“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.”
Talk is cheap. Whether applied to another’s life or your own, faith is shown through obedience, not just the words that we say. We can gauge our spiritual walk and maturity with the simple question, “am I living and loving like Jesus?” Jesus’ teaching astounded his audience, and his life and ministry complemented and lent credibility to the words that he spoke.
As we’ve spent time this week focusing on Jesus’ sermon on the mount, we’ve seen example after example of what it means to live and love like Jesus.
As you share with your small group how God has spoken to you through this week, comment on the truths that have impacted you most in this season of your life.
Go through the HEAR structure as a group with the goal of applying these truths this week. Our faith must stretch beyond the words that we read or the words that we say. It must permeate our actions and attitudes, and our reactions and relationships.
Have a wonderful time with your group this week. If you still haven’t connected with a small group, we’d love to help you find one. You can go to mybelmont.org/smallgroups or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you
Explain – what does the passage mean?
Apply – how does the passage intersect with your life today?
Respond – how is God leading you to respond?