an awesome day to work to be called great!
“Jesus replied, ‘But even more blessed are all who hear the Word of God and put it into practice.’” Luke 11:28 NLT
In Jesus’ day, if you were a man, who your ancestors were was very important. For women, their value came as a result of the sons she bore. One day, Jesus was addressing a crowd about the tendency of man to quickly lose his resolve to change, or reform, his ways. “As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, ‘Blessed is the mother who gave You birth and nursed You.’” (Luke 11:27 NIV). When Jesus gave the response that He did, He was not being disrespectful to His mother or diminishing her value. He was pointing out that obedience to God is more important than anything in our lives.
It is good that we spend time each day reading scripture, daily devotionals and other spiritual readings and then take time to think about what we read. It is wonderful that we make time in our busy schedules to worship with other like-minded individuals. It is also great that we say a prayer or two on a daily basis. All of these things are critical to helping us open our hearts and minds and then keeping them open to all of the wisdom that can be gleaned by doing each and every one of them.
But that is not enough and we must never allow ourselves to believe that it is. Taking all that we have learned from the Bible, our church, and other sources of spiritual enlightenment and then putting it into practice is very important in the eyes of God.
Putting your obedience to God to work is not complicated, nor does it have to be time consuming, but the notion that we can obey God’s Word without that Word translating into some form of action on our part is one that we must set aside. James, speaking about Abraham said, “You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.” (James 2:22 NIV). He was referring, of course, to Abraham’s obedience to God when he brought his son, Isaac, to the Altar to sacrifice him. Following God’s instructions, or His commandments, often requires action. To “Love thy neighbor” (Matthew 22:39 NASB) requires some active demonstration. An act of kindness or compassion for another person, which is simple and may take very little time, completes our faith by demonstrating our obedience. Teaching others is an action as well, and Jesus spoke clearly on that subject. “Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:19 NIV). Any day would be an awesome day to be called great in the kingdom of heaven!
Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson