Belt of Truth
Knowing and Applying God's Truth to Real Life
Matthew 9:27-31 (NKJV) When Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, "Son of David, have mercy on us!" And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" They said to Him, "Yes, Lord." Then He touched their eyes, saying, "According to your faith let it be to you." And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, saying, "See that no one knows it." But when they had departed, they spread the news about Him in all that country.
What truth is revealed? This story reveals a couple things about Jesus. Firstly, He has the power to heal. In this case it was two blind men. Secondly, we get to witness the true humility of Jesus. He just completes a significant miracle and He tells those that are on the receiving end of the miracle “not to share.”
What can we learn from this story? Most people, if they were involved in a verifiable miracle, would advertise the fact; maybe start a tent revival and make their name known. As demonstrated in this story, if you do mighty things in the name and in the power of God, the news will spread; but remaining humble is of key importance. The more “we” accomplish in the work of the Kingdom, the greater is the temptation to pride; and pride—well, since God stands in opposition to the proud it’s not a good thing!
How can I apply this story to my life? I have three quick takeaways: 1) Minister to people in need. 2) Pray and believe in God’s power to heal and save. 3) Guard my heart and remain humble; and if anything comes of my efforts, recognize God’s power and give Him the glory.
Questions to Consider:
Matthew 7:3-5 (NKJV) And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.
What Truth is Revealed? Other people have behavior problems that need attention… So do I. So do you. A wise man once said, “We judge others by their actions, we judge ourselves by out intentions.” There is it; it’s called hypocrisy and we tend to pick on other people’s weaknesses without dealing with our own.
What is the Command/Wisdom or Promise? When it comes to the judgment of others, we need to start the whole process with an honest evaluation of ourselves. We cannot help others with their “specks” until we deal with our “logs.”
What Does This Mean to Me and What Action Should I Take? It means that I need to be honest with myself so that I can approach being “fair” in my judgment of others. It also means that when it comes to dealing with the issues that we all have in common, I indeed need to draw a circle around myself and (with God’s help) fix what’s in the circle.”
Questions to Consider:
Matthew 7:1-2 (NKJV) "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”
What Truth is Revealed? Too often people quote the first sentence of Jesus’ teaching on judgement and leave out the rest. That is a mistake, because, it leaves this teaching incomplete. The main truth revealed is the idea that you and I will be judged according to how “we” judge others. There is a direct correlation between our judgment of others and God’s judgment of us.
What is the Command/Wisdom or Promise? Has God forgiven you of much? Do you want to get what you deserve? God’s judgment is tempered with grace and mercy, is that true with you as you consider and judge others? We generally view this teaching in a negative light, because, our judgment of others is generally negative; however, what if we judged others with grace and mercy?
What Does this Mean to Me and What Action Should I Take? The first thing I need to consider in my judgment of others is the grace that God has shown to me. Secondly, I need to evaluate myself honestly and then proceed carefully in my judgment of others. In the words of the Apostle Paul, “considering others as better than myself.” Ultimately, it means that my judgment needs to be tempered with grace, mercy and a huge dose of humility.
Questions to Consider:
Serving - John 13:1-15 (NKJV)
Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, "Lord, are You washing my feet?" Jesus answered and said to him, "What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this." Peter said to Him, "You shall never wash my feet!" Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me." Simon Peter said to Him, "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!" Jesus said to him, "He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you." For He knew who would betray Him; therefore, He said, "You are not all clean." So, when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.”
A Servant’s Role: People do not usually wash other people’s feet; at least not willingly. In the time of Christ, this was the role of a servant or a slave. It was a role viewed with disdain by people of means. The very idea of Jesus, being God in the flesh, bowing down before His disciples to wash their feet, is mind blowing. We will all bow before King Jesus in the future, but during His ministry on earth, Jesus bowed before man and served with humility.
Peter’s Limited Understanding: When Jesus came to the place of washing Peter’s feet, Peter objected. He had earlier confessed that Jesus was the “Son of the Living God!” He was right in thinking that he was not worthy to have his feet washed by Jesus; However, Jesus was trying to make a point.
A Call to Serve: Jesus said, “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” Jesus was setting an example for the Church to follow. That we would bow before each other to serve one another’s needs. In the words of the Apostle Paul: Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4
The Bottom-line: How “low” are you willing to stoop in order to serve others? Maybe it's time to improve your serve!
Matthew 6:1-4 (NKJV)
"Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.
What truth is revealed? Too often, our lack of humility is revealed in our motives. Do we give to elevate ourselves in the eyes of others? Do we serve to impress? Do we use our spiritual gifts to be known? The motive behind the action either demonstrates humility or screams, “look at me.” Jesus calls us to serve anonymously, so that our deeds are flowing from a humble heart.
What is the command, wisdom or promise? This is both a command and a word of wisdom. The command is to serve with no fanfare. The wisdom is that a charitable act that is done for the purpose of recognition does not impress God; furthermore, there is no reward past the enhancement of your own reputation.
What does this mean to/for me? It means that I must examine the motives of my heart when it comes to serving God. I must ask myself some hard questions that challenge my desire for recognition.
What action can/should I take? As a pastor, the first question I must ask myself is this; do I work as a pastor to be a servant, or do I work to be revered by the congregation? Secondly, do I love to preach, because of the pats on the back and affirmation; or do I preach, because I want people to know and love God? My motives count, working for me or against me. Better to humble myself than to be opposed by God!
Matthew 5:3 (NKJV)
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
What truth is revealed? “Poor in spirit,” is another way of saying, “humble.” Jesus is telling us that the kingdom of heaven belongs to those that are humble.
What is the command, wisdom or promise? I would consider this a word of wisdom from Jesus. Jesus is calling His followers to follow His example of walking in humility. (The 2nd Chapter of Philippians talks about the humility of Christ and lays this command on us: “Let this mind that was in Christ be in you.”)
What does this mean to/for me? This word of wisdom causes me to examine my own life and the ego that motivates me. Am I living for my own personal glory? Am I living for God’s glory? Am I living to be a blessing to others? Humility means that loving and serving God must be my top priority. Humility means that loving and serving others must be my second priority. Humility means that I am in third place. (Sorry to the folks at “I Am Second,” because, I Am Third!)
What action can/should I take? It means that everyday when I wake up, I need to ask God how I can most effectively serve His purposes that day. It means that everyday I need to look for opportunities to serve others—both in word and in deed. Lastly, it means that I need to let God shape my ego in the prayer closet.
As revealed by God through the Life and Message of Christ; through the wisdom of Solomon; through the letters of the Apostles; through the inspiration of God.