In Today's Scripture 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). Without a doubt, eternal life is a free gift from God — not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:9). But, it is also true that faith without works is dead (James 2:20). Teaching is false when it offers eternal life without discipleship as a qualification for attaining heaven. To clarify one difference between true prophets and false prophets, our Lord said: Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven (Matthew 7:21). However, the evidence of being a true Christian is more than doing great things; it is being obedient to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Our Lord spoke a parable: Whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them, I will liken (compare) him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock . . . 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 heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened (compared) unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand . . . 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 heareth these sayings of Mine, and then one 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 the supreme rule of life and will 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 ye mete =b> you give; 7:3 mote =b> illustrates something insignificant; beam =b> such as self-righteous, pretending to have a character one does not possess; 7:6 rend =b> to tear apart; 8:31 suffer =b> permit; 9:9 receipt of custom =b> tax collector's office; 9:10 meat =b> meal; 9:36 fainted =b> were exhausted, fatigued; scattered =b> physically couldn't continue.
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.
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts in memory of Iva Ann McElroy • Staff: Beth Carlton • Government Officials: Sen. Jeff Bingaman (NM), Rep. Charlie Melancon (LA), Rep. David Obey (WI), Gov. Bob Riley (AL), and Rep. Allyson Schwartz (PA) • Country: Lebanon (4.3 million) in the Middle East • Major languages: Arabic and French • Limited religious freedom • 55% Muslim (Shi'a, Sunni); 41% Christian (Maronite, Orthodox, Melchite, Protestant, Chaldean, Assyrian, Syriac); 3% Druze; 1% Others (Jewish, Baha'i, Alawi, Jehovah's Witness) • Prayer Suggestion: Cry out to God in humility (Psalm 9:12).
Memory Verse for the Week: Malachi 3:10