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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 will help you get your week started. Right? We 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 November the 29th. I'm mark. I'm working on a great cup of coffee, and I hope that like me, you're coming off of a really nice Thanksgiving holiday, great time to be together with friends and with family gets the whole holiday season started, but we certainly don't want to lose our daily disciplines. We don't want to lose our place. As we continue to work with the material from yesterday's worship assembly, we just need to keep pressing on serve the Lord in a better way. Even when there's a lot of distractions, we're still doing that. And this podcast is going to help us load some supplemental material from yesterday's Q and a sermon on the guidance of the Lord. And then we'll talk about daily Bible reading. Let's pour that cup of coffee. Let's get our Bibles. Let's get to it. Yesterday was Q and a morning at west side, had some great questions. We did some stuff about Christmas songs, did some things about the death of a child, and then did some questions to help us think better about the guidance of God. And first, we really talked about some things that we don't want to be doing when we get involved in God's guidance or searching for the will of God. One of those is putting out a fleece like Gideon did. We're not doing that. That's not helpful. And then talked extensively about watching for random signs, coincidences, things that happen that then we attribute to some kind of coded message from God that the Lord wants us to pick up on the fact that we met this person coming into the store or a parking space was mysteriously suddenly available right at the front, or all kinds of weird happenings like that. All that gets invested with spiritual significance. Then as I was working through that, we talked a little bit about knowing the will of God and that we can know God's will and how that works. I'm going to add that material then a couple of ideas. First, since we got rid of watching for random signs and we got rid of fleecing, let me get rid of one other way that people search for God's guidance. And that is through some kind of inner conviction or feeling. I just, I just know that God places in my heart , um, you get the idea where people say, God led me. There's just a mysterious, inner feeling that causes me to know , God wants me to do this thing. However, if you go searching in the scripture for that kind of thing, you're not going to find anything even remotely akin to that. There is nothing in the Bible about that. There is no example in the scripture where a person discern the will of God through some sort of inward force or feeling or emotion. There is no statement in the old or new Testament that we should look inside ourselves so that we can discern God's will for our lives and our feelings. There's nothing about the spirit warming our hearts. None of that. In fact, there actually are illustrations of people who just know that they have got God's will they just know this is the right thing to do? And they're completely wrong. I'm thinking about Nathan, who tells David in second, Samuel seven. Yes. Build that temple. God will be happy about that. That is entirely wrong. I think about Paul, he thought he was right when he was persecuting the church, he felt good about that. Lots of illustrations of that kind of thing. If you fall into this emotional, I'm just, I just feel it kind of guidance model. Then what happens is you end up with no objective standard of right and wrong because now my feelings, Trump, what the Bible says, and this is of course where we get things like, God just wants me to be happy. And I just feel this is right. And that line is used to justify even central sorts of behavior. And in all of that, then we end up without real personal responsibility. It's not my fault. I did these things. God led me to do those things. And sometimes people end up very angry with the Lord. Feelings are really fickle. They heart , not a great barometer, but when people trust in that kind of thing, they will go down certain paths. They just know this is what God wants them to do. It doesn't work out then. Yeah. Then they're really hacked off at God. So we don't want to have any part of that. The other thing then that I want to add to what I was saying about how God does lead us through the general revelation of scripture, that there's no indication that God has a specific plan for every last detail of our life. And that is hidden in some way from us. I want to add an illustration of how all that comes together in acts chapter 16, open your Bible to acts 16. Let's read verses six to 10. What's often referred to as the call to Macedonia. This is speaking of Paul and Silas on the second missionary journey. They went through the region of Phrygia. It's easy for you to say Phrygia and Glacia , haven't been forbidden by the holy spirit to speak the word in Asia. And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Mathenia. But the spirit of Jesus did not allow them. So passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas and as a vision appeared to Paul in the night, a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, come over to Macedonia and help us. And when Paul had seen the vision immediately, we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. That leads then to Paul sailing, to Philippa and verse 12, when they get to fill up high on the Sabbath day, verse 13, they find some Jewish women meeting down by the Riverside. Paul preaches the gospel and Lydia and her household are baptized into