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Welcome to the Westside church’s special Monday Morning Coffee podcast with Mark Roberts. Mark is a disciple, a husband, father and grand dad, as well as a certified coffee geek, fan of CS Lewis’ writings and he loves his big red Jeep. He’s also the preacher for Westside church.
Hello, and welcome to the Westside churches special Monday morning coffee podcast on this podcast. Our preacher Mark Robert we'll help you get your week started right with look back at yesterday's sermon so that we can think through it further and better work the applications into our daily lives . Mark will then look forward into this week's Bible reading so that we can know what to expect and watch for. And he may have some extra bonus thoughts from time to time. So grab a cup of coffee as we start the week together on Monday morning coffee with Mark.Speaker 2:
Good morning. Good morning. Welcome to the Monday morning coffee podcast for September the 27th. I'm Mark. And I've got a good cup of hot coffee, some sermon notes from yesterday and a look ahead. at some wonderful daily Bible reading material from the sermon on the Mount that is queued up for the week ahead. Now, full disclosure. I am recording this a little early because this week Dena and I are in Yellowstone national park, enjoying the wonders of God's creation. While I did get home in time to preach the question and answer sermon Sunday, I certainly wasn't home in time to get all those material to our wonderful podcast team. They're the ones that get it all ready. They edit the sound and add the tracks and the introduction. They get it all uploaded and ready for your podcast app to download automatically this morning. So this was done a little bit before September the 27th, but it's still all about starting your week in the best possible way. And that means grabbing some of the momentum generated in our assembly yesterday morning. Let's think about the sermon yesterday. So Q&A morning began yesterday out of Exodus, the 13th chapter verse 21 and 22. So the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way. And by night in a pillar of fire to give them light that they might travel by day and by night, the pillar of cloud by day, the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people. This is a really good question and it helps us think a little bit more about what that cloud and what that pillar meant to the Israelites. And I talked about that yesterday and I promised you some additional material about that. And again, really glad to have the podcast and have the opportunity to do that kind of thing. To add some material that time would not allow me to insert, or that might simply have just attracted. Sometimes you can overload an audience with way too much information, but I really, really love material that helps us see how the Bible is a continuous whole in how it moves from start to finish with some themes that are just constantly being reinforced. And one of those in scripture is fire in cloud imagery. Both of those are used to stand for and to represent the presence of God among his people. And I talked some about that yesterday, particularly as we talked about some material in Exodus, the 40th chapter, where the tabernacle is filled with the glory of God, that cloud of glory then is the cloud that leads the people, but that's not just a one-time thing in Exodus, the 40th chapter clouds. And to some extent, even fire become very common symbols for the presence of God. And as you're reading your Bible, you just want to keep an eye on that. For example, in Genesis, the 15 chapter, when God reiterates the covenant that he's making with Abraham, there is a covenant making ceremony, and God is represented there as a torch of fire moving between the pieces of the sacrifice and that symbolizes the presence of God. And then of course, the tongues of fire that sit upon the apostles in acts chapter two, that represents the holy spirit, God, the spirit and even more cloud imagery is just used heavily in scripture to talk about God's presence that God is with his people. So for example, in Isaiah 19 in Isaiah the 19 chapter in verse one, when God is coming in judgment, how does the prophet depict that this is an Oracle about Egypt? Behold, the Lord is riding on a swift cloud and comes to Egypt. The clouds are the chariot for God in Daniel talks about in Daniel seven verse 12 and 13 one like the son of man who comes in the clouds, Daniel seven and verse 13 Ezekiel talks about that. And Ezekiel chapter one in verse four, and then Ezekiel actually sees the cloud of God's glory moving out of the temple itself. And Ezekiel chapter 10 people were wondering if Ezekiel is a prophet to those who are in the Babylonian captivity, what has happened? How could God possibly allow the holy city of Jerusalem to be destroyed? The temple has been burned down and Ezekiels answer to that is, Hey, I saw vision, God moved out of Jerusalem. God has abandoned the temple because it was full of corruption and pollution idolatry. It was just stuffed full of every kind of degradation in sin. And God said, this house is dirty and soiled, and I'm not going to live here anymore. And the cloud of God's glory moves out and that cloud imagery continues in the new Testament. What happens at the transfiguration of Jesus? Jesus is talking with Moses and Elijah , uh , by the way, Elijah is taken to heaven in a fiery chariot. Uh , as Jesus is talking there, Peter ends up saying something that kind of misses the mark and the cloud overshadows them. What is that? That's the presence of God in God speaks. This is my beloved son. Hear you him. And then of course, Jesus even says in acts chapter one, the angels say, keep your eye on the clouds. She swore turn in the clouds. So always watch for cloud imagery. I think we probably ought to be careful that somebody is going to read a cloud somewhere that doesn't have anything to do with the presence of God. But the cloud that guided is real, absolutely symbolized and was God's presence among his people. And that's the theme of the Bible. How can sinful people be in God's presence? God