returns and joy arises. It is then that we realize that God has been with us all along, helping us to remove evil and inspiring us to do good. In these “after-the-storm” states, we understand, more and more deeply, that God is always there, calmly leading and instructing, offering the truth that will keep us rock-solid, even in the midst of the most turbulent emotional storms.

This awareness does not come merely by hearing the truth; rather, it is a result of living the truth. Therefore Jesus concludes the Sermon on the Mount with a wonderful promise and a firm warning. First the promise: “Everyone who hears these sayings of Mine and does them, I will liken to a wise man who built his house upon a rock. And the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon the house, and it did not fall, for it was founded upon a rock” (7:24). And then comes the warning: “Everyone who hears these sayings of Mine and does not do them, I will liken to a foolish man who built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon the house, and it fell. And great was its fall” (7:27).

This was the powerful ending of what has come to be known as “the Sermon on the Mount.” It is significant that Jesus gave this sermon on a “rock” (a mountain), the most enduring symbol on earth of an immoveable, unshakeable faith.

As Jesus concluded the sermon, “the crowds wondered at His words” (7:28). That’s because “He taught them as one having authority, not like the scribes” (7:29). Jesus’ words were filled with power. He spoke with a kind of authority that was unlike anything they had heard before; it was certainly unlike anything they had heard from other religious leaders. It’s easy to imagine them thinking, Who is this man? Where did he come from? And where did he get this knowledge?

This will become the leading question throughout the rest of this gospel. Who is Jesus?

-----
Footnotes:

1Conjugial Love 523: “The Lord says, ‘Judge not, that you be not condemned.’ This cannot in the least mean judging of someone's moral and civil life in the world, but judging of someone's spiritual and heavenly life. Who does not see that if people were not allowed to judge of the moral life of those dwelling with them in the world, society would collapse? What would become of society if there were no public courts of law, and if no one was permitted to have his judgment of another? But to judge what the inner mind or soul is like within, thus what a person's spiritual state is and so his fate after death — of this one is not permitted to judge, because it is known to the Lord alone.”

2Charity 21: “All good that in itself is good proceeds from the interior will. Evil is removed from this will by repentance. See also True Christian Religion 654: “The works of charity done by a Christian and those done by a heathen appear in outward form to be alike, for one like the other practices the good deeds of civility and morality toward his fellow, which in part resemble the deeds of love to the neighbor. Both, even, may give to the poor, aid the needy and attend preaching in churches, and yet who can thereby determine whether or not these external good deeds are alike in their internal form, that is, whether these natural good deeds are also spiritual? This can be concluded only from the faith; for the faith is what determines their quality, since faith causes God to be in them and conjoins them with itself in the internal man; and thus natural good works become interiorly spiritual…. The Lord, charity, and faith make one, like life, will, and understanding, but when separated they all perish like a pearl reduced to powder.”

3Apocalypse Explained 981: “Love to the Lord means the love or affection of doing His commandments, thus the love of keeping the commandments of the Decalogue. For so far as a person from love or from affection keeps and does these, so far a person loves the Lord. This is because these commandments are the Lord’s presence with everyone.”

-----

   Studovat vnitřní smysl

Exploring the Meaning of Matthew 7      

Napsal(a) Rev. Dr. Ray Silverman

Chapter 7.

Examining our Motives

---
1. “Judge not, that you be not judged.

2. For in what judgment you judge, you shall be judged; and in what measure you measure, it shall be measured back to you.

3. And why dost thou look at the bit of straw in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam in thine own eye?

4. Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Permit [me] to cast out the bit of straw from thine eye, and behold, the beam [is] in thine own eye?

5. Hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye, and then thou shalt look carefully to cast out the bit of straw out of thy brother’s eye.

6. Give not that which is holy to the dogs, neither cast your pearls in front of swine, lest they trample them by their feet, and turning, tear you.

7. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.

