Quest for Hope
A Wise Worshiper 3-8-16
Yesterday, we read about God’s plan for us to sow (offer) our wills for his guidance in order to reap the spiritual prosperity he has for us. We can be wise or foolish; we choose the path. Today, we will look at how God’s Word and His wisdom plays into that prosperity. Here’s our passage for today:
Matthew 7:21-27 (NLT)
21 “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. 22 On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ 23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’
Building on a Solid Foundation
24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”
Jesus is the Living Word; the rightful Ruler of God’s Kingdom and Lord of every prepared and obedient heart. Yet, not every heart desires to operate on the Love outlined in God’s Word; we are innately self-serving. In his teaching to his disciples, Jesus explains that not everyone who calls him, “Lord” actually follows the Word or God’s laws of love (the accurate testimony of His character). We can even operate in spiritual privileges and gifts and Jesus can still say, “I never knew you.” I once heard Joyce Meyer say, “Going to church does not make you a Christ follower. I can go sit in the garage but that does not make me a car.” We can sit and listen to the Word; we can go to church and go through the motions of worship but those actions do not make Jesus the Lord of our heart and lives. He clearly tells us he knows his disciples because they do not break God’s laws of love. In other words, we must accurately reflect the character of God to others. We appropriate His character by obediently: 1) loving the Lord with every part of our being and 2) that love is revealed by how we love our neighbors (everyone else) as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:37). Connecting Worship and Mission!
Jesus takes this devotion to God’s Laws (again, the testimony of His character) a step further; he tells his disciples it is upon following this instruction we wisely build our entire lives. It’s a building process. Some people build their lives wisely on the secure Rock and some people build their lives foolishly on the shifting and vulnerable sand. Many people think about worship as attending church, singing songs of praise, or even opening the Bible to read from it. These are all good things to do, but unless we are there to invite change, we are building on the sand. Jesus is clear about what makes him Lord in our lives; what makes us his Rock-solid worshipers. Worship is a lifestyle. We are worshipers of Christ as Lord, when we daily follow and practice God’s Laws of love. I will say this, when Christ followers get together to actually worship: Listen, learn, and move forward to practice His Word, there is real power in that gathering! The presence of God abounds and flourishes in that environment. Not because everyone is moving around doing good things or even operating in spiritual gifts; but, because everyone is there united in the Love of the Lord looking to bow down his/her life to the Lordship of Christ and grow! God’s presence will always be apparent in that environment, because He comes to enjoy our devotion. Let’s wisely gather and grow in the love of the Lord; this is what exalts Jesus the Anointed One who has been made Wisdom for us. “God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself” (1 Corinthians 1:30).
Prayer: Lord, I want to be an authentic worshiper who gathers to grow. Help me to wisely stay focused on your loving character, today. You died so that I might live to reveal the glory of your presence in me. May I embrace your character more every day as I stand on the Rock of my salvation. In Jesus’ name. Amen.