Summary: Jesus teaches us that life is like a highway and we can choose a road that leads to death and destruction, or a road that leads to life and blessing.
TRANSFORMATION #6: LIFE IS A HIGHWAY
REVIEW THE TRANSFORMATION SERIES:
For the past two months, we have been going through the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7. We have learned that when we put God’s Word into practice in our lives, we can be transformed.
INTRO TO TOPIC: Many people have used roads as imagery or symbolism for our lives:
A. THE ROAD NOT TAKEN: Robert Frost
“I shall be telling this with a sigh, Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
B. LIFE IS A HIGHWAY: Rascal Flatts
“Life’s like a road that you travel on, there’s one day here and the next day gone” (Rascal Flatts).
THE BIG IDEA: Jesus teaches us that life is like a highway and we can choose a road that leads to death and destruction, or a road that leads to life and blessing.
1. THE BOOMERANG BLESSING:
“1 Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 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? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. 6 Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.” (Matt. 7:1-6).
• The first verse in this chapter is one of the most quoted by non-Christians.
• One of our foundational values in this church is love, acceptance and forgiveness.
• “If you come around here, we're going to love you - always, unconditionally, and under every circumstance.” (Quote Jerry Cook. Love, Acceptance and Forgiveness).
“Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:36-38).
ILLUSTRATE: This is the boomerang blessing! You will receive what you give!
• Do you know how a boomerang works? You throw it and it returns to you.
• JOKE: What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back? A stick!
• Throw different balls back & forth to show how what I throw is what comes back to me.
• If you give mercy, you will receive mercy. If you give forgiveness, you will be forgiven.
• If you give judgment, you will receive judgment back. What you give, you will receive.
KEY VERSE: “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (v.12).
• Why did Jesus say this? Because He knew the law of sowing and reaping: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” (Gal. 6:7)
• If you plant carrot seeds, what will you grow? Carrots!
2. PRAYER AND THE GOODNESS OF GOD:
“7 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matt. 7:7-11).
• Here Jesus reminds us of the Goodness of God – He wants to bless His children!
• God is a good God! He loves to give good gifts and blessings to His children.
3. THE HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN AND HELL:
“13 Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the road which leads to life, and there are few who find it. 15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them. 21 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. 22 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?' 23 And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (v.13-23).