Monday, April 6, 2015

100 Days on Jesus’ Sermon Mount (Day 89)

Jesus said, “It won’t be everyone who says ‘Lord, Lord,’ to me, who will enter the kingdom of the heavens, but rather the person who carries out the wishes of my heavenly Father.”
— Matthew 7:21 (USC)
HARROWING is the reality for every single one of us; how do we know if we are going to heaven? We do the will of him who calls us — that “him” is God and God alone. We do no one else’s will; we do his alone.
God is not a Lord we can make up for ourselves, though we are often tempted to bend God into the shape of our conveniently easy theology.
God chooses us, and not the other way around. Often it’s our circumstances that bring us to the precipice of choice — where there really is no longer any choice whatsoever. And when God chooses us, we can only obey, because the Spirit is inside us, compelling us to do what our consciences would only have us do.
Yet, there are apparently many who find in God a being to be worshipped awry. Many, it seems, don’t truly ‘get’ the infection of the Spirit. They feel inside as if they should feel more convicted; but they never admit their struggle with intimacy with God. They can’t. They’re fearful of living a horrendous lie. And we all should be.
Such a fear should be a godly fear. We ought to be asking ourselves for evidence of the fruit in our lives — good trees bear edible fruit; works of love, peace, joy, faithfulness, etc. These are evidences within that the Spirit is incumbent. These are evidences of our chosenness of God.
Why would we waste our whole lives carrying off a façade when in a flash we will be revealed for who we really are? Yet, there is a part of all of us that feels like a hypocrite.
This verse is a calling by Christ to intimacy and faithfulness — if we love him enough to be intimate, and we have faith enough to be faithful, we will never be rejected. Only we and God can know how intimate our love is and how faithful our faith is.
How do we know we’re saved by the Lord?
We do what he wishes us to do,
His Word and his Spirit continue to hold us true,
We do what only we can afford.
1.     Have you ever had doubts whether you’re destined for heaven or not? Have these times coincided with a lack of intimacy with God and/or a lack of faith?
2.     What is the opportunity, today, to make your love and faith in God beyond question?
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.
Note: USC version is Under the Southern Cross, The New Testament in Australian English (2014). This translation was painstakingly developed by Dr Richard Moore, a NT Greek scholar, over nearly thirty years.

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