Tuesday, 25 October 2022
‘Jesus said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you.”’ -Matthew 21:31 When Jesus made the statement (read in the key verse), it shocked the hearers because most of the listeners were people puffed up with pride about their religious upbringing and activities. If Jesus overlooked and denied the many devoted and orthodox people entry into heaven, what would be the reason for their rejection? When the world recognizes and lauds people for their piety, Jesus looks deep into people’s hearts and not at their performance. Piety and Performance will not take us to heaven. Then what will?
Today’s reading highlights 3 qualities that are essential in every believer’s life:
Quality #1 – Holiness that leads to Worship: When Jesus walked into the temple, the entire scene there caused him to take some very strong measures: He i) drove out many ii) overturned that which was lodged deeply there.
Why did He? The Temple of God intended to be a “House of Prayer” was being turned into a den of thieves where people were being exploited in the name of religion (v.13). Today you and I as temples of the living God (1Cor.3:19,6:19) need to constantly remember that our body houses the Spirit of God. If we claim to be a child of God, then our lives need to portray Holiness and Prayerfulness for the world to see. Pride, secret sins, unforgiveness, coldness of heart, pleasures of life all hinder us from holy living and it drives us into a rigorous motion of rituals. May we drive out and overturn every hold of the enemy in our lives and submit to God, so that our lives would become temples of praise and worship just as the temple resounded with praise from the mouth of children. (v.15)
Quality #2 – Spirituality that leads to Fruitfulness – Our Christian life is not one of mere words, but God desires to see His fruit in us (Galatians 5:22&23). When Jesus saw the tree in its full bloom, it looked healthy- the perfect place to find some fruit to meet His need. But when he drew near he found the tree barren with only inedible leaves. The emptiness caused Jesus to curse the tree. Today when Jesus looks into our lives, are we maintaining an outward appearance of religion but not letting His power change us? (2Tim.3:5) If so, this will surely result in us facing the wrath of God. But when we remain in Him our lives will be laden with fruit (John 15:5) bringing glory to our Father in heaven and proving to the world that we are truly His disciples (John 15:8).
Quality #3 – Obedience that leads to doing God’s Will –In Vs. 28-31, we read about 2 sons and their responses to their father’s call. One said “No” but later obeyed and the other agreed to do the task yet disobeyed. More than the task that had to be done, what is important is the one who ultimately did the father‘s will. Jesus himself set us an example by his life of obedience to his earthly parents and by his suffering, his obedience to his Heavenly Father—actually a fulfillment of God’s will on earth.
Every time we respond to God’s call in our lives i)we are partnering in the fulfillment of the divine plan of God ii) we are declaring our love and loyalty to Him by our obedience. Whatever we do needs to be done with this understanding.
May God see us as willing workers in His kingdom prepared and ready to do the Father’s will, so that when Christ the Bridegroom comes, we will receive Him and go with Him to the wedding feast. So may we align our lives to His requirements that we may not be left behind at His coming.
Quote for the day: “Your life as a Christian should make non-believers question their disbelief in God.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Listen: 'Take my Life'