Weekly Newsletter

Pastor David’s Weekly Devotional
     One of the more haunting and convicting questions in all of Scripture is found in the Gospel of Luke.  It appears in the section of Luke’s Gospel known as “The Sermon on the Plateau” (Lk.6:17-49), which is another occasion where Jesus preached His sermon that we find in Matthew’s Gospel known as “The Sermon on the Mount” (Matt.5-7).

     In the midst of this sermon, with the apostles and “a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people” (Lk.6:17) listening, Jesus asked, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” (Lk.6:46).  With one question, Jesus called out all those whose walk did not match their talk.  Jesus was not moved by the size of the massive crowd.  He was not satisfied with people only pronouncing Him as Lord.  He was not fooled by hypocrites, He was not impressed by mere lip service, He was not tolerant of false believers.  Christ, as He does today, expects His followers to follow Him.

     John MacArthur explained:
     “It is the height of irrationality and arrogance to call Christ Lord with the lips while defying Him with one’s life. … Such people are even more preposterous examples of self-contradiction than the atheist who imagines he can deny the Source of all that’s good and yet somehow be ‘good’ himself.  But the hypocrite is not only more irrational; he is also more contemptible than the out-and-out atheist, because he is actually doing gross violence to the truth while pretending to believe it.  Nothing is more completely diabolical. …
     It is no accident, then, that Jesus’ harshest words were reserved for institutionalized religious hypocrisy.  He waged a very aggressive public controversy against the chief hypocrites of His era.  That conflict began almost as soon as He entered public ministry and continued relentlessly until the day He was crucified (Jesus Unleashed, p.x-xi).

     To cement His teaching, after asking “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?”, Jesus told the following parable: “Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock.  And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.  But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation.  When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great” (Luke 6:47-49).  Notice that the “foundation” here is not one’s faith, or profession of faith, but a person’s obedience (or disobedience) to the Word of God.  The person who obeys God’s Word is spiritually on a strong foundation, but the one who does not obey – i.e., the hypocrite – is spiritually on fragile, unstable, ground.

     In Matthew’s account, we read this candid statement Jesus made about those who claimed to be His followers and yet failed to follow Him: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is 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 mighty works in your name?’  And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness’” (Matt 7:21-23).

Together in and for Christ,
Pastor David

Scripture Readings for the Week (Monday – Sunday ~ Week #23):
Exodus 37-40; 1 Kings 5-9; Psalm 66-68; Proverbs 2-3; Lamentations; Luke 9-10; Galatians 4-6
Recommended Reading:
“Jesus Unleashed” by John MacArthur

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