8. For everyone that asks, receives; and he that seeks, finds; and to him that knocks, it shall be opened.

9. Or what man is there of you, who, if his son ask [for] bread, will give him a stone?

10. And if he ask [for] a fish, will he give [him] a serpent?

11. If you then, being wicked, know [how] to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father that [is] in the heavens give good [things] to those that ask Him?

12. Therefore all things whatsoever you will that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them; for this is the Law and the Prophets.

13. Enter ye in through the tight gate, for wide [is] the gate and broad [is] the way that leads away into destruction, and there are many who come in through it,

14. Because tight [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way that leads into life, and there are few who find it.

15. And beware ye of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s raiment, but inside they are rapacious wolves.

16. From their fruits you shall know them. Do [men] collect grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?

17. So every good tree makes good fruits; but a rotten tree makes bad fruits.

18. A good tree cannot make bad fruits; neither [can] a rotten tree make good fruits.

19. Every tree not making good fruit is cut down, and cast into the fire.

20. Therefore from their fruits you shall know them.”
---

The previous episode ended with the words, “sufficient unto the day is its own evil.” These words remind us that there is nothing more important than examining the hidden evils in our own lives, investigating our own motives, and determining to what extent we are putting God first. This is absolutely essential if we ever hope to do good towards the neighbor that truly is good. In other words, in order to do good we must first examine our deeper motives and ask God to remove any evil, selfish inclinations that might still be in our heart. This is a daily process, even moment to moment, identifying and removing one selfish inclination at a time.

If, for example, we have been highly critical of others, we are taught to examine this aspect of our nature: “Judge not, that you be not judged,” says Jesus. “For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged” (7:1-2). This does not mean that we are never to make any judgments at all, for in order for society to survive, civil and moral judgments must be made. Personnel managers must decide whether a particular individual is more or less qualified for a job; physicians must decide whether or not to perform a life threatening operation; referees must make decisions about the games at which they officiate; judges must make decisions that are consistent with the law. Judgments of this nature must be made continually in order for society to properly function.

What then does Jesus mean when He says, “Judge not, that you be not judged”? He means that we should not make spiritual judgments about people. We should be most cautious when it comes to assessing the motives and intentions of others. We really cannot see into another person’s soul; therefore we do not know what drives a person, what anyone’s motivations are, or what reasons lurk behind a person’s external words and actions. Because all of this is in the realm of the spirit, we are forbidden to make judgments about anyone’s deeper motivations or essential character. 1

We are, however, strongly encouraged to judge our own motives and intentions. This is why Jesus says, “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank that is in your own eye? . . . Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye” (7:3, 5). Self-examination, as we shall see, is the key to spiritual growth. To the extent that we examine and remove evils from ourselves, we open the way for good to flow in from God.

But the process of examining ourselves, identifying evils and overcoming them, requires prayer to God for the light and the will to do so: “Ask, and it will be given you,” says Jesus. “Seek, and you will find; knock and it will be opened” (7:7). Jesus’ words are filled with assurance: “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (7:8).

As the sermon continues, Jesus offers several keys for how we can go about examining our motives and intentions. Perhaps the most famous and the most widely practiced of all is the golden rule: “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (7:12). This universal principle of self-examination applies to all people, in all faiths, at all times. It calls us to ask ourselves, “Would you want someone to do to you what you are about to do to them?” If the answer is “no,” we should not do it. If the answer is “yes,” we should do it.

But even though the golden rule is a universal principle, it can also be a “narrow path” if we rarely walk it. If we choose instead to walk the pathway of self-indulgence and harsh judgment of others, the more we walk that pathway, the broader it becomes.

Therefore, Jesus says, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way that leads to life, and there are few who find it” (7:13-14). Jesus knows that the pathway of careful self-examination and consideration of others is a narrow one. It is not well-trodden, simply because people have not walked it very often. Even so, it is the way that leads to the fullest life.

