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“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.”  (Matthew 7:21, NLT)

When valued against actions, talk is cheap.

Jesus says that it is not just our confession, but it is through our obedience to God’s law that we realize the rule of God.  Furthermore, as we see in the two verses that follow (verses 23 and 24), it is not our successes that impress our heavenly Father; it is our faithfulness.

How different is that from what we see daily: Where good words are often divorced from good deeds?  Give God the lead today — and faithfully follow!  – Luther

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“Do not let your heart envy sinners, but live in the fear of the Lord always.”  (Proverbs 23:17, NASB)

The sinner does not regard the law of the Lord as applicable to him; nor does he consider valid the instructions of his Creator.  The fact is this: We all have been active sinners; dismissive of God’s law and disdainful of His rightful authority.

Are we tempted to envy those we see cruising on sin’s easy boulevard while we endure the inconveniences of the narrow moral road?   Yes!  We feel the tug because of our humanity.  However, we were created for grander purposes.  Do not give-up; and do not give-in to envy.

To “live in the fear of the Lord” is to continuously mindful of the things that matter to the Lord — and to allow your heart to follow the Spirit’s leading.  – Luther

 

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Today’s note is a bit longer than usual; and it is from the works of Oswald Chambers (1874-1917). However, I hope that you will find its encouragement to press-on after missed or ignored opportunities of great help.  – Luther 

“Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”  (Matthew 26:46, NIV)

In the Garden of Gethsemane, the disciples went to sleep when they should have stayed awake, and once they realized what they had done it produced despair.

The sense of having done something irreversible tends to make us despair. We say, “Well, it’s all over and ruined now; what’s the point in trying anymore.” If we think this kind of despair is an exception, we are mistaken.

It is a very ordinary human experience. Whenever we realize we have not taken advantage of a magnificent opportunity, we are apt to sink into despair. But Jesus comes and lovingly says to us, in essence, “Sleep on now. That opportunity is lost forever and you can’t change that. But get up, and let’s go on to the next thing.” In other words, let the past sleep, but let it sleep in the sweet embrace of Christ, and let us go on into the invincible future with Him.

There will be experiences like this in each of our lives. We will have times of despair caused by real events in our lives, and we will be unable to lift ourselves out of them.

The disciples, in this instance, had done a downright unthinkable thing — they had gone to sleep instead of watching with Jesus. But our Lord came to them taking the spiritual initiative against their despair and said, in effect, “Get up, and do the next thing.”

If we are inspired by God, what is the next thing? It is to trust Him absolutely and to pray on the basis of His redemption.

Never let the sense of past failure defeat your next step.

Oswald Chambers, “My Utmost for His Highest”

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