Good Job! Gold Star! Way to go! We all love to hear others praising our efforts and achievements. We love it so much it has really become the undercurrent of most all we do. We work hard so that we can get that promotion at work. "Job well done". We practice, practice and practice some more so that we can be playing to win the last game of the season in sports. "Let's go Red Sox, lets go." (I had to put that in there. GO SOX) Anyway, we work hard at our craft, whatever it might be; art, music, sports, work, family, life; so that it might receive recognition and praise for being something that is worthy of it. It's why we have an awards show or event for everything under the sun. Our faith in Christ can also become an area in life, or a task, that we work hard at in order to get the gold star. The "well done", or "We couldn't have done it without you."
The Bible says that we should work as if we were working for the Lord (Col 3:23) and we are told that our hearts should be for the things of his kingdom, not our kingdom. I believe that we like to accept that most of the time, but something in todays reading was a reminder that if we are not careful we could find ourselves on the wrong side of things when we stand before Christ on that day of Judgement.
We do not want to be caught in the group of people crying "Lord, Lord, did we not..."
You see we can can easily find ourselves focused on God's Word, His Church, Helping those in need, and making sure that we are living a life that is obedient to what his Word says, but if we have refused to trust in Him, believe in Him, or truly come to him and follow him we will find that we have done it all in vain.
If we are not careful we can get caught up in living a life that is all about
In John 5:39-44
39 You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
41 “I do not accept glory from human beings, 42 but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. 43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. 44 How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?
This is a very scary place to be. I want to encourage you today to take a moment and do some self evaluation. I asked my class on Wednesday nights, where we are studying John's Gospel, Where do you see God at in the world today? or Where do you see Jesus in the world today or at work in the world today? Do you see him at work all around you and do you see the world as He sees the world? Or do you see the world as you want to see it and nary give a second thought to God at work or involved in your life on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday...
We, if we are not careful can get focused on making sure we are following the rules when instead we are supposed to be following the leader. And that Leader is Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior, Redeemer, Friend, and Judge of the earth. We get excited about the "gold star" for following orders instead of the the eternal treasure we receive when we following Jesus with a heart that beats as one with his. When this happens we begin to see what he sees in the world, we hear what he hears and we begin to act as he would act because of our love for him and desire to see HIS kingdom come, not ours.
So ask yourself, where is your focus? Do you find that you are focused on maybe doing all the right things (Studying the scriptures like the teachers of the Law in this passage) instead of focusing on Jesus (Who all the things should be about in the first place)? Where our focus lies is a very important thing to consider. Those who come on the day of Judgement and say "Lord look what we did for you, we cast out demons, we healed people, we followed all the rules.", may be at risk of hearing the Lord say, "Away from me, I never knew you." All because they missed the point. they missed where the focus should have been. Christianity is not about getting the Atta-boy from Jesus, and following the rules. It is about following our Lord and savior, no matter where he leads us, from a desire to make HIM known to the world, so that he gets the praise, glory, and honor.
Something to think about.
I hope that you will consider joining us for the next four weeks as we look to the Gospels and unpack this very topic of what it means to FOLLOW Jesus. The Series is 'FOLLOW', and we meet Sunday mornings at 10:15a. Have a wonderful weekend and I look forward to continuing this journey with all of you as we FOLLOW Him in all that we do with all that we are for all that He is.