As the process of self-examination deepens, we must be especially aware of our tendency to use scripture to promote our own selfish ends. Jesus therefore warns us to “beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” (7:15). “False prophets” are our own tendencies to use sacred scripture (“sheep’s clothing”) as a way of achieving selfish ambitions (“inwardly they are ravenous wolves”). As long as we have self-serving ulterior motives, nothing truly good can be produced. Bushes that produce “thistles” and “thorns” symbolize the barrenness of actions that have self-interest within them — the empty, fruitless efforts to appear righteous in the eyes of others, while inwardly there is no righteousness at all. As Jesus says, “You will know them by their fruits; do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?” (7:16).

None of us, no matter how often we read or quote scripture, is on the path that leads to life until we begin to serve others from a truly spiritual motive. Service to others and faith in God must not be separated. For example, there are many contemplative paths that focus on prayer, meditation, study, and reflection. While these faith-oriented disciplines are vitally important, they must also include useful service. If not, they are incomplete.

Similarly, there are many paths that emphasize charity and good will. These service-oriented disciplines focus on saving the environment, establishing schools, providing homeless shelters, feeding the hungry, helping the handicapped, and caring for the poor and needy around the world. These works of outward compassion are vitally important, but if they are not motivated by a genuine love for the neighbor, they have little actual good in them. In fact, they can become another form in which the ravenous wolf (desire to be appreciated, rewarded, and esteemed) disguises itself in sheep’s clothing (doing external good works for others).

Whether we tend towards the path of contemplation or the path of service, the narrow path should not be neglected, for it is at the heart of both approaches. It reminds us to stay spiritually awake and to be conscious of what is arising in our inner world. It calls us to first of all look to God in His Word, shunning evils as sins against Him (faith-oriented disciplines), and then looks outward towards the neighbor, striving to see and serve God in everyone (service-oriented disciplines). If our works are to be truly good and our service efforts are to bear noble fruit, they must flow from our highest intentions. These are the finer instincts and nobler promptings of a heart that is being cleansed through self-examination in the light of God’s commandments. 2

Whenever we carefully and honestly examine our motives, praying to God to help us remove every selfish desire and false thought, we open a way for God to work in and through us. It is at this point that our “good” works become truly good: “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit . . . a good tree cannot bear bad fruit” (7:17-18). But if we avoid the hard work of self-examination (the narrow path) we never get around to rooting out the selfish desires that will contaminate every good work that we do. In that case, the fruit of our outwardly good works will not be good, since the root of the tree is corrupt: “A bad tree bears bad fruit” (7:19).

Unless we choose the narrow path, continually rooting out and eliminating all forms of selfish concern, we will not be able to produce good fruit. As a result, we will be increasingly consumed by the flames of selfish desire: “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (7:19).

In the end, the only thing that counts is our sincere desire to rise above selfish concerns so that our motives may be as pure as possible. That is why this section begins with an exhortation to first remove the plank from our own eye. When the plank of self-interest is removed, we see clearly how we can help others in the most useful and loving ways — ways that are devoid of ego concerns. Whenever this happens, we produce fruit that is truly good. This, then, is what Jesus means when He says, “By their fruits you will know them” (7:20).

Doing the Will of the Father

---
21. “Not everyone that says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but he that does the will of My Father that [is] in the heavens.

22. Many shall say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name, and in Thy name cast out demons, and in Thy name done many [works of] power?

23. And then I will profess to them, I never knew you; depart from me, you that work iniquity.

24. Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a prudent man, who built his house on the rock.

25. And the rain descended, and the rivers came, and the winds blew, and they fell upon that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

26. And everyone that hears these words of Mine, and does them not, shall be likened to a foolish man, who built his house on the sand.

27. And the rain descended, and the rivers came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell, and the fall of it was great.

28. And it came to pass when Jesus had ended these words, the crowds wondered at His teaching.

29. For He was teaching them as [One] having authority, and not as the scribes.”
---

As mentioned in the previous section, a contemplative life, however prayerful and pious, without good works, is useless. Similarly an active life, filled with external good works, without first identifying and shunning our evils, is also useless. Both the extremely pious and the strenuously service-oriented may believe they are serving God and doing their best. But Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (7:21).

