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Choose This, Not That

Choose This, Not That! – Is Jesus your Lord? (Luke 6:46)

Today’s Reading: Luke 6-7

Today’s Reflection: Luke 6:46

 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?

Jesus encountered many types of people during His ministry on earth.  But among those who would call themselves Jesus followers, all had one critical conflict in common.  All of these varied peoples, whether they were Jew or Gentile, commoner or Pharisee, all who believed in Jesus clearly saw that He was the savior of mankind.  To the Jew, Jesus was the fulfillment of the writings of the prophets and the ancient hopes of their forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel).  To the Gentile, Jesus had unmistakable power and authority above that of any god or idol they had once served.  But what was harder for all of these varied peoples was to embrace all of Jesus instructions and truly accept Him as their Lord.

Today’s text comes on the heels of Jesus Sermon on the Mount, a beautiful and profound message, but an incredibly challenging one as well.  Many of the things Jesus instructed and practiced, like loving one’s enemies (Luke 6:27-36) and not judging others (Luke 6:37-38) sounded noble, but also sounded impossible.  It is easy for us in our limited humanity to rationalize such challenging standards and say we should aspire to follow such direction, but not be too concerned if we fail.  We become ‘fans’ of Jesus’ words without any conviction to make those words real in our lives.  On the other hand we may just reject such teachings as too hard to keep.  But neither of these points of view are accurate.  As the word tells us:

Luke 6:47-49 – 47) Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48) he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.  49) But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”

So there was no point in merely listening to Jesus words and not doing as He instructed.  In fact doing so was sure to lead to their destruction.

The same is true of us today.  We face the same challenge.  How do we do such things that appear to be impossible for us in our fallen state of humanity?  Fortunately Jesus gives us instruction on how to do what seems to be impossible.

John 15:4-7 – 4) Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.  5) I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.  6) If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.  7) If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

Luke 18:27 – But he said, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”

If we abide in Jesus, He can and will do the impossible through us.  So we are without excuse and have before us a clear choice:

Choose This:  Abide in Jesus and follow the instructions He gives us.

Not That:  The ‘fandom’ of hearing Jesus words, but not following them.

James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

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