This is a personal challenge to Christians everywhere! There are many who are actively involved in church duties. There are many who seem to have and use spiritual gifts. There are even some who perform signs and wonders. And yet, Jesus says to some that He never knew them. Scripture says there will be weeping and wailing and grinding (gnashing) of teeth. (Matthew 7:21-23) How can you avoid being part of those Jesus said He never knew?
2Timothy 3:1-5 details what’s going on in the church. Verse 5 says that some have a form of godliness but deny the power. Is that you? Do you outwardly go through the motions of being a busy, useful Christian while inside you are not connected to Jesus and live like He’s not in your life? Do you constantly study scripture and have lots of head knowledge but lack spiritual conviction? Do you constantly study God’s word and yet haven’t been spiritually changed or impacted for quite some time? Sure, you know the right words to say and the right things to do, but knowing and having a right attitude can be two entirely different things.
There was a rich young man who approached Jesus and asked how to inherit eternal life. Jesus cited some commandments that all young Jews were taught. The young man’s response was that he had done these things since he was a little kid. Jesus looked at him and told him that there was one thing he still needed to do: give up his riches and follow Him. The young man sadly shook his head and walked away from Jesus, knowing that was something he could not do. Scripture doesn’t say whether he changed later, but those riches were a stumbling block, a barrier to an eternity with God for him. You can find the story in Matthew 19:16-26.
What about you? What in your life acts as that barrier? How able are you to give it up so that you can be with God for eternity? The good news is that God stands ready to help you identify what that barrier is and help you overcome it so that you can indeed be blessed with an eternity with Him. I encourage you to prayerfully examine yourself to see if you indeed are in the faith and then ask God’s help in removing the things that don’t belong now or for eternity. He loves you and wants you there. Do you love Him more than your barrier or stumbling block?
Let’s pray: Father God, these are not easy words to read, but for some who read them, they are indeed necessary. If it applies to me individually, Father, please make me aware of the things that no longer belong in my life that are barriers to an eternity with You. I want more than anything to hear Jesus say to me, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord.” May those words find my ears. Thanks for changing me so that they do. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Pastor G and I look forward to hugging each of you when we are together with God. We pray these words have encouraged you so that will be our reality.
copyright March 2013, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved