Tuesday, December 2, 2014
December 1 – In God’s estimation
And behold, some are last who will be first and some are first who will be last. (Luke 13:30 NASB)
The ways of God are deep. They look at the desires of the heart that motivate our actions. Jesus was teaching here about entering the Kingdom of Heaven, and was asked if only a few will be saved. He affirmed that many assume they’re making it in because they had eaten in His presence, and had allowed Him to speak to them at some time in their life. But He makes it clear that they will be locked out, and when they cry out to God, He will respond that He never knew them. Scary, isn’t it?
But the comforting thing is that we all have our chance right now to make sure we safely enter into His Kingdom by making Him Lord and Master over our lives. No one will be locked out who has sincerely surrendered their life to Him, who has died to their sins, and who has chosen a life of daily sacrifice. When we’ve entered into His Kingdom, we have to continue living in obedience to our King so that our perseverance will see us through until the end of our lives. That’s when we’ll leave behind this shadowy world, and when Jesus will welcome us with open arms into heaven to begin real life.
Jesus knows that many who look important, holy, and of high stature in the Christian world, could very easily be among those who are locked out of heaven. This is not the only time Jesus refers to this. He teaches about how many will be confused when they don’t enter heaven, saying, “Lord, Lord! Didn’t we cast out demons in your name?” But they will be sent into everlasting punishment. (Matthew 25:31-46)
There are many false teachers of the gospel today, just like in the time of the Early Church. Don’t be fooled by slick marketing and a large following. A true man of God will teach the reality of the Bible without diluting it for the sake of popular demand. He will teach plainly about both the wonderful blessings of following Jesus, as well as the serious consequences of living in the flesh. He will live what he teaches in humility and with the heart of a servant, not a master.
Unfortunately many who we see broadcasting their great works can easily be among those that appear to be first, but in reality are last… or lost. But many who are humble and sincere before God, who may not look like they are the greatest in the eyes of others, could easily be surpassing the rest, to end up first in God’s estimation.
God judges with eternal criteria, not by the superficial things that we see with our human eyes. Others may misjudge us or misinterpret our motives or actions, but God sees everything, and will reward each of us according to who we are and the choices we have made. Don’t be discouraged if you are not recognized now. God sees you, and you can decide to be the first by living in repentance and servanthood today.