Thursday, July 25th, 2013
Success Strategies (Part 21)
If you love Me, keep My commandments.
John 14:15 (NKJV)
But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do the things which I say?
Luke 6:46 (NKJV)
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. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your Name, cast out demons in Your Name, and done many wonders in Your Name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'
Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.
Matthew 7:21-27 (NKJV)
Regarding the obedience of 21st century Christians (especially in America), I am gravely concerned. Yes, gravely--as in life or death. Because I fear that we are selectively obedient--as in cutting, picking, choosing and rearranging the Word of God to suit our lawless culture.
The very worst punishment may follow.*
Because the Word of God is Jesus: 'And the Word became Flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth' (John 1:14).
Therefore, trying to cut up God's Word is like trying to cut up Jesus--which is impossible. But the act of trying bears the harshest result.**
It's all about obedience: none, partial or full. I am not perfectly obedient, but I continue to try--and I continue read His Word. With extraordinary tenderness, He perfects me. He perfects us all by the perfect Law of liberty, which is His Word.
'But he who looks into the perfect Law of liberty and continues in It, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does' (James 1:25).
I plead with each reader of this devotion. I implore every actor, model and talent for Christ. I beg every Christian: Do not limit yourself to any devotion or any sermon at any church. They're not enough. I repeat: they're not enough. Read the Word of God in Its full form: verse by verse--in order.
Maybe start with the Gospels. Continue in the New Testament. Get foundational with the Old. But read It daily, again and again. Out loud--even better. Because God's Word and your obedience to It are life.
To Be Continued...
* The punishment for altering God's Word is found at the end of the Bible in Revelation 22:18-19: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation%2022:18-19&version=NKJV
Important article, 'Don't Alter The Word' with additional Scriptural warnings: http://www.baptistpillar.com/article_108.html
** 'For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly Gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good Word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame' (Hebrews 6:4-6).
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Success Strategies (2013) series.