Daily Reflection – 6/27/19
Jesus said to his disciples: “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, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’ Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.’ Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell — and great was its fall!” Now when Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes. (Matthew 7:21-29)
Is Jesus your personal Lord and Savior? How many times have you heard that question?
Pushed to its logical conclusion, the phrase is narcissistic; it treats a relationship with Jesus somehow as a personal possession. He is MY personal Lord and Savior. He died to save ME.
It’s tempting to reduce spirituality merely to a personal level. It is even more tempting to place a relationship with Christ at the service of my well-being. Of course, we should have a personal relationship with the Lord, but should we be in charge of the relationship? Simply acting like a Christian is not sufficient, for such activities could be for self-aggrandizement and not to do the will of God.
Then, how do we remain faithful to Christ? Do we show others through our actions? Or do we focus on our intent? Obviously, intent and action weave together in our Christian walk. But can we get into such a rut that our spiritual life is one of rote? Is that a life worth living?
A Christian can claim a personal relationship with Jesus; he or she can do mighty things. But should that person expect a reward? Of course not, Jesus stated. Yet, we all implicitly assume that, if we just live as “good” people, we will get to heaven. If we are lost, our failure is our own, simply for presuming we have the power to get into heaven by ourselves. And, that’s the problem. We presume. We presume our actions are enough. And, when we presume, we’re really saying “Hey God, look what I did for you!”
Jesus placed the focus from the person presuming upon God to God. It’s not what we do in the name of the Lord, it’s what the Lord does in our lives. When God acts, we should respond by doing his will. The purpose of the spiritual life is not to live as a good person, it is to do the will of God. That’s why Jesus was so insistent in his teaching. The saved experience God in their lives and seek to do his will. That focus and content are far different than simply being a good person, then expecting heaven as a reward.
What is the quality of your relationship with Christ?
Prayer of The Day
Lord, you love me too much to stand by and let me live my life on the surface. You know it is difficult for me to give up my mask, because it is never easy for me to face my weaknesses. Give me the strength to confront what I need to change in my life.
Becoming a follower of Jesus is to decide to become a member of his society and is marked by a willingness to live one’s life according to the values and beliefs of that society. One becomes part of the people of God. Jesus’ invitation is an invitation to an encounter with God and a different way of living life. This life will provide not only strength in the present to withstand the various storms that come our way but also the final great storm that sees us through to an eternity with the Lord, to and for whom we have lived a life of devotion.