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Devotionals

The Totality of Christ - A Teaching From Matthew's Gospel

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828ministries.com H3'ed 5/18/21
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You are my friends if you do what I command. - John 15:14 (NIV)

One day Jesus family wanted to come in to see Him and when He was told that His mother and brother were waiting, He responded who is my mother and brother except he who does the will of my Father. Jesus is love. He is compassion. But He is Lord. If he is not, that is how you end up standing before Him exclaiming Lord, Lord. Just look at the confusion and desperation of those standing before Him in these verses. They prophesied in His name! They cast out demons in His name! How many false prophets were recently exposed in this past election? How many are still followed despite lying about hearing from God and what He had to say! Mighty works? How sad that so many will hear that He never even knew them. They based their faith on a cult of personality church and not our Lord and Savior. Depart from me! This is expressly why the bible teaches us that we are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. I have had people ask me at this point if I want to be scared of the God I serve. My answer is simple. I do not live in fear of God striking me dead with a lightning bolt. I live in fear of forgetting that He can. Look up Uzzah in the bible if you think I am off. Now that Jesus has explained false teaching and what can happen if we fall victim to it, He moves into the final set of scriptures, what we should be focusing on.

"Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it." - Matthew 7:24-27 (ESV)

It is not enough just hear the words of Jesus. We must obey. Is God more pleased with sacrifice or obedience? Ask King Saul. The people who stand before Jesus all sacrificed. They all gave up things or desires in this world but they followed the wrong God and it all starts with His word. Jesus is the rock. His truth is the rock. It does not change with the winds of this carnal world. This world will send storms against us and beat our lives with rain and floods but the man who stands upon the word of God will not be moved. Jesus wraps up this teaching with a parable. He warns us about false teaching and prophecy and shows us what will happen if we follow it. Then He shows us two options - the wise and the foolish. The foolish end up standing before Him saying, Lord, Lord because they built their faith upon sand. Sand shifts too easily. It is not firm. How many people do you know who are blown to and fro by every new wind of doctrine? By the newest or flashiest false teaching? The average time spent as a congregant in a mega church is just under three years. After, many will write off organized religion because of their hurtful experiences within the apostate church. They thought they had bought into something solid but time shows it is nothing but sand beneath their feet. The church today is not built upon doctrine and in fact doctrine has become a dirty word. Bill Johnson mocks it by saying we do not worship the bible.

Yes we do.

Jesus is His word! Read John's gospel! Yet take a good long look around Christendom and see what passes off for the word. Sermons have become sermonettes that strip out the cross, the blood, and anything else that might offend or possibly save someone. One Easter season, Rick Warren did an article for pastors with tips for making sure their visitors returned to their church the following week since Easter is the largest attended service if the year. His key advice? Do not preach the Gospel! I kid you not. He recommended starting a series on some felt need such as how to improve marriages or becoming more significant. That is a microcosm of the church today. Three carnal sermon points and a cloud of dust. That is followed by a faux altar call, with many allowing people to stay in their seats. People are taught to invite Jesus into their hearts as if He is some wallflower at a Junior High Prom. Into their wickedly deceitful hearts. In the Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren discusses actual salvation one time and in it offers up a nine-word sinner's prayer. Once again, I kid you not. Check out pages 58-59. After this ridiculousness, Warren pronounces that if they said these nine magical words then they are now saved and born again! Are you kidding me! No wonder so many will stand before Jesus exclaiming Lord, Lord. Most people use "I can do all things through Christ" to excuse things they shouldn't do. They do not realize it is about Christian perseverance. They think they are David slaying their goliaths instead of understanding he is a type of Christ. The bible says that His people perish for a lack of knowledge and that specifically means the word of God. We seek clairvoyance weakly disguised as prophecy when the final revealed will of God is at our fingertips in the holy Scriptures. We seek a faux relationship with Christ and leave Him shaking His head wondering why we bother to call Him Lord if we are going to refuse to do as He says. We seek the blessing instead of realizing Christ is the blessing.

Beloved do not despair! This is all an encouragement! These things have not yet come to pass! They are provided for us that we might learn, discern, and grow into the fullness of Christ. Keep your false encouragement based upon this world and the baubles it has to offer. There is no crown of glory without first the crown of thorns. You truly want eternal life? You truly want the promise of tomorrow beyond this mortal coil? Then count the things of this world as rubbish. Seek Him. Be found in Him. Then we might know the power of His resurrection and share in His sufferings. Doesn't sound seeker-friendly or purpose driven enough? Take it up with God!

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith-- that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. - Philippians 3:8-11 (ESV)

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