“For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
~Matthew 12:50 (NRSV).
There is a giant-sized hint about the nature of the kingdom of heaven in this short snippet. Concerning issues of self-deception, Jesus had a few chapters earlier warned of his response to those false ones claiming their salvation: “I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.” (See Matthew 7:21-23)
This is not to say that anyone’s salvation is null and void, under threat, or anything like that. That would make false the grace of God; a thing assured for all eternity, at least until the Parousia—Christ’s second coming—for those accepting same.
The Importance of Prayer
How are we to continually discern the will of God if we’re not in constant communication with our Lord? And this type of prayer, it needs to be said, is not the spoken variety at all. It’s the matter of referring our moments to God—the inclusion of the Almighty in consideration and decision-making. Life is a series of decisions; whether to act or not act.
Continually engaging with God’s heart on matters is the revelation of the good path. The establishment of life is the retention of the path; one good decision following to another one and so forth. Good decisions are judged for their ability to help us live at general harmony with the world (though the world will never really understand the Christian prerogative). Conflict is often a sign of poor decision-making; a failure to live the path of God’s will.
The Importance of Reading the Right Material
I say “right material” here because it’s not only the Bible that has us growing. There are many things that do that. The Bible is best read daily and used as a core and not a supplement, but there is endless good material available for growth.
Let it just be the “right material” nevertheless. There is too much available that sounds okay, but in reality isn’t. I’ve never heard a person not grow (or be led astray) by reading the Bible. A Bible-reading plan is a good journey to go on.
Those who really want to be aligned with Jesus are. These are the ones who make it their intention to know him. They’re not leaving it to chance. Theirs is a daily journey where, though Jesus is forgotten momentarily, he comes throbbing back into mindful contention with poised regularity.
For these the Holy Spirit dwells well with the soul and there is little aberrant feeling of spiritual dissonance to counter, apart from God’s will to take us occasionally there. Theirs is heaven now; salvation is an experience that’s as much lived now as ever. For salvation is the knowledge and love of God.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.