Sunday, October 16, 2016

Vain Words Cannot Save Our Souls #JesusFollowers

Uttering a few words expecting those words alone to actually accomplish something is the very definition of "vain words."

Just saying, "I'm more financially stable," or "I'm thinner," won't do anything without effort to make those goals happen, any more than saying "I'm college educated" can be true without actually attending college!

To "name and claim" something, is therefore a pointless exercise, especially when it's eternal life with God that's the object being sought.

Jesus repeatedly made it clear that we cannot take a short cut to either righteousness or eternal life. Nor should we seek gain from God for ourselves. This means material gain, of course, but it even goes deeper - deeper than modern Christians frequently dare to venture, because so many casually disregard Jesus' own teachings.

Jesus specifically said that those who seek to save their lives would lose their lives (Luke 17:33.) And that when we are standing before God, vain professions will have nothing to do with how we are judged worthy (Matt. 7:22) but our works alone will be how we are judged (Matt. 10:41; Matt. 16:27; Jer. 32:19.)

Why, then, is self-salvation by profession of our faith alone the entire focus of the modern Christian message?

Nearly the entire message of Jesus was focused on living righteously here on earth and serving others (Mark 10:43; Matt. 20:26.) But Christians focus entirely on individuals selfishly escaping from this world, which they degrade as TOTALLY fallen and corrupt - something Jesus never did.

Jesus calls us to a life of self-sacrifice, a life of Good Works, joyfully serving each other in the name of God's Kingdom, bringing it to fruition right here, and right now.

Jesus calls us to this kind of life not because he wants us to brag about being "children of the king" or claiming righteousness by proxy. Nor by tallying up our goodness and translating it into "points" that we can use to achieve Heaven.

Scoring and judging is up to Almighty God. We are simply called to play by His rules and let Him alone determine our worthiness.

We should also remember that Jesus' warning for us not to judge applies to our own eternal salvation, which is God's alone to give, not for us to demand, especially not with works-free faith, which amounts to spiritual shoplifting.

When we demand eternity from God - either by our vain words and vain, arrogant professions or by implying that we've "done enough" on this earth to earn it - we are failing to let God be our God, and are instead making God our servant.

In truth, Jesus calls on us to deny ourselves (Luke 9:23) and those who seek to be first should be the servant of all others (Mark 9:35.)

And if even Jesus didn't save himself from death on a cross by cleverly defending himself or by running away, why do some expect to save themselves with a few vain words, and running away from Good Works because they see them as "hard" or difficult?

Let us learn to therefore humble ourselves and deny ourselves before God, obeying Him and Jesus, the one He chose and adopted as His son, and sent out to be our example in all things.

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