Creekside Community Church: “Imitating Jesus”
“Praying like Jesus II: Treat People the Way You Want God to Treat You” October 21 2012
John Bruce – Pastor
Treat People the Way You Want God to Treat You”
"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? 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 what is good to those who ask Him! In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:7-12
Three Attitudes toward People Which will Sabotage Our Prayers
An Unforgiving Heart
"Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.” Mark 11:25
An Unyielding Heart
"Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.” Matthew 5:23-24
A Selfish Heart
"Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure--pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return." Luke 6:30-38
For further thought and discussion:
1. What was helpful to you in this week’s sermon? What didn’t you understand?
2. It has been said, “The most accurate indicator of my true relationship with God is my relationship with people.” Agree or disagree? Why? What does this imply about prayer?
Please read Matthew 7:7-12. What’s the connection between vs. 7-11 and vs. 12? Why the “therefore” in 12?
Please read Mark 11:25. What’s the connection between vs. 25 and vs. 22-24? Why would an unforgiving heart prevent our prayers from being answered? According to vs. 25, what are we to forgive? Who are we to forgive? How often are we to forgive? What does Jesus mean by “forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions?” Doesn’t God forgive us because of Christ’s death for us, not because we forgive others? What’s the hardest thing for you to forgive? Why? How does vs. 25 motivate us to forgive?
Please read Matthew 5:23-24. What attitude toward people is Jesus warning His disciples about here? Why would this attitude affect the way God answers our prayers? Why makes apologizing and making things right with those who have something against us so difficult? Can you think of an example of “leaving your gift at the altar and first being reconciled with your brother” from your own life?
Please read Luke 6:30-38. What according to Jesus is the wrong reason to give? What is the right reason to give? Why does this require faith? How does a selfish heart limit our prayers? Compare Proverbs 21:13. What does this verse reveal about the dangers of selfishness?
If God loves us as His children, why would He treat us the way we treat others? How should this
change the way that we pray?
What is one thing you learned from this week’s passages that you will apply to your life?