I daresay that there aren't many passages of scripture that pack more punch than the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew, chapters 5 through 7. Jesus' teachings in those few chapters cover much ground pertaining to how followers of Christ should live their lives.
Matthew 7:13-23 could be aptly titled 'The gospel according to Jesus'. These verses clearly outline what our lives as Christians should resemble. What our lives must resemble. Salvation is much more than just 'spiritual rescue from sin and death'. Salvation is obedience. Salvation is commitment. Salvation is doing the will of our Father.
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 7:21)
See, it's not just about acknowledgement of who He is. It's about doing the will of His Father. Our Father. It's about doing what God has instructed us to do. Salvation is not just the cleansing of sin, but a passionate and ongoing longing for Christ and His Word.
In fact the word 'does' in that verse comes from the Greek present tense and means 'to continually live in obedience'. Our faith is an active faith. Not just knowing it but actually living it out with our hands and our feet. Living it out with our lives.
We fall so short of what God requires of us. We are guilty of taking these scriptures as suggestions and not as commands. We fail to comprehend the timelessness of God's Word and fully understand just how applicable these words are to us even now.
The way that leads to destruction is broad. The way that leads us into Life is narrow. Jesus tells us that there will be few that find the narrow way. The broad way is full of so many choices. So many distractions. So many things that divert us from our destination. Too many and too much.
The way to Life is narrow. It doesn't leave room for anything but Jesus. Because the road is narrow, it helps us keep our attention and focus on Him. We need to keep our minds clear of distraction and keep them focused straight ahead and on Jesus.
When we get a heart full of Jesus, we will desire to be obedient. We will long to do the will of the Father. We will continually strive to live in obedience.
Service to the Lord will be a natural outpouring of our heart. We will become doers of the word. Unconditionally surrendered to all that we are and all that we have to all that He is.
And our faith will show itself in a changed life.
"But that gift of grace involves the gift of a new heart. New desires. New longings. For the first time, we want God. We see our need for Him, and we love Him. We seek after Him, and we find Him, and we discover that He is indeed the great reward of our salvation. We realize that we are saved not just to be forgiven of our sins or to be assured of our eternity in heaven, but we are saved to know God. So we yearn for Him. We want Him so much that we abandon everything else to experience Him. This is the only proper response to the revelation of God in the gospel." - David Platt, 'Radical'
I loved the book 'Radical' so much. It was such an enlightening and heart changing book that I want to share it with one of you. Wednesday, I will randomly pick a winner from the comments on this post and send them a copy of this fabulous book!
Seeking Him continually,