Christ. Now I think this is a really helpful illustration of God's guidance. There's a couple of things to notice about this. This really is the authentic, genuine, big deal, where there is a voice, a compelling call. You got the holy spirit preventing Paul from going to certain places and in certain directions. So this is direct guidance in a fashion and in a kind that you and I are not privy to, but it really helps us think through how God expects us to act and to seek, to do his will. Maybe in some ways it helps us by showing us how even God's direct guidance didn't work the way people often think God's guidance is supposed to because with the direct guidance that Paul had received, we just know that when he gets to Macedonia, he will find a man. That's what he saw in the vision. And that everything will go super smoothly there because that's where God wanted him to be. And Paul will stay a long time in Macedonia. Maybe he will move there. This is where God plans for him to do his work as an evangelist. But the reality is when Paul gets to Macedonia, there is no man at all. In fact, there's not even a synagogue, which is Paul's usual launching spot. Instead he has to work with women. There's a ton of opposition in verse 24, Paul and Silas get thrown in prison. And Paul ends up not being able to stay there a long time at all. Chapter 16 goes on to tell us in verse 40 that he and Silas move on. So right away the conventional thinking about the call of God that God has this all mapped out. And if I could just get that call, then I would know everything to do right away. We can just discard that kind of thinking. Instead, we really see that guidance here is kind of a step-by-step proposition. God, doesn't give you a total view of everything that's ever going to happen in the future. There's just enough to take the next step here. And then this is really the big key that I want to share with you on the podcast. God expects people to respond in their circumstances. God did directly guide Paul to Macedonia in a way that you and I are not going to be guided, but notice Paul didn't have to pray when he got there. Should, should I teach these ladies the gospel? He didn't need guidance to do that. He did what he could with what he knew, where he was. God expected him to be able to recognize that opportunity and to take advantage of that. And this ought to be very empowering to us that we are free to do the best we can, where we are with what we know. We take the principles of the word of God. We take the counsel from godly people that is available to us, and we do the best we can in the circumstances that we are in. And that's okay. Paul was free. Even someone who received direct guidance to go in the direction that he believed was the best way to go. Here are these ladies. I'm teaching them the gospel right now. He didn't have to wait for more direction for a light from above, for another voice. He was trying to do the will of God. And he was free in doing that to move forward in the best way possible to honor God. And the reason Paul can do that. And the reason that we can do that is because if our goal is to honor God with our choices, then God will honor our choices. God is so great that in his Providence, he can use whatever we choose God's plans. Aren't so flimsy that he requires us to always make the best choice and figure everything out. If we're trying to serve the Lord, seek first, the kingdom of God, the Lord can put to use whatever it is that we are doing. So that means we can be flexible because God is so great. And , and we'll do something with whatever I'm doing. I got to Macedonia. Paul says, didn't find a man. Didn't look like exactly. I thought, but here were these people who needed the gospel. Hey, I taught them the gospel. And I think in some ways, many people are expecting just way too much from God. They want some sign from above. They want a passage to jump off the page. They really want to stop walking by faith. Talked about that a little bit yesterday. They want sight . They want certainty before they can do anything. And as you can see in the account that we just read that isn't how guidance from God works at all. God does not have us as puppets on the string, waiting for him to tug and pull us. He wants us to grow. He wants us to learn responsibility for our decisions. He wants us to learn how to adjust to a variety of different circumstances. Paul was not crippled waiting around for another vision from God. He acted with confidence and insurance and we can to do the best you can, where you are with what you have to serve. God, and God will meet you more than half way as you are doing just that. And acts 16 is an excellent illustration of that principle. And I hope that that I hope that that'll tie in well with what we talked about yesterday in Q and a morning. Now it's time to think about our daily Bible reading this week. We'll be finishing Matthew chapter 22, and then we'll be in Matthew chapter 23. True story had take a quick break from the podcast , uh , as I'm working with all of this, because I needed to reheat my coffee, do not like to do that. Coffee out of the microwave is not great, but sometimes I can't find a spot to stop and grab a swig of coffee while I'm talking. Especially if I get wound up talking about the sermon yesterday and it got cold on me. So I refreshed my coffee and now I've got my Bible open to Matthew chapter 22. Reading is going to start in verse 23, which says the same day. So that marks this as Tuesday, Tuesday is the day of questioning and Jesus . Last week, this will be Tuesday through Matthew chapter 26 and verse five and the Sadducees come and they ask him what was probably