Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 15, 2015
Guest Writer: Meet my friend Shana Schutte. We are blessed to have her as our guest writer.
But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it–not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it–they will be blessed in what they do. James 1:25
A couple of years ago I felt as if the Lord was inviting me to graduate from spiritual kindergarten, when I thought I had already received my diploma. For over twenty years, as I have walked with Christ, my understanding has often been like that of many believers who have been told, “Just ask Jesus into your heart and you’ll go to heaven.”
Certainly Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe with your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (ESV). But a couple of years ago, I realized that confession is the beginning of belief. Then comes discipleship. This means following Christ. Perhaps this is why Matthew 7:21 says…
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in heaven.”
Whoa! Talk about heavy words! In this scripture, we are reminded that Christ isn’t here to serve us; we are here to serve Him. We are here to do His will. And it’s not just about saying we believe while we live our own lives. It’s sobering to think that Jesus asks those who know Him to live for Him—and nothing less. So it’s not about God making all my dreams come true and making me happy, healthy, and wealthy. It’s not about just saying I believe but not backing up my words with action that proves my love. It’s about Jesus being Lord.
I wonder if in our attempt to emphasize grace—which of course, is critical—we have missed the seriousness of “working out our salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). We must remember that yes, we are saved by grace. We can’t do anything to earn our way into heaven (Ephesians 2:9). It’s only Christ’s gift on the cross that has justified us by washing away our sin so we can be with Him forever in eternity.
But we must also remember that faith without works is dead (James 2:20). In any relationship—including the one with Christ—action doesn’t prove love, but true love is always proven by action. That said, all genuine works for Christ begin with the motivation of the heart, in relationship with Jesus. Or, they are just dead works. The condition of our heart is central—and the beginning of—true discipleship. Knowing these things, is God asking you to graduate from spiritual kindergarten too?
“Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.” (Mark 1:18)
Prayer: Oh, Lord. Your call for those who believe is serious. Help me to grow up into greater and greater faith so I am more and more willing to live for you and let you be my Lord.
Related Readings: Matthew 7:24; Matthew 16:24; Matthew 4:20
Post/Tweet this today: Action doesn’t prove love, but true love is always proven by action. #WisdomHunters #LetJesusBeLord
If you’d like to dig deeper into the topic of intimately knowing God, make sure you sign up to receive more information about Come Find Me, Shana’s first Bible Study for Busy People, which will be released next month.
Worship Resource: 4 minute music video- Brandon Heath: Give Me Your Eyes
Please consider this opportunity to support Wisdom Hunters as giving has dropped off over the summer. We are trusting the Lord for additional gifts over the next 30 days. Learn how to help.
© 2015 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry firstname.lastname@example.org
January 18, 2020
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 18, 2020 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5 If I’m brutally honest, most of the time I think that I am [...]
January 17, 2020
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 17, 2020 When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. Matthew 4:12 There are days of mistreatment that come from disloyal and jealous people. Sometimes good people experience bad consequences, so the glory of God can be made known through [...]
January 16, 2020
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 16, 2020 After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus. And Nicodemus, who at first came to [...]