is absolutely holy. How can I be in God's presence without just being extinguished by his absolute awesome justice, righteousness and holiness. And the answer in the book of Exodus is through the provisions of the law. Those things that are looking forward to the cross, of course, but through the law of Moses and the sacrifices and the tabernacle and the priesthood, there is a way, a limited kind of way that God is able to dwell among his people and that cloud and that pillar of fire show the people our God is with us. We are dwelling. We are literally living in the presence of God. So that cloud and fire question really opened up some thinking there that helps us see some threads that run all through the tapestry of the Bible story. If you will, the only other note then that I want to give you out of yesterday's sermon is I just want to reinforce again, this idea about judging other people's motives. This comes out of the question about if I pray in public, am I some kind of Pharisee? Am I some kind of hypocrite just trying to use religion to impress other people? Is that what that's all about? So if I pray in a restaurant, oh, I'm just a bad person in what that's about all too often, I'm afraid is we just think the worst of others and we just put the worst possible spin on what others are doing. And there's no way that we can know people's motivations yet. If you watch, it just happened regularly, not just among people in the world, I'm afraid, but even among people among God's people, we've become folks who are just very comfortable with psychological explanations for everything. And so I know why you do what you're doing. And unfortunately, all too often, the spin that I put on that is i t's because you're a bad person. It's because you meant to hurt me. It's because you're all about yourself. And you're an egotistical jerk. I would never ever want someone to impress those kinds of motivations on me. That's not the golden rule, Matthew seven and 12. That's not right. Nobody can know the thoughts of another person, our motivations what's going on inside of someone. I don't want people to treat me that way and I can't treat you that way. Let's just get in the practice of when we see someone doing something, we'll just decide, you know what? I bet them at. Well, you know what? I expect that they're doing the best they can, you know, what? They may need to grow in some areas in their understanding, but they're trying to serve God and please the Lord. What if we decided to be positive about people and think the best instead of assigning evil and dark motives to everything that everybody does, let's not be guilty of evil suspicions. That's an important takeaway from yesterday's Q&A sermon with that then said, as I get another swig of coffee, I'm working out of one of my favorite coffee mugs as coffee mug has my grandkids on it a beautiful photo mug. And I just love it. And having gotten a big swig of coffee, let's think a little bit about daily Bible reading for this week This week in daily Bible reading, we continue to read in the sermon on the Mount. And in some ways, this is kind of like when we were reading in Luke's gospel. And I was teaching Luke on Wednesday night and we were in different places in our reading and in the class. And I felt sometimes like I was doubling back on myself and it was kind of complicated. I just preached on Monday's reading, which is Matthew six, 19 to 34. I preached on the anxiety section of this last Sunday, the 19th. So I'm not certain that I need to go over all of that again. Just remember not all concern or anxiety is sinful. What's important is that we're not over concerned where we're distracted from the kingdom of heaven. That would mean that we're not over concerned with things that we cannot control, things that are beyond our ability to affect in any way. And especially, we're not over concerned with the mundane things of life. God will take care of the necessities so that we can give ourselves fully to the kingdom of God seek ye first, the kingdom of God, don't be distracted from that. Someone has said, worry is about tomorrow, but it is experienced today. I think that's a good thought as we worked through this text today, and we think about how we want to be on serving God right here, right now, seeking first, his kingdom today on Tuesday, then we'll read Matthew chapter seven, verses one to 11. And as we enter into the seventh chapter here somewhere, it starts getting difficult to find the connecting thread. What exactly is Jesus working with previously in the sermon on the Mount? So much of that derives out of Matthew five and verse 20, your righteousness needs to exceed the scribes and Pharisees. Then Jesus gives a bunch of illustrations of that principle. Then in Matthew six, 19, he begins to talk about the heart. What we seek, what we truly want. I think that's capped 6 33 seek first, the kingdom of God. Now Jesus has some teaching, which in some ways just seems to be very powerful, but unconnected ideas. Don't judge. You can pray. What about the golden rule? We watch out for false prophets. There's a lot going on here. And maybe the connecting thread is relationships. How we treat people who are in our life. And this begins, then my talking about judging and talking about prayer. And I'm going to say the same thing about judging here that I said about anxiety and concern. Not all anxiety and concern is sinful and not all judging is wrong. In fact, even though everybody uses this verse constantly to tell particularly Christians that they cannot make any kind of moral judgment, this very text demands, moral judgments , Matthew seven, six, do not give dogs. What is holy ? Wait, wait, wait. I need to judge. Who's a dog. And I need to judge what is holy? And then again in verse 15, beware of false prophets, that's a judging passage that passage says I need to judge who is a false prophet. So Jesus is clearly not forbidding all judging, but he is certainly forbidding hypocritical, judging where I impose a standard upon others that I myself I'm not willing to live to . And I think part of this has to do with that highly critical spirit that