their favorite question to embarrass the Pharisees. The Sadducees don't believe in the resurrection of the dead and the Pharisees did. And I'm certain that as they sparred verbally, this kind of thing came up quickly. It's based on the level , right? Marriage law, Deuteronomy chapter 25, where if a man died and he hadn't left any heirs , then his brother would be obligated to take that woman as his wife and raise up an air that was all designed of course, to keep the land in the family. And so they answer this question about a man dying him , new children, his brother has to marry, and that brother dies with her seven brothers verse 25. It just goes on and on and on. And they think this is going to show the foolishness of the idea of the afterlife or any of those kinds of things. And Jesus just five says, verse 29, you're just wrong. You don't know the scriptures and you don't know the power of God. And while we have to work, some of this, Jesus goes on to say in the resurrection, they knew the Mary , nor are they given in marriage. We have to work somewhat with some of that. It's hard for me to imagine seeing Dina in the afterlife, seeing Dean in heaven and not feeling some special connection, but the reality is things will be different in heaven. As different there as a watermelon seed is different from the watermelon. Paul tells us that in first Corinthians 15, what we're going to do is we're going to trust the Lord and not worry about how everything is going to work out. It will be fine. God knows what he's doing. He'll take care of it. But again, in verse 31, Jesus says, have you not read what was said to you by God? The emphasis in Jesus' answer is you boys need to read your Bible, read your Bible. That's where the answers are found. Get in the Bible. And the answer actually verse 32. I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, all hinges on the tents of the verb there where it's not. I was the God of Abraham it's. I am implying that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are still alive. In fact, Jesus says he is not the God of the dead, but of the living. And so Jesus says to the Sadducees, you're missing it. You're just flat missing it. And you can see this. Agency's , uh , making a hasty retreat with their tails type between their legs. So then once the side you seas had been silenced, a Pharisee verse 35, and our reading ask about the great commandment. And Jesus says, you shall love the Lord, your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind. I want to encourage you not to try to divide that out into various different pieces and decide loving with the heart means this and loving with it all. Just emphasizes that we love God with every part of us, with everything that we are. And so Jesus completes our reading on Monday by asking the question from Psalm 110. What about the Christ? Whose son is he? Verse 42. Everybody knew the answer to that. That was easy. He picked me, he picked me, he picked me he's the son of David, so I can take him to seven. So then Jesus says, verse 43, how was David then? And the spirit calling him Lord in the Jewish thinking and the ancient world thinking the older is always better. So if the Messiah is the son of David, David is older than the Messiah, David would be better. How then can David say to the Messiah you are my Lord. How can have wheat that doesn't work? The son of David can't be greater than David. The son can't be greater than the father. And so Jesus quotes on 110. The Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet to challenge the people, to see that the only possible way that David's son can be greater than David is if David's son is divine, that's what Matthew's going for here. He's trying to get those people. And the original readers of Matthew Jesus tried to get his original audience. Do you trying to get those folks to think through that? And Matthew is trying to get us to think through the reality that the divine human Messiah can be greater than David while still being David's son, because he is deity in the flash. So on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, we'll be reading in one of the most severe chapters of all the Bible. That's Matthew chapter 23, where Jesus goes on the offensive against the scribes and Pharisees taking on their traditional rules and all of their ideas. They had layered on top of God's law and were binding as if they came from God, Jesus issues, a withering blast. Here it is a stern rebuke. Indeed, don't imagine for a moment that this is Jesus, just throwing a temper tantrum or losing his cool in any way. That's not what this is. This is Josh Jesus. Speaking of divine judgment, God's verdict on these religious groups and particularly their failure to lead the people closer to God, but instead push them away from God, my adding all kinds of stuff to what God had said. So I'll just give a couple of notes here. I don't think it's that difficult to understand this particular set of material. We just need to soak in it and make sure that we're thinking about what happens to those or what God's verdict is on those who would add to his law, those who would bind what he does not bind really need to be focusing on that and thinking about that, sometimes people get super strict and they just add all kinds of their own personal scruples and how I was raised and what my daddy always told me and what my conscience will allow and approve of. They just start piling all this extra stuff onto Christianity, and then they act like that makes them super Christian and it makes them act like they're better than everybody else. Look at me. I abstain from this and I don't do this. And I won't do that. Oh, I'm such