Read Matthew 7 -- 9
In Today's Reading:
Conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount; preaching and miracles of Jesus; call of Matthew
Jesus warned: Beware of false prophets . . . in sheep's clothing (Matthew 7:15). Teaching is false when it offers eternal life without discipleship or that "good works" qualify a person for heaven. To clarify the difference between true prophets and false prophets, our Lord said: Not every one that says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of My Father which is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied (spoken) in Your Name? and in Your Name have cast out devils (demons)? and in Your Name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess to them, I never knew you (7:21-23). The evidence of being a true Christian is more than doing great things; it is being obedient to the Lord Jesus Christ and to His commands (28:20).
Our Lord spoke a parable: Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken (compare) him to a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that hears these sayings of Mine, and does them not, shall be likened (compared) to a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it (7:24-27).
Obedience is twofold: First, one hears these sayings of Mine, then acts on these sayings of Mine. The wise and the foolish are both giving much thought and labor to their activities — one to laying up treasures in heaven, but the other to achieving human goals. When our desire is to please Christ, His Word will be our supreme rule of life and lead us to avoid the snares of self-will, pride, and greed. Through His Word alone, guided by the Holy Spirit, we are enabled to live each day being accountable to our Creator.
It is impossible to relive wasted years, but it is always possible to turn from sinking sand to build upon the eternal rock. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, Which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this Foundation . . . Every man's work shall be made manifest (known) . . . because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try (test) every man's work of what sort it is (I Corinthians 3:11-13)
7:2 mete = measure; 7:5 mote = insignificant speck; 7:6 rend = to tear or pull apart; 8:31 besought = begged, suffer = permit, allow; 9:9 receipt of custom = tax collector's office; 9:10 at meat = at a meal; 9:36 fainted = wearied, distressed.
For Matthew 7:23: See Psalm 6:8. Matthew 8:4: See Leviticus 13:49; 14:2. Matthew 8:17: See Isaiah 53:4. Matthew 9:13: See Hosea 6:6.
BP Staff: Ilene Wallace · Pray for Bible Pathway Distributors · the International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in memory of Mrs. Barbara A. Malone · Government Officials: Sen. Jeff Bingaman (NM), Rep. David Obey (WI), and Gov. Bob Riley (AL) · Country: Tanzania (31 million) in eastern Africa · Major languages: Swahili and English · Churches are expected to help implement Marxist policy · 33% Muslim; 19% Roman Catholic; 19% animist; 15% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Husbands, give honor to your wives, or else your prayers will be obstructed (I Peter 3:7).
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 15:4