Tuesday, April 7, 2015

100 Days on Jesus’ Sermon Mount (Day 90)

Jesus said, “… many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, wasn’t it in your name that we prophesied? And wasn’t it in your name that we expelled demons? And wasn’t it in your name that we performed many miracles?’ Then I will tell them frankly, ‘I never knew you; get away from me, you perpetrators of lawlessness’.”
— Matthew 7:22-23 (USC)
PROPHESIERS, exorcists, and healers alike may or may not be close to God. There is no link between those who are used by God and those who are God’s. We may do all God’s work and still we may be estranged of him. God may still choose to use us.
And then, still, we may be charlatans—eager to do ‘good’ for the accolades of people.
Stop! Just stop will you! Can you imagine meeting God?
This is when the cause of our lives gets irretrievably urgent. Nothing matters in life more than meeting God; if not in this life, never more so as we traverse the existential realms.
God will take no prisoners. Disposed, we will be if we have done works in his name, yet we never knew him. How horrendous an act is it to invest the whole of our lives in wastage? What a folly that would be.
As we stare back into our lives from the perspective of eternity, we are suddenly stopped and shaken for what might become of our eternal souls. This is no dream. This is the starkest of realities. Consequences for our actions — judgment, no less — is coming at us!
And no matter how faithful our works are, we do not know with any certainty whether our works of faith are acceptable. This is not to cause us angst, but to make us never grow comfortable—our lives are about God and nothing else.
We have today. We have this very day. The hour of his power beckons over us. His power is manifest to us and through us. And, if we dissolve this power in our sloth, or envy, or greed? What then is to become of us?
No, we are made for better things than that. But primary to all this is the real knowledge of God; to know him in order to love him.
1.     We must know God in order to love God.
2.     Forsaking all others, we are to discover his will and do it.
3.     In ‘forsaking all others’ we are often forsaking our very own needs for them.
4.     We must do nothing by pretence and everything as if God were watching, for he veritably is!
How can we serve God and still do ill?
For it’s not his design that blessings are allayed,
Nor is it his wishes that many are betrayed,
The only way to please God is to do his will.
1.     What fears emerge in you as you wrestle with the chilling nature of these words, above, of Jesus’?
2.     How do you rate yourself (if you were God)? What changes can you make to your life in order to discover and then do God’s will while you can?
© 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.

1 comment:

Marian Louise said...

Wow! What an awesome teaching and revelation. This is added to my daily self-examination.