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). 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 a changed life. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. . . . We then, as workers together with Him, beseech you also that you receive not the grace of God in vain (II Corinthians 5:17; 6:1). To clarify one difference between a true Christian and one in name only, 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 who 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 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 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 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, 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, 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 = to measure; 7:5 mote = insignificant speck; 7:6 rend = to tear or pull apart; 8:31 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 Psa. 6:8. Matt. 8:4: See Lev. 13:49; 14:2. Matt. 8:17: See Isa. 53:4. Matt. 9:13: See Hos. 6:6.
Pray for Government Officials: Sen. Jeff Bingaman (NM), Rep. David Obey (WI), and Gov. Bob Riley (AL) · Country: Syria (17 million) in southwestern Asia · Major languages: Arabic and Kurdish · Limited religious freedom for Christians · 90% Muslim; 4% Eastern Orthodox; 2% Roman Catholic; .25% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Lift up your prayers to the Lord as incense before God (Revelation 8:3-4).
Memory Verse for the Week: I Corinthians 1:18