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Oct 13, 2019

170 Beware of False Prophets A Guided Christian Meditation on Matthew 7:15-17

I'm Chaplain Jared and I work as a hospice chaplain and an ICU chaplain, my purpose in making this podcast is to help you find more peace in your life and to be more open for your heart to be changed by the Spirit of God. By using centuries old form of Christian Meditation named Lectio Divina:

Outline: Relaxation, Reading, Meditation, Prayer, Contemplation and Visualization.

Get into a place where you can sit comfortably and uninterrupted for about 20 minutes.You should hopefully not be driving or anything tensing or unrelaxing. If you feel comfortable to do so, I invite you to close your eyes.

Guided Relaxation / Guided Meditation:

Breathe and direct your thoughts to contacting God. Let your stomach be a balloon inflate, deflate.
Bible verses for Meditation:

Matthew 7:15-20
15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit.
18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.

Meditation on Scripture:

The word here translated as false prophets is psuedopropheton. Pseudo is an imitation or deceptive version of something and propheton is for prophet, “a person gifted at expositing divine truth.”
Rightly so, I think most discussions of this scripture deals with guarding against false leaders; however, when I think back the bad theology I am exposed to, it is much more likely to come from conversation with someone not a formal church leader of any organization. I have been thinking a lot about this because I think it is a delicate subject. Perhaps it is not accidental that Chapter 7 of Mathew also includes a warning that we will be judged as we judge. For this reason, my main goal is to help us be thoughtful about how we receive truths of God not to disparage people who share things that may not be consistent with what I believe, even if their intentions are not the best. In statements like this Jesus is clearly asking us to be mindful of what we receive from others to help us stay spiritual safe. We can learn to be critical of ideas we let into our hearts and evaluate them based on their effect. Do they yield good fruit? Do they draw us nearer to Jesus?

On the flip side, people can have a great effect without having true theology. I can directly tie the creation of this podcast to someone from a non Christian religion. If it wasn’t for him I never would have discovered the rich tradition of Christian Meditation. I have had countless people reach out to me to tell me how they feel much closer to Jesus when they listen to this podcast. People have literally told me they have become Christians and accepted the way of Jesus, or returned to it, due to this podcast. This was all based on a seed that was planted by someone who does not recognize Jesus as the only way back to the Father. I consider the friendship of this man to be dear to me and, although we differ on how to understand God, I feel I have come to have a better relationship with Jesus because of him. By your fruits you will know them. I am a better Christain for having known Him, which I consider a good fruit.

Meditation of Prayer:

Pray as directed by the Spirit.
Dedicate these moments to the patient waiting, when you feel ready ask God for understanding you desire from Him.

Meditation of God and His Glory / Hesychasm:

I invite you to sit in silence feeling being patient for your own faults and trials.
Summarize what insights you have gained during this meditation and meditate and visualize positive change in your life:
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Final Question: What do you consider to be good fruit?

Final Thought: Perhaps this is the best paradigm we can. Does the idea in question bring me closer to my Savior Jesus Christ? That may not mean it makes us more comfortable but does it reconcile us more to Him? Are we closer to Jesus as a result?

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