Matthew 15:2-14 (NIV) "Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!" Jesus replied, "And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,’ he is not to ‘honor his father’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: "’These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’" Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand. What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean.’" Then the disciples came to him and asked, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?" He replied, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides."
Romans 10:10 (NIV) For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified…
Matthew 7:22-23 (NIV 84) Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
Isaiah 1:11-17 (NLT) “What makes you think I want all your sacrifices?” says the Lord. “I am sick of your burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fattened cattle. I get no pleasure from the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. When you come to worship me, who asked you to parade through my courts with all your ceremony? Stop bringing me your meaningless gifts; the incense of your offerings disgusts me! As for your celebrations of the new moon and the Sabbath and your special days for fasting— they are all sinful and false. I want no more of your pious meetings. I hate your new moon celebrations and your annual festivals. They are a burden to me. I cannot stand them! When you lift up your hands in prayer, I will not look. Though you offer many prayers, I will not listen, for your hands are covered with the blood of innocent victims. Wash yourselves and be clean! Get your sins out of my sight. Give up your evil ways. Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows."
Romans 14:11 (NIV) "’As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’"
Romans 6:16-18 (MSG) You know well enough from your own experience that there are some acts of so-called freedom that destroy freedom. Offer yourselves to sin, for instance, and it’s your last free act. But offer yourselves to the ways of God and the freedom never quits. All your lives you’ve let sin tell you what to do. But thank God you’ve started listening to a new master, one whose commands set you free to live openly in his freedom!
Matthew 13:44-46 (NIV 84) “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”
Worship: The act of ascribing ultimate value to something in a way that energizes and engages your whole person.
In your notes, Matthew 15 reveals a worship tradition or “sacred cow” that was important to the religious leaders of Jesus’ day; the ceremonial washing of hands. However, this was not a tradition that God himself prescribed in the scriptures. Can you think of worship traditions today that are not really prescribed by God, but have become “sacred cows”. What should we do with these? What worship traditions can you think of that are prescribed by God. What should we do with these? How can we tell the difference between those that are prescribed by God and those that are not?
What have you been reflecting on the most since listening to today’s message? In what ways is God speaking to your heart right now? How do you need to respond?
Of the four attitudes that Kyle mentioned in today’s message, which has most revealed what is happening in your heart right now? Why do you think this is? Share your feelings on this with your small group or another trusted person. Together, take that attitude to God in prayer, asking him to change it and make your heart sensitive to him.
In what areas of your life do you need to surrender to God? How does your desire to control certain areas of life reveal your pride? Why do you think God hates pride? What do you think are the steps toward letting go of your pride and surrendering to God?
How might you increase your “affection” toward the Lord? Think and pray about this. What steps can you take beginning today?
Elementary Parents, today our bottom line is God is with you when things are hard. We all face situations in our lives that we don’t understand. But God is always with us. He can be trusted through every difficult situation we face. Ask kids who was in a difficult place in our story. (Joseph) What happened? (His jealous brothers sold him as a slave.) No matter what we face in our lives, God is with us. He loves us and will never leave us.
With a passion for Christ that is undeniable, Shane directly involves his listeners in each message. He speaks with high energy and delivers powerful teaching that is relevant to current life issues.