To do the will of the Father is to keep the commandments; it is the foundation and basis of everything else. 3 Without first keeping the commandments, nothing else really matters. Even if we cast out demons and do wonders, it will not help. As Jesus says “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’” (7:22). In other words, each of us is called to do the deeper work of self-examination. This involves identifying evils within ourselves and shunning them as sins against God. But if we do not obey the fundamental laws of spiritual life, which include shunning the evils of murder, adultery, theft, false witness, and coveting, we cannot claim to be followers of God. Therefore Jesus will say to us, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (7:23).

The spiritual teaching given throughout this chapter is quite clear: just to the extent that we shun evils in ourselves as sins against God, the good that we do is truly good. This is what it means to do the will of God. It is not complicated. Just keep the commandments, and pray for the power to do so.

Whoever does this is like “a wise man who built his house upon a rock.” And who ever does not do this is like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand. When the storms came, the house of the foolish man, built on the shifting sands of human opinion, did not stand. But the house which was built upon the rock — faith in the Lord and a life according to His teachings — was able to withstand the most violent storms of life. As Jesus says, “The rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock” (7:25).

In the stormy setbacks of life — represented by the rain, the floods, and the wind beating upon the house — our true motives are exposed. During these moments we can freely choose to turn to God, asking Him to help us cleanse our heart from every self-serving desire. And when we do so, the rains cease, the floods subside, and the winds die down.

As the storm clouds pass, and the sun begins to shine, peace returns and joy arises. It is then that we realize that God has been with us all along, helping us to remove evil and inspiring us to do good. In these “after-the-storm” states, we understand, more and more deeply, that God is always there, calmly leading and instructing, offering the truth that will keep us rock-solid, even in the midst of the most turbulent emotional storms.

This awareness does not come merely by hearing the truth; rather, it is a result of living the truth. Therefore Jesus concludes the Sermon on the Mount with a wonderful promise and a firm warning. First the promise: “Everyone who hears these sayings of Mine and does them, I will liken to a wise man who built his house upon a rock. And the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon the house, and it did not fall, for it was founded upon a rock” (7:24). And then comes the warning: “Everyone who hears these sayings of Mine and does not do them, I will liken to a foolish man who built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon the house, and it fell. And great was its fall” (7:27).

This was the powerful ending of what has come to be known as “the Sermon on the Mount.” It is significant that Jesus gave this sermon on a “rock” (a mountain), the most enduring symbol on earth of an immoveable, unshakeable faith.

As Jesus concluded the sermon, “the crowds wondered at His words” (7:28). That’s because “He taught them as one having authority, not like the scribes” (7:29). Jesus’ words were filled with power. He spoke with a kind of authority that was unlike anything they had heard before; it was certainly unlike anything they had heard from other religious leaders. It’s easy to imagine them thinking, Who is this man? Where did he come from? And where did he get this knowledge?

This will become the leading question throughout the rest of this gospel. Who is Jesus?

-----
Footnotes:

1. Conjugial Love 523: “The Lord says, ‘Judge not, that you be not condemned.’ This cannot in the least mean judging of someone's moral and civil life in the world, but judging of someone's spiritual and heavenly life. Who does not see that if people were not allowed to judge of the moral life of those dwelling with them in the world, society would collapse? What would become of society if there were no public courts of law, and if no one was permitted to have his judgment of another? But to judge what the inner mind or soul is like within, thus what a person's spiritual state is and so his fate after death — of this one is not permitted to judge, because it is known to the Lord alone.”

