Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Daily devotional: Intellectual "belief" is not enough

Scripture
"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."
Matthew 7:21 (see also vv.19-24)

Observation
Verses 19-24 of Matthew 7 are chilling. They warn us that merely believing intellectually, and even doing some things that appear Christian (preaching or teaching about God and even doing miracles in His name), are not enough to save us from hell. Verse 19 says we must bear good fruit. Verse 21 says we must do the will of God; otherwise we are evildoers (verse 23). Verse 24 says that we must not only hear the words of Christ but also put them into practice. So God is clearly calling us not to just an intellectual belief or even to some works that appear spiritual, but rather He calls us to live a life of doing what He tells us to do. Belief is not just in the mind but is carried out in our actions.

Application
Take God's Word to heart and actually do it. Don't shy away from fully obeying Him.

Prayer
Lord, I fear that the message I often hear is more about intellectual belief and not life change that results in bearing fruit. Help us to take Your Word to heart and be transformed, not just people who say we love you and believe in You, but rather people who do Your will and bear much fruit. Please bear this fruit within us and keep us from intellectual stagnation and inward focus. I love you!

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