Tuesday, December 8th, 2015
The Enemy's Game (Part 37)
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!'
Matthew 7:21-23 (NKJV)
For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:20 (NKJV)
If we're designed to work among communities, then let's consider the teams to which we belong. We live in a county, a state and a nation. We're members of families and generations. We're united by colors, cultures and talents.
Many Christians faithfully attend their churches. Like in football or baseball, each group is a team. All teams have rules, expectations and achievements.
Looking at the team of Christ in America, we see great wealth in population and power. Looking at our teams who play in entertainment, we see exceptional globe-spinning influence.
In belonging to such extraordinary teams, we're tempted to think their success is our success. If we just hunker down and follow our leaders, if we play by their rules and work by their standards, their sufficiency will be our sufficiency.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Above and beyond all other teams, you're a star player on Team Jesus. No other allegiance can compare. Identify yourself first in Him, then cling to His fundamental Rules. They're about love, giving and service.
Sadly, some churches make their own rules. They've forgotten their first Love's goal Line, and they've led their teams down wider paths. For many teams we are preassigned, because we're born into most of them. But we can choose what church we attend.
Remember the scribes and Pharisees. In temples and houses of worship, they talked and walked quite successfully. They thought they were God's chosen people. But when push came to shove, they thought wrong.
Your pastoral team must be led by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In Them only is sufficiency.
'Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain' (Psalm 127:1).
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the The Enemy's Game series.