Mar 6, 2011 - Sunday Meditation (Proved by His Deeds!) There is only one way in which a person’s sincerity can be proved, and that is by one’s practice. Fine words can never replace good deeds. Our character is revealed in the choices we make, especially when we must choose between what is true or false, and good or evil. If we make the Lord and his word the rock and foundation of our lives, then nothing can shake us or keep us from God's saving presence and help. Is the Lord Jesus and his word the sure foundation of your life? Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time Deuteronomy 11:18, 26-28, 32 Psalm 31:2-3a, 3b-4, 17+25 Romans 3:21-25, 28 Matthew 7:21-27 "Not every one who says to me, `Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' 23 And then will I declare to them, `I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.' 24 "Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; 25 and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; 27 and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it." Meditation by Don Schwager What kind of foundation are you building your life on? When Jesus told the story of the builders he likely had the following proverb in mind: When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm for ever (Proverbs 10:25). What’s the significance of the story for us? The kind of foundation we build our lives upon will determine whether we can survive the storms that are sure to come. Builders usually lay their foundations when the weather and soil conditions are at their best. It takes foresight to know how a foundation will stand up against adverse conditions. Building a house on a flood plain, such as a dry river-bed, is a sure bet for disaster! Jesus prefaced his story with a warning: We may fool others with our speech, but God cannot be deceived. He sees the heart as it truly is – with its motives, intentions, desires, and choices (Psalm 139:2). There is only one way in which a person’s sincerity can be proved, and that is by one’s practice. Fine words can never replace good deeds. Our character is revealed in the choices we make, especially when we must choose between what is true or false, and good or evil. Do you cheat on an exam or on your income taxes, especially when it will cost you? Do you lie, or cover-up, when disclosing the truth will cause you pain or embarrassment? A true person is honest and reliable before God, neighbor, and oneself. Such a person's word can be taken as trustworthy. What can keep us from falsehood and disaster? If we make the Lord and his word the rock and foundation of our lives, then nothing can shake us or keep us from God's saving presence and help. Is the Lord Jesus and his word the sure foundation of your life? "Lord Jesus, you are the only foundation that can hold us up when trials and disaster threaten us. Give me the wisdom, foresight, and strength of character I need to do what is right and good and to reject whatever is false and contrary to your will May I be a doer of your word and not a hearer only." Supplementary Reading You Have the Advantage “...His favor is for a lifetime...” - Psalm 30:5 One definition of the word “favor” is an advantage for success. When you put God first, when you obey His commands, you open the door for His favor — you have the advantage for success! Even if someone has wronged you and it looks like they have the upper hand, even if it looks like things are never going to change, you need to keep reminding yourself, “I have an advantage. God is in control of my destiny. He’s fighting my battles for me. He is my vindicator, and it’s just a matter of time before things change in my favor.” I love the scripture in Hebrews that says, “Don’t cast away your confidence.” One translation says, “...for payday is coming.” In the difficult times, you have to remind yourself that payday is on its way! God is a faithful God. If you’ll keep doing the right thing, honoring Him and expecting His favor, God has promised He will pay you back. He will restore everything in your life that the enemy has stolen so you can live the abundant life He has promised to you. Father in heaven, thank You for Your grace, mercy and everlasting favor. I open my heart and mind to You and receive everything You have for me. Thank You for restoring and healing every area of my life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen. — Joel & Victoria Osteen
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