2. Charity 21: “All good that in itself is good proceeds from the interior will. Evil is removed from this will by repentance. See also True Christian Religion 654: “The works of charity done by a Christian and those done by a heathen appear in outward form to be alike, for one like the other practices the good deeds of civility and morality toward his fellow, which in part resemble the deeds of love to the neighbor. Both, even, may give to the poor, aid the needy and attend preaching in churches, and yet who can thereby determine whether or not these external good deeds are alike in their internal form, that is, whether these natural good deeds are also spiritual? This can be concluded only from the faith; for the faith is what determines their quality, since faith causes God to be in them and conjoins them with itself in the internal man; and thus natural good works become interiorly spiritual…. The Lord, charity, and faith make one, like life, will, and understanding, but when separated they all perish like a pearl reduced to powder.”

3. Apocalypse Explained 981: “Love to the Lord means the love or affection of doing His commandments, thus the love of keeping the commandments of the Decalogue. For so far as a person from love or from affection keeps and does these, so far a person loves the Lord. This is because these commandments are the Lord’s presence with everyone.”

-----

Swedenborg

Výklad(y) nebo odkazy ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 34, 44, 367, 794, 922, 1011, 1017, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 8, 166, 376, 400, 409, 433, 495, ...

A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine 114

Conjugial Love 118, 453, 523, 531

Divine Providence 128, 230, 250, 330

Doctrine of the Lord 9

Doctrine of the Sacred Scripture 51

Doctrine of Life 2, 30, 39, 73, 91, 93, 104

Heaven and Hell 471, 534

The Last Judgement 59

True Christian Religion 106, 226, 347, 375, 376, 381, 411, ...

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 119, 127


Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

Apocalypse Explained 108, 109, 186, 195, 212, 231, 250, ...

Charity 118

De Verbo (The Word) 5, 15

Divine Love 17

Divine Wisdom 11

Scriptural Confirmations 6, 14, 68, 87

Skočit na podobné biblické verše

Genesis 6:5, 8:21

Exodus 21:25

Deuteronomy 4:29, 13:1, 2

Judges 1:7

1 Samuel 20, 27

1 Kings 3:5

1 Chronicles 28:9

2 Chronicles 15:2

Job 13:16

Psalms 6:9, 16:11, 86:5, 101:4, 119:115

Proverbs 8:17, 10:25, 12:7, 14:12, 20:11

Isaiah 28:17, 29:13

Jeremiah 14:14, 23:16, 27:15, 29:13, 14, 34:17, 50:29

Ezekiel 13:11, 12

Hosea 8:2

Obadiah 1:15

Videa od Swedenborg Foundation

Zde uvedená videa jsou poskytnuta se svolením našich přátel ze Swedenborg Foundation. Více se o nich dozvíte zde: swedenborg.com.


Will Life Be Different When You Die?

What is life in the afterlife like? Is it very different from our life in this world? We take a look at what's similar and what's different with regard to religion, jobs, relationships, and more!


The Gates to Heaven and Hell

Are the gates to heaven and hell there to limit who has access? Are there even really gates? We dig into the symbolism of gates, how heaven and hell flow into our minds, and how we can help to open the "gate" of heaven in ourselves and our world.


Is the Law of Attraction Real? - Swedenborg and Life

What is the “Law of Attraction”? Is it real? Swedenborg says yes, but you have to understand how it operates and where, considering different levels of life and reality.

Zdroje pro rodiče a učitele

Zde uvedené položky jsou poskytnuty se svolením našich přátel z General Church of the New Jerusalem. Můžete prohledávat/procházet celou knihovnu kliknutím na odkaz this link.