a better Christian than you actually in Matthew chapter 23, Jesus deals with people like that and says, you're a complete failure. This is not the way to serve God. And it keeps other people from serving God. That's what we really need. I think from Matthew chapter 23. So a couple of notes here in verse five, they do their deeds to be seen by others. There's a huge cautionary note right there for , they make their phylacteries broad in their fringes long for lotteries where small leather boxes in which we're placed pieces of paper parchment that they had written a scripture on. It was an attempt to take Deuteronomy six ultra, literally to write the word of God on my forehead and bind it on my forehead and bind it on my wrist. I'll just get a little box and stick it in there. And that way I'm doing Deuteronomy six. And of course, everybody will notice my phylactery. What a disaster. That kind of thing is then in Thursday's reading, which is verses 13 to 24, we get some material here, again about vows, kind about all kinds of loopholes and trying to get around swearing by the temple and swearing by the gold of the temple. Stop with all of that, that doesn't work. Jesus says, we need to keep our word in the middle of this verse 23. Then Jesus says, what do you scribes and Pharisees hypocrites. You tied meant. And dill and cumin. Those are tiny little herbs. Can you imagine counting mint seeds so that I can get one out of every 10 to be given to God you do that? Jesus says, and you neglect the weightier matters of the law justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done without neglecting the others way here doesn't mean harder. It means more central, the most important things, the things that hold everything else together or that everything else is built on top of, we just need to keep our eye on that. We need to keep our eye on it. That mean, and Jesus says these, you ought to have don't that neglecting the others doesn't mean that for example, instrumental music in worship, does it matter or how the church spends its money from the treasury? Does it matter? Those things are significant and we want to follow the new Testament pattern about those things, but those are not the essence of Christianity. Jesus didn't die. So we'd have acapella worship. Jesus died to free us from sin and to open the way into the kingdom of God so that we would love him and serve him and trust him. Those are the things that matter. Faith hope and love. Paul will talk about. We need to make sure that we keep our eye on the main thing. That's where Jesus is here in Matthew chapter 23. I'll give you one other note then from verse 35 , uh , here verse 34, actually I'll sin profits Wiseman , scribed some whom you will kill and crucify some you're flogging your synagogues and persecute from town to town. So that on you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth . Now Jesus is setting up the notes of vengeance and judgment that he will sound in Matthew chapter 24. I'll be reading that shortly, but here. So that may come upon you all the righteous blood shed on earth from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah , the son of Berra , Shaya , whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar . We know who Abel is able as Adam's son, who is this Zachariah , who , who is this? This is Zachariah is probably a prophet who was killed in the temple in second Chronicles, 24 versus 2021 and 22. He is the son of Jehoiada. So Sana Berra , Shaya here probably as is often done in lineages and genealogies in Bible times probably references grandfather there. Uh, but the key is in the Jewish Bible. Second Chronicles is the last book in the Hebrew Canon. So Abel is martyred in Genesis and then this Zachariah, we don't know a ton about him, but he's martyred in second Chronicles. That's Jesus's way of saying from Genesis to revelation, you've been killing the prophets of God and the judgment of God is going to fall on people who reject God's word and who then obsess over their own traditions and their own customs and their own regulations and rituals that they have dreamed up. They need to focus on God's word instead. We need that focus as well. That's our Bible reading then for this week, Matthew chapter 22 and Matthew chapter 23, help us. They help us span time focusing on Jesus and on Jesus's agenda. What Jesus wants us to do to follow him. Thank you for listening. I am at the bottom of this cup of coffee. I'm trying to decide if I'm going to go reheat the little dribble in the bottom one more time, but I do hope the Monday morning coffee podcast is helping you in your walk with Jesus Christ. And if it is we'd love for you to subscribe, rate, follow, and give a review on iTunes or whatever app that you listening on. Or if you'd simply tell a friend about this podcast, that would very much, ah , that would very much help us out. We have about a hundred subscribers each week. We like to push that number up. Some if we could, we'd like to have more listeners engaging in the word of God, engaging in daily Bible, reading, thinking more about the lessons that are being preached at Westside, but until next time hope your coffee is delightful. Your Monday, I guess this is cyber Monday. Isn't it hope your Monday is short. And I hope that the Lord will be with you today, all day. See you next week.Speaker 3:
Thanks for listening to the Westside church of Christ podcast. Monday Morning Coffee with Mark, for more information about Westside. You can connect with us through our website, just christian.com and our Facebook page. Our music is from uppbeat.io. That's upbeat with two P'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 Monday.