Thursday March 19
Today’s Reading: Luke 13:22-35
Key Verses: Luke 13:22-25
“22 And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem.23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:”
We consistently say the God is a loving God, He doesn’t put on us more than we can bear, He loves the sinner, God accepts everyone, etc. All these statements are true, but it doesn’t mean that there aren’t conditions or requirements for us. As people, we want things as easy as possible. And in these days, we sometimes want to manipulate the rules so we succeed, everyone’s a winner, just show up, be a participant!
The scriptures state over and over that for us to be right in God, there are things we must abide with. When we try to use our standards to determine our relationship, we are negating the authority and the power of God. It’s easy to say “obey God” and leave it at that. That seems to be an overwhelming proposition. Where is the compassion? Where is the consideration? It’s just a lot of rules and doesn’t apply to my situation? In other words, God should be focused on me, not the other way around. Our point of view is wrong.
We cannot manipulate God, or change what He says. The Word of God is forever, His requirements never change. It isn’t always easy, in fact it is mostly hard because we have to give up our nature that says “I am the most important”. The scriptures say: “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He shall lift you up.” (James 4:10). We make decisions every day. We choose the course of action we feel benefits us. But we only see a short distance into the future and the outcome of our relationships. When we take our eyes off Jesus, when we focus on our “rights” in God, when we think God’s word doesn’t apply to us in this situation, we are only fooling ourselves. God is eternal, He knows and sees the outcome of our decisions and actions. But He is also the loving and compassionate God. He knows that we may stumble and fail. “for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.” (Proverbs 24:16).
Sometimes I want what I want. Sometimes I am ignorant what You want. Sometimes I feel I have to take care of myself because no one else cares. And sometimes I just don’t know what to do. Help me to take Your instruction and direction to heart. Help me, O Lord, to put Your ways above my ways, to be teachable and live by Your Word. AMEN