just looks for faults and just picks at people and constantly is trying to run people down and find something that they have done that is wrong. I tried to think about this passage when someone who does not understand about new Testament, Christianity calls me pastor, I am not a pastor. A pastor is a shepherd, an elder in the Lord's church. I am not an elder. I'm not a shepherd here at westside. I'm just the preacher. But people in the world, they don't understand that they don't know about that. And they think it's a mark of respect. And even an honor, they're being courteous by calling me pastor, should I just jump down their throat? You terrible person. You should know what new Testament, what the new Testament says about pastors. I'm not a pastor. No, no, no. I think that's a good illustration of the kind of mean-spirited judging that repels people from the kingdom of God, rather than attracts them to it. So maybe I should say here as well that I think what Jesus says in verse six is a helpful balance to what he said in the first five verses about being careful with hypocritical. And mean-spirited judging. There are hard-hearted people who will not listen. And we need to think about our approach to those folks. And especially not waste a lot of time with them on Wednesday. We'll read Matthew chapter seven, beginning in verse 12 through verse 20. This of course has this wonderful, wonderful golden rule, which Jesus, there begins with a so or therefore . And that may go all the way back to the judging idea of Matthew seven. In verse one, we need to treat others the way that we want to be treated. And now Jesus begins to really introduce the two ways imagery. There is a broad way. There's a narrow way. And that is right out of the old Testament. The old Testament loves two ways. Contrast, for example, think about Psalm one. Plus it is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked or stands in the way of sinners or sits in the seat of scoffers his delights in the law of the Lord. He's like a tree planted by streams of water. Verse five, verse four, the wicked are not. So verse five, the wicked will not stand in judgment. There's two ways of living. Two kinds of people. The righteous man, the wicked man righteous me and is like a tree wicked. People are like chaff. The old Testament uses that all the time. And Jesus makes use of that here. Broad is the way many people are going to be on that way. Narrow is the way to righteousness and the way to heaven. Few people are on that. It's the two ways contrast and coming out of that, then Jesus says we need to beware of false prophets. And the key here to be very much tuned in on is that Jesus says false teachers are real and they're dangerous. It's not a case of everybody to believe what you want, or you have your truth that I have my truth. False teachers are ravenous wolfs. False teachers are bad fruit. You want no part of that? I would say this as Jesus's work in that he's saying you can tell them by their character, by their conduct, by their teaching, all of that will reveal that they are false. But sometimes some of that takes time. Now, obviously sometimes we can tell right away someone is teaching malicious error. They're undermining the new Testament. I get it immediately. We think that's just false. And you seem to be a false teacher, but when you just need to be careful about that, some of this will take time for that to be manifested. And before I just go around hastily stamping, everyone I disagree with as a false teacher, I might want to take all that. The new Testament says about that. There's lots about the character false teachers, for example, in Peter and in Jude. But even here, you will recognize them. Verse 16 by their fruits. That sometimes takes a little bit of time. I want to be careful. Again, false teachers are real and they're dangerous, but I don't want to miss apply that label to someone who is, for example, just sincerely mistaken and sincerely wrong in Thursday's reading. Then we'll read Matthew 7 21 to 29. This is the conclusion of the sermon on the Mount. And as far as people who are sincere, just talked about that a little bit, being sincere isn't enough if you're sincerely wrong. And we see that in verse 21, not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven. These people are polite are fervent. They are Orthodox. They are public, and they are spectacular in their religion and they are not accepted by God. That is an important distinction to make. Sincerity is extremely significant in our walk with God, we've talked about integrity or rather more Jesus has talked about integrity and the sermon on the Mount, but being sincerely wrong, doesn't work. We need to be sincere and we need to be right. And we get that in verse 21, 22 and 23, I will declare to them , verse 23, depart from me. You workers of lawlessness doing what Jesus says and the way that Jesus said to do it by the scriptures. Following the pattern of new Testament. Christianity matters. These do not do that. And they do not injure the kingdom of heaven. Verse 21. The sermon concludes then with the parable of the two builders, please notice you can't tell the difference. As the houses are going up a house built on sand house, built on a foundation of rock. They look the same. It all looks good until the storm comes. Then that lack of spiritual depth and character is revealed in grade is the fall of it. If we've built on sand building here on the rock means what it means hearing and doing the words of Christ. Every one, verse 26, who hears these words of mine and does not do them is a foolish man. What a challenge in our daily Bible reading are we reading our Bible every day, answering our five questions, patting ourselves on the back and going on our way unchanged, that won't work. Finally. Then Matthew says when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching for he was teaching them as one who had authority in chapter eight, that authority theme moves forward. Jesus one who has authority. We'll see that in Friday's reading, we'll finish the week and daily Bible reading from Matthew's account of Jesus, cleansing, a leper