Monday, February 3, 2014

February 3: Who is your father?

Jesus replied, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come from God and am now here. I have not come on my own initiative, but he sent me. Why don’t you understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot accept my teaching. You people are from your father the devil, and you want to do what your father desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not uphold the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies… The one who belongs to God listens and responds to God’s words. You don’t listen and respond, because you don’t belong to God.”  (John 8:42-47 — NET)

This is Jesus’ message for possessed believers. A group of people wanted to kill Him, and yet insisted that they were children of Abraham. When Jesus explained that if they believed in Him they would be free, they angrily replied that they were already free and had never been anybody’s slaves. Then Jesus launched into this passage where He explained that their father was the devil and that they could not say that God was their Father when they hated Him and His teachings.

Please don’t pass today’s devotional off as something that only applies to other people. Very few people in this world are saved and truly know God… very, very few. Most people who go to church want to hear what makes them feel good; they don’t want to hear a rebuke; they want to hear that they are saved and going to heaven even when they are lazy about their relationship with God, and refuse to accept Jesus’ teachings at face value. Most people don’t want to change their lives and do God’s will… they want an hour in church on Sunday morning to soothe their consciences, so they can go back to what they consider reality, and live their lives the way they want all the while believing the lie that they are saved.

Ask yourself if you belong to God. Jesus accused people who did not listen and respond to His teachings of not belonging to Him—these are His words not mine—and remember, when He said this He was speaking to people who considered themselves believers… children of Abraham. We are not saved because we go to church (though this is necessary) or because we call ourselves Christians, or because we are “good” people; we are saved only when we humble ourselves to God’s words and practice them, especially when they are difficult to accept.

Make sure you are saved. It’s your most valuable possession.

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