READING: John 7-8
TEXTS AND APPLICATION: When Jesus challenged the Jews to follow Him, they claimed their bloodline to Abraham as assurance of their “rightness” before God. Jesus not only shot down their claims, but He did so with absolute clarity: “Why don’t you understand what I say? Because you cannot listen to My word. You are of your father the Devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires” (John 8:42-44).
Further, Jesus re-emphasized the relationship between genuine salvation and hearing/following His word: “The one who is from God listens to God’s words. This is why you don’t listen, because you are not from God” (Matt. 8:47). I don’t know how to read these words in any other way than Jesus stated them: genuine believers hear and do God’s words; those who not follow God’s words are not God’s. This conclusion that those who don’t listen aren’t God’s followers is, as one writer said, “deadly in its grip.”* If I don't listen and follow God's Word, I have reason to question my salvation.
As I have read through the scriptures this year, I simply can’t get away from a holy God who expects His people to be holy. It feels as if every word I read reverberates with a call to godly living — a trumpet blast that cannot easily be ignored. If I claim to be a follower of Jesus, my life (that is, every thought I have, every word I speak, every action I take) must be an undeniable illustration of His holiness.
ACTION STEPS: My plan today is to ask God to point out to me any area of my life that is less than holy. I suspect this day will be a long one . . . but a needed one.
PRAYER: “God, start the cleansing process right now. Show me any place where my life doesn’t show that I’m Yours. Pound my heart until I hear You if I choose to be hard of hearing.”
TOMORROW’S READING: John 9:1-10:21
*R.C.H. Lens, The Interpretation of St. John’s Gospel