Monday, July 11, 2011

Jesus' Sermon On The Mountainside: Second Command, Keep What Is Sacred

2) The Lord Jesus’ second command was to Reverence the Father by not giving what is sacred to those who despise God,
“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces." (Matthew 7:6)
Pearls are formed slowly over time, layer by beautiful layer, covering a grain of sand that started out as an irritant in the oyster. The pearls in our lives start out as something that hurts, and as we hear God’s word and obey it He begins to layer that hurt with His comfort and wisdom.

Pearls can refer to personal insight into God’s word, God’s enabling and equipping, what you receive from God in prayer; your life in Christ. What is sacred can refer to what belongs to God, such as being involved in God’s work.

Dogs and pigs in ancient times referred to people who had given clear evidence that they rejected God with scorn and had a hardened contempt towards the things of God. In this verse that includes the rejection of God’s Son

The dogs and swine Jesus was referring to were wild creatures, not pets or farm animals. They were usually ravenously hungry, and often dangerous. If you got close enough to a dog or a pig to give them something it better have been something they could eat. Pearls would just frustrate them and make them turn on you.

Be wise in choosing your audience for quoting a particular scripture, sharing a deep personal insight from God’s word, or a burden God has placed on your heart.

Be wise in offering something sacred, like the Lord’s table, or a leadership position to someone who is not a Christian, or who is not dealing with some sin in their life, even if in every other way they seem like nice, capable people.
God’s wisdom is expressed in humility and love
We need to use wisdom in love and tenderness when we help other people.
* Don’t judge, but do use sober thinking, guided by God’s word and His Spirit, discerning what is right or wrong, true or false, good or bad.

* Humbly receive God’s conviction and correction in your own life and gently help to restore fellow believers from sin.

* Be wise about what you share with people who clearly reject Jesus and are turned off by the things of God. They may not be ready to receive the gospel in words, but you can love them with God’s love.

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