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Monday, November 29, 2010

living it out.... and a giveaway!

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.

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"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'
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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,
Beth

16 comments:

Yaya Yarns said...

Beth, I agree that is a wonderful book and it will make a great giveaway gift for someone!!

Alleluiabelle said...

Dear friend,

This posting of heart words is sooo good...sooo very good...sooo very very good.

When coming and reading here...you always make me gasp in awe of Him. You so get it all and that is because He lives deep within you my sister...deep deep within. You are a precious one...the apple of His eye. And you are so very precious to me.

I love you.

Alleluiabelle

P.S. The posting below this one with your family...well you know how I feel about family...I just loved it. As you commented on my blog, I feel like I am part of your family too and we are...one great big enormous beautiful wonderful family of God...family of sisters and brothers. You filled my heart so here tonight as you always do.

Michele Katherine said...

Hi Beth,

I am so happy that you found my blog, because it lead me to yours, and I know the Lord orchestrated this. Your post contained scripture that I have read this past week, such as Matthew 7:21, and now I'm convinced the Lord is trying to get my attention, and remind me that He is my priority above all else. I have been very distracted this past week, and have not made the Lord my priority.

You posted:
"Salvation is not just the cleansing of sin, but a passionate and ongoing longing for Christ and His Word. "
This spoke volumes to me, and the Lord is speaking to my heart, making me aware that I'm putting my relationship with Him in the danger zone. I hear Him loud and clear, and I know His word says "If you love Me, obey Me". I do love Him so very much, and I am convicted, and humbled after reading this.

I sincerely look forward to reading your post. Also you have a beautiful family, what a blessing.

God bless,
Michele katherine

Michele Katherine said...

Hi Beth,

I am so happy that you found my blog, because it lead me to yours, and I know the Lord orchestrated this. Your post contained scripture that I have read this past week, such as Matthew 7:21, and now I'm convinced the Lord is trying to get my attention, and remind me that He is my priority above all else. I have been very distracted this past week, and have not made the Lord my priority.

You posted:
"Salvation is not just the cleansing of sin, but a passionate and ongoing longing for Christ and His Word. "
This spoke volumes to me, and the Lord is speaking to my heart, making me aware that I'm putting my relationship with Him in the danger zone. I hear Him loud and clear, and I know His word says "If you love Me, obey Me". I do love Him so very much, and I am convicted, and humbled after reading this.

I sincerely look forward to reading your post. Also you have a beautiful family, what a blessing.

God bless,
Michele katherine

Elizabethd said...

I don't know the book, 'Radical', but it sounds as though it would be a wonderful book to read and to learn from.

Mommyto4 said...

Am I exempt from the giveaway because I'm your daughter??

Great post.

Yolanda said...

Beth,

As you know, I've already Radical "wink"! So please don't add me to the drawing. But I wanted to let you know that I had stopped in as well as that I taught Sunday school this past week and encouraged them in the days ahead to really begin EXPERIENCING Him.

With love,
Yolanda

Warren Baldwin said...

Good perspective on the present tense of "does". I think some versions, like the NIV, would do better translating "walks" instead of "does" or "do" like they often do (I use the NIV a lot). It tends to show more continuous action.

Great post.

Thena said...

Wow, I heard basically the same thing this morning listening to Joyce Meyer. She said how sad it will be to go to church week after week, and do good deeds and to hear depart from me.
Great post as always really makes you think. My prayer is to always be in God's will.

NanaNor's said...

A very powerful post filled with truth. I haven't heard of the author but the book sounds life-changing and inspiring.
Hugs today, Noreen

Lynda Young said...

"Salvation is not just the cleansing of sin, but a passionate and ongoing longing for Christ and His Word." Yes, yes and yes!
Blessings to you,
Lyn

THE OLD GEEZER said...

I thank God we are saved by grace as we enter the narrow road that leads to life. And I also thank God that by His grace we are continually being conformed into the image of Christ as we travel that road. If your not being changed then there is a strong possibility you are still on the wide road that leads to destruction.

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

This was my son and my conversation this morning. I have heard a lot about this book from our pastor and staff...as they are teaching us the same thing. My son at age 14 is catching it.
Thanks for sharing...I never get tired of hearing the word.

Steph T. said...

"When we have a heart full of Jesus we desire to be obedient"..well said Beth. Your post are always so uplifting to me & stand in awe of God. Thank you for your outpouring of his love for others.
Blessings,

Sandra said...

I've read good stuff about this book and I would love to have it myself.

Sassy Granny ... said...

Such a timely, worthy post. So many offer a cheap belief system without ever telling people it will cost them everything (I can just hear Jesus telling the parable about "counting the cost").

God's grace is free, but it's so very precious, invaluable. To respond with anything but humble obedience is to miss His best.

Blessings,
Kathleen