Highlights In Today's Reading:
Take note of Jesus' majesty and power as He continues as one having authority (7:29). He contrasts two ways of behavior: judging others or recognizing our needs; a narrow way or a popular way; false or true teacher; false or true profession. Jesus' Divine authority and compassion is clear as He cleanses, heals, casts out demons, and even stills the winds.
It is generally assumed that heaven can be obtained on much easier terms than those prescribed here by our Lord. Our generation is quite sure that one can be a good disciple without denying self, taking up our own cross and following the Son of God, Jesus (16:24). Few today believe that if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify (put to death) the deeds of the body (any activities that keep one from being or doing what would please God), ye shall live. . . . For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Romans 8:13; Matthew 16:26). Many are fully persuaded that a man can serve two masters and succeed in making the best of two worlds through compromise. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God (I John 3:10). Some believe that, because God is a God of love, surely the way is not as narrow as Christ declared it to be when He said: He that is not with Me is against Me; and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad (Matthew 12:30).
This error is evident through Jesus' declaration: 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 (7:21).
Many assume that all we have to do in order to be saved is to respond to Christ's gracious invitation. Yes, by all means, but that is by no means the simple decision that some falsely present it to be.
There is an "easy access" gate of self-will and self-gratification that Jesus warned us about: Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat (7:13). They do as they please and insist that as long as a person is sincere it doesn't really matter what he believes. So sure are its travelers that if anyone should dare to dissent he is at once condemned for being uncharitable and narrow-minded. No self-denial has to be practiced to remain therein. The going is smooth and easy because it is all downhill!
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man (who is out of the will of God), but the end thereof are the ways of death (Proverbs 14:12).
Thought for Today:
Modern culture pressures us to accept every religion, but don't be deceived. Read God's Word and learn the Truth.
7:2 ye mete =b> you give; 7:3 mote =b> tiny, insignificant speck; beam =b> such as judgmental unloving 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 14:1-32. Matthew 8:17: See Isaiah 53:4. Matthew 9:13: See Hosea 6:6.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts in memory of Dennis Naderhoff • Radio Sri Lanka International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by a Child of God • 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: Hong Kong (7 million) in eastern Asia • Major languages: Chinese and English • Limited religious freedom • 90% Chinese religions; 10% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Thank the Lord for hearing your prayers (Psa. 28:6-7).
Memory Verse for the Week: James 5:10