Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Matthew 16:5-12 "Eliminate the ME"

I have skipped over Matthew 16:1-4 because the exact same subject was covered in Matthew 12:38-45. Click on link for that post.

Read Matthew 16:5-12.

"They discussed this among themselves and said, "It is because we didn't bring any bread." NIV
I think quite often God is talking to us about one thing, and we "hear" another. Why is that? In this case the disciples' misunderstanding was because of insecurity, maybe guilt feelings. They felt bad because they had forgotten the bread and thought Jesus was rebuking them by bringing up the yeast.

But if they'd taken their eyes off of themselves for just a minute they would have seen two things:

1. Jesus couldn't be talking about needing bread because He can perform miracles to feed anyone. We've seen it done twice now.
2. He's warning us of the religious leaders' teachings.

Quite simple really, but because they couldn't take themselves out of the equation, Jesus' meaning was completely clouded.

How often am I missing what He is saying to me because I don't take the "me" out of the picture? I'm worried about how it affects ME; what He is upset with ME about; what does He want ME to do. I'm really starting to hate that word, "me." It's really getting in the way of seeing Christ clearly. That's one of the reasons He said to, "die to self." Everything that darkens my life seems to begin with my selfishness and "me" focus. If I remove the ME, I just see Christ, His compassion and grace, and His desire that I reach out to others first. Period.

Lord, I don't want ME in the equation any more. Keep my focus only on You and Your desires. ME just gets in the way of seeing and hearing You.

Further Thoughts:
  1. When you hear a teaching, is your first reaction to focus on ME? If sin is involved, we do need to confess that and repent. But maybe He is trying to get you to focus on Him and others and move on past those temptations to sin.
  2. If we stop focusing so much on ourselves, will we stop the cycle of sin in our lives? Support your answer with Scripture.
  3. Look at the story of Saul and David. Saul was Me focused and David was God focused. In what ways is that true and how did that affect the outcome?
  4. Read Galatians 5:16-26. Compare and contrast the acts of the sinful nature with the fruit of the Spirit. Which ones are ME focused and which are outward focused? What does that tell you about life by the Spirit?

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