Matthew 26:6-16 NIV
6 While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, 7 a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table. 8 When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. 9 “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.” 10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. 12 When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” 14 Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests 15 and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.
The wicked and devious heart lead us away from the life that is real life.
Questions from this weeks message.
1. What insight, principle or observation from this week’s message did you find to be most helpful, eye opening or troubling? Please explain.
2. When have you experienced the underhanded tactics of someone else? What did it do to you, and your relationship with the person?
3. In what ways are we tempted to use rules, laws and values to our benefit, and disregard them when they don’t benefit us? Give some examples.
4. Read Matthew 26:6-16. Judas seems to justify his actions under the guise of helping the poor? How might we do this same thing when we know deep down we are doing something we likely shouldn’t?
5. Read the warning in Jeremiah 17:9 and the encouragement in Proverbs 4:23. How have you seen the truth of each of these passages in your life or observed them in others?
6. Alvin suggested that we do 3 things to keep ourselves from the devious heart. 1. Healthy Distrust. 2. Don’t Kid Yourself (most of us know when we are lying to ourselves). 3. Listen to The voice. How might these be helpful for us? Which of these are you most likely to do, and least likely to do, why?
7. Read the end of the Story of Judas in Matthew 27:1-5. It is a sad end to his story. Do you think it could have been different? Why? How?
8. Spend time confessing how your own heart is prone to be wicked, allow the conviction to turn to repentance that leads to life!
God hates some things, not some ones.
It’s God’s love of the ‘someone’ that drives His hate of some things
Everything God hates is actually driven by His love for us.
A devious heart not only causes us to miss the good, it leads us to engage in the bad.
And the outcome is that:
The wicked and devious heart leads us away from the life that is real life.
Proverbs 4:23 - Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
How do we guard our heart? I think from what we have seen in the life of Judas, and this warning and encouragement, there are a couple things we can do to be proactive:
have a Healthy Distrust of yourself. And your own heart.
Understand, admit, accept that your heart leads you astray, it will lead you to hurt others, and it will lead you to chase things that will hurt you later.
Be Honest with yourself, and what is going on.
Listen to THE voice, the voice of God. God’s word speaks to more things than we may even want, listen to the voice, God’s voice in scripture. Dive in, read it, listen to it, chew on it. And then follow it.
God loves, loves, loves you. And his love causes him to hate anything that would hurt or bring death to you. Including the devious and wicked heart. May we all distrust ourselves enough, to turn our lives over to God and trust to Him
CALL TO ACTION
Consider what you have done that you are so ashamed of? Turn from yourself, allow your guilt to turn not to condemnation, but turn you to repentance.
Turn your eyes from yourself, and to the God who loves you that has paid your sin and the consequence of your sin on the cross of Jesus.