Monday, April 1, 2024

Living The Jesus Way – The Way of Living

Monday, April 1, 2024

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.  On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, drive out demons in your name, and do many miracles in your name?’ Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you lawbreakers! Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock.  But everyone who hears these words of mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. It collapsed with a great crash. When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, because he was teaching them like one who had authority, and not like their scribes. Matthew 7:21-29

Living The Jesus Way – The Way of Living 

In the final passage of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus gives us some the most important advice on how we should live the Jesus Way. He tells us of a person standing before him and crying out “Lord, Lord,” who Jesus responds to with the words ‘I never knew you.’ He then wraps up the Sermon on the Mount with two examples of a wise who builds on a firm foundation and a foolish man who builds on sandy ground. How can we avoid standing before Jesus and hearing those same words, and how can we build our life on a firm foundation? Yesterday Pastor Jim gave us two ways we can respond the good news of the resurrection to make sure we are 

Confession and obedience – When we hear the gospel and believe, we confess with our mouths that he is Lord. But if we only say it and do not make him Lord of our lives – if we do not follow in obedience – it doesn’t mean anything. 

We cannot be saved unless we confess him as “Lord.” But confession by itself is never enough. If our lives don’t match what we say, there is no value in our words. It is as if we give Jesus a passing thought and say the right things, making us look like a Christian on the outside.  If we go to church, teach a class, or participate in other “religious” activities, but privately do not live the Jesus Way, we will be like the person the scriptures talk about above. We may say “Lord, Lord”, but if we do not do the will of our heavenly Father, the Lord will not know us. Walking the Jesus Way means having a relationship with Jesus by walking in obedience. Only then will we be living out the values and principles of His Kingdom with our whole lives, every day and in every way. We walk in obedience with every step, every word, every choice and decision, every moment of every day. This is confession and obedience. This is living the Jesus Way. 

Knowledge and obedience – Jesus went on to tell his disciples about two people – the wise man and the foolish man. The wise man built his house on the rock, the foolish man built his house on the sand. Both the wise and foolish man look the same on the outside, but on the inside, they are very different. The wise man built his house on a firm foundation – the rock. The storm does not shake the house built on the firm foundation. The foolish man’s house built on the sand is a different story. The sands cannot withstand the storm. The wind and the waves wash the sand out from beneath the house and it crashes down. 

The storms of life will always reveal the strength of the foundation our life is built on. The only firm foundation for our lives to be built on is Jesus. But if we only hear the words and do not apply them to our lives, that does not provide the secure foundation that we need. We have to hear and do. As in the other lessons from the Sermon on the Mount, the message remains the same: If we have a real transformative relationship with Jesus, it will be evident in every area of our lives. Our foundation will be secure and those all around us will notice the peace we have when we encounter storms in life. Just as building a house on a good foundation is a necessity and a process, building our life on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ is a process. The process starts with confessing and learning, followed by obedience. Every step we take in obedience strengthens our foundation and our faith. 

How will you respond to the resurrection of Jesus Christ and how does that decision change everything?   

Jesus said just knowing and saying that he is Lord of our lives does not secure our salvation. What we know and what we say must be followed by obedience lived out in our lives. 

How will you respond to the resurrection of Jesus Christ? Will you choose to confess and hear it only, not letting it change (or interfere with) the rest of your life? Or will you follow your confession and knowledge with obedience, living out the values and principles of His Kingdom with your whole life, every day and in every way. Will you choose to live the Jesus Way? 

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