and healing, a servant of a Centurion Matthew chapter eight. We'll read Matthew eight one to 13 on Friday. And once again, we're going to talk about the authority of Jesus. He heals this leper touches him. Nobody's touching lepers, that's icky, that's gross. It's a terrible disease. And of course, to touch the leper might be to contact leprosy. So this is an amazing scene of Jesus's compassion and helping him notice that Jesus then tells him to offer the gift. Verse four, that Moses commanded Jesus is a good law. Abiding Jews sometimes People forget about that. But Jesus is under the authority of the law of Moses. Really the centerpiece in our reading is this faith of the Centurion. He says, verse nine, I'm a man under authority. Jesus, you don't even need to come to my house. I know what it means to give orders. And the orders are obey. Just give the word in Jesus marvels verse 10. How many times does that happen? Jesus marvels and says, truly I tell you, I have not found such faith in Israel. Then Jesus says, I tell you many will come from the east and the Western recline at table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. While the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. And in that place, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Wow. All of a sudden Jesus gets super old Testameny that's not a word, but it should be. Jesus gets really old testimony, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And he ties that into the kingdom of heaven, which is exactly what we're trying to get in our five questions about Matthew. We're trying to root this in the old Testament and see the old Testament connections. What Jesus says there is that in heaven, the messianic banquet reclining at table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that's a metaphor for heaven in scripture. There are number of ways that heaven is described. For example, the city of God in revelation, there are many different metaphors for that eternal dwelling place to be in God's presence. And one of those that used in the old Testament that was very near and dear to the hearts of the Jews is the idea of sitting down and eating with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. That would be amazing, especially because in new Testament society eating together meant endorsement. I'm condoning you, I'm in agreement with you. You have people into your home, in the new Testament world. That means that you're accepting them. So to be accepted into God's home and to sit down and eat with these old Testament, worthies, that's just the pinnacle of all things for Jews. Maybe it says a lot about us, that many people today, the metaphor for heaven is some kind of retirement home where they can golf and fish and hunter shop, or I don't know what you gratify every materialistic urge they've ever had. And the metaphor that Jews preferred was sitting down and visiting with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that probably is pretty telling, but Jesus here says that there's going to be people in heaven who are not expected. Gentiles are like this Centurion they'll get in verse 11 while the sons of the kingdom, who's that that's Jews they're not going to get in. And that is a very old Testament idea as well in Isaiah chapter 45, verse six and Malachi one verse 11 in Micah, four, there's lots of ideas about how the Gentiles need to be brought into the kingdom of God. Unfortunately, by the time of Jesus, the thinking among many Jews was that the kingdom of God was very exclusive and reserved only for Jews. Other people, Gentiles, not a chance. God doesn't love them. God doesn't care about them. They can't get in. Jesus sees amazing faith here in this Centurion. He says, that's what it's about. Not what your pedigree looks like, what your genealogy looks like. Oh, look, I went to ancestry.com and I traced my way back to Erin and I'm in the high priest leave . Oh , stop. That doesn't matter. What matters is that you have faith that submit to Jesus's authority. And we see that here in Matthew, chapter 11 in the Centurion. So Jesus says, verse 13, go let it be done for you. As you have believed in the servant was healed at that very moment, we need to manifest and we need to show the kind of faith that the Centurion has, the kind of faith that submits to Jesus Christ. That is how you get in the kingdom of heaven. Not because dare I say it, you grew up going to church or your parents went to church or you hang around a lot of people who go to church or you even go to church every now and then you need to have the faith that submits to the authority of Jesus Christ. That's our reading in Matthew chapter eight, deeply rooted in old Testament ideas, but absolutely practical and relevant for you and me today. Well thank you for listening. If you love the Monday morning coffee podcast, we would love for you to follow subscribe rate and give a review on iTunes or whatever app you listen on. And it would really help. If you tell others about the show, as we continue to try to grow and expand our listening audience, we would love for you to tell someone, Hey, give this a try, give this a try. It'll help you in your daily Bible reading. It'll help you as you think about the sermon from you on Sunday, you can listen to that. I just christians.com or on our Facebook page, and then get some notes about that. To help you integrate that into your life. We just think the Monday morning coffee podcast can be a great way to build spiritual momentum into your week. And I hope I hope it's helping you. So until next time, may your coffee be delightful? May your Monday be short and may the Lord be with you today all day. See you next week.Speaker 1:
Thanks for listening to the Westside church of Christ podcast. Monday morning coffee with mark far more information about Westside. You can connect with us through our website, justchristians .com and our Facebook page. Our music is from upbeat dot io that's upbeat with two PP's UPPBEAT, where creators can get free music. Please share our podcast with others. And we look forward to seeing you again with a cup of coffee, of course, on next M onday,