 Answers to Prayers
We need to learn about the Lord's way of answering prayers.
Article | Ages over 15

 Build a House on the Rock
Use blocks or small cardboard boxes to build a house on sand and sprinkle with water to see what happens. Then build the house on a rock.
Activity | Ages 4 - 10

 Build on the Rock
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 By Their Fruits
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 Choosing Heaven or Hell
A lesson and activities exploring how our choices lead us towards heaven or hell, day by day.
Religion Lesson | Ages over 15

 Correspondences of Mineral Kingdom
Illustrations of places in the Word that mention minerals.
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Doing Is Living
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 Dramatize Giving Good Things to Those Who Ask
Dramatize and discuss the examples given by the Lord of a parent giving good gifts to a child. The Lord gives these examples to reassure us that He also will give us what will help us most. 
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

 Entering the Narrow Way
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 First Remove the Plank
Activity | Ages over 15

 Foundations for My Life
Reflect on beliefs or attitudes that are like “foundations” for your life. These are the constants that help you weather the storms of life.
Activity | Ages over 13

 Fruit of the Vine
Talk about grapes and other fruit that grows on a vine. Consider making "a grape vine" of good deeds with "grape" beads to put on a green cord.
Activity | Ages 4 - 10

 Golden Rule
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 Golden Rule and Prayer Crossword Puzzle
Crossword puzzle about the Golden Rule and the Lord's Prayer.
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

 Hear and Do
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Hearing and Doing
It is important to do what the Lord teaches as well as listen to Him.
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Helping Out
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 House Built on the Rock and Sand
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 House Built on the Rock Demonstration
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 House Built on the Rock Diorama
Color the pieces of the diorama, then cut them out and assemble it. 
Project | Ages 7 - 14

 House Built on the Rock Rebus
Younger children will enjoy "reading" the pictures with help from an older child or adult. 
Activity | Ages 4 - 10

 House Built on the Rock (sheet music with hand motions)
Song | Ages up to 10

 How the Word Enlightens
The Lord wants to help everyone see spiritual things more clearly but the quality and extent of an individual’s enlightenment depends on his or her own spiritual development. Enlightenment is affected by the questions we ask the Lord and the reasons we are seeking answers.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Illustrate the Parable of the House Built on the Rock
Illustrate the parable by picturing both the house built on the rock and the house built on the sand.
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 Judgment
When the Lord says “judge not,” the meaning is that we are not to judge falsely, or from a selfish motive, or based only on external appearances. And instead of looking for faults in others, we should concentrate on removing the evils and falsities within ourselves. 
Worship Talk | Ages over 15

 Memory Verse: I Will Build My Church
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Memory Verse: Looking for the Good in Others
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Memory Verse: Praying to the Lord
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Pathways to Heaven and Hell
Contrast the paths to heaven and to hell by picturing some of things that might be seen along these paths by someone who can see clearly in the spiritual world.
Project | Ages 7 - 14

 Prayers for Adults: Dealing with Other People with True Charity
Activity | Ages over 18

 Prayers for Adults: Praying to the Lord
Activity | Ages over 18

 Prayers for Children: Being Kind to Other People
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

 Prayers for Children: King of Kings
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

 Prayers for Children: Praying to the Lord
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

 Prayers for Teens: Friendship and Judgment
Activity | Ages 15 - 17

 Prayers for Teens: Keeping the Sabbath
Activity | Ages 15 - 17

 Prayers for Teens: Praying to the Lord
Activity | Ages 15 - 17

 Quotes: I Will Build My Church
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Quotes: The Way to Heaven
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Song: The House Built on a Rock (3-5, 6-8 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 14

 Stormy Weather
Identify and write about some of the false ideas that may distort our thinking and challenge our commitment to the Lord.
Activity | Ages over 15

 The Golden Rule
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 The House Built on a Rock
This lesson discusses a story from the Word and suggests projects and activities for young children.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 The House Built on the Rock (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 The House on the Rock
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The House on the Rock with Quote
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Lord's First Parable
The sermon on the mount ended with the parable of the house built on the rock and the house built on the sand.
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Sermon on Mount--The House Built on the Rock
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 The Sermon on the Mount
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 The Sermon on the Mount (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 Tolerance and Judgment
Loving the neighbor is intending and doing good to all, but wisely loving others takes a variety of forms depending on others' actions.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Two Houses
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Wings of Truth
Lesson and activities exploring how truth can uplift, protect, and free us.
Religion Lesson | Ages over 15

 You Are the Man!
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14


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