Skating on Thin Ice

May 1, 2014

Skating on Thin Ice

Matthew 25:10-13
And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did [it] not to one of the least of these, ye did [it] not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Our texts from Matthew 25 present us with three parables given by Jesus that illustrate wise and faithful servants with subsequent rewards and foolish and slothful servants who reap the closed door to God’s presence and His judgement of displeasure. There are many that loosely wear the name of Christian. There are many who attend church and acknowledge the name of Christ, but if we all stood before Him in judgement today how many of us would truly be considered His? The passage in Matthew 7:13-23 instructs us, “13″Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
15″Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
21″Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ “ The scriptures speaks something very specific to us that many tend to ignore. Many of us have a philosophy that we can have religion, that we can have works and that we can generally believe upon the name of Jesus and that insures us of heaven. I fail to see that premise supported in these scriptures. There is a connection necessary for us to be “in Christ”. The connection we have in Christ is not just one made in a moment of repentance when we came to the altar; that should have been the beginning of a continuing, ongoing and deepening relationship that leads us into the heart of God and establishes us as part of the vine, yielding the fruit of the Spirit. Our salvation is not contingent upon how religious we are, what church we go too, what denomination we do or don’t belong too or how good our works are. Salvation is union with the One who hung upon that cross for you and I and gave His life so that we might have eternal life. For many, the definition of salvation has become very loose and general, but in these scriptures and many like them we find an exacting Lord, who expects faithfulness, obedience, commitment and fruitfulness. That fruit has no value or worth if it is produced outside of the vine; it is the fruit of the vine that produces life and lasting value.
Jesus says specifically in Matthew 7:13, “”Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Religion is a wide road that may lead us in pursuit of God, but does not lead us into life and relationship with Him. That small gate and narrow road is not the one traveled by the masses or even the church in general; it is traveled by those in pursuit of Him. Where are we at on life’s road? Do we just possess religion, a belief system or even spiritual gifts? None of those in themselves make us His. He is looking for the ones who bear the fruit of His life within them, who are faithful with what He entrust them with, who are watching and preparing for Him and those who are ministering the life to others that they themselves possess. Do we really know Him and are we in relationship with Him or are we skating on the thin ice of a mindset that just says, “sure I believe in Christ” but aren’t really living what we think we believe. Our beliefs have to become your realities.



The Corner of God and Man

October 12, 2012

The Corner of God and Man

Mark 12:10
And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:

A corner is a point where two lines meet usually at about a ninety-degree angle. There is an intersection in our lives where we have to make a choice about which way to turn and the direction we want our lives to go. A few of us will make the corner and head up through the straight gate up a steep and narrow incline called the “way of Life”. Most will turn the other way and head down the wide and popular road which leads to destruction, as Matthew 7:13 tells us, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.” It is at this intersection of God and Man that life and death choices are made. That intersection is also known as the cross of Calvary where one man, the Son of man and the Son of God, was nailed to become that intersection for mankind. His arms were stretched out to all of mankind to say, “I love you this much and I’ll pay the price for sin and I’ll shed the blood required that you might enter in.” The way up through the straight gate that leads to life is through this man Jesus who became the open gate to heaven and eternal life.
When a building is built, again the corner is the key to the building’s strength, integrity and longevity to stand and weather the storms that will come against it. The corner stone is that key foundational stone upon which the rest of the building is supported and stands. Jesus was the Messiah, the corner stone that Israel needed to complete a spiritual temple built unto the Lord. They were content and set upon the former things: the law, the traditions, the ceremony, and the hierarchy of the religious system. So when Jesus came, the fulfillment of what they had hoped for and waited upon, promised by the prophets, they missed it. They rejected the cornerstone of their salvation. The natural mind can become so set in it’s tradition and order of doing things, that it doesn’t want to accept that God might have a new order of doing things. We, as Christians can fall into this same mindset of our religious traditions, because it is comfortable and familiar. Be careful that we don’t also reject the moving of the Holy Spirit as He moves on to greater dimensions of truth and revelation for the Church. The Spirit of God is not stationary and stagnant. He is a dynamic moving force. If we want to reject God’s way and build our own building with the works of our hands, the sweat of our brow, then we can do that. Israel, as a whole, is still doing that. 1 Peter 2: 4 says of this rejection, “And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, [even to them] which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.” When we enter into the building that God is building we enter into a temple not made with hands. It is being fashioned and built by the Spirit of God upon the chief cornerstone of Christ Jesus. We are the lively stones that make up its walls. “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ (1Peter 2:5).” He is the cornerstone, which the world, secular religion and His own people rejected. 1 Peter 2:6-10 goes on to tell us, “Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe [he is] precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, [even to them] which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past [were] not a people, but [are] now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.”
That corner we turned back at God and Man was a right turn that is taking us not up the easiest road, but it is the high road that leads to life and godliness. When we made that decision and as we continue on in that decision we are becoming a part of God’s house and His household. It was and still is the best corner we ever turned.


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