September 28

Written by Bill Grandi on September 28th, 2022

In yesterday’s devotion, I wrote about discernment as it relates to pastors/teachers. It is important to test the lives and teachings of those who claim to 1) be followers of Jesus, and 2) who claim to “speak for God.”

Today I want to focus more on me/us…the normal, everyday people who eke out a living both physically and seemingly, spiritually.

Although they don’t say exactly the same thing, there are two passages which could interconnect:

Matthew 5: 21-23

Luke 6: 46-49

I’d like to encourage you to take a moment and read them in your Bible rather than print them here for you.  Both have the person standing before God and saying, “Lord, Lord,” but then having their eternal destiny called into question. The Matthew passage has him confronted by his duplicity, his failure to live out his faith. No amount of pleading will change that.

The Luke passage, while similar, carries a different track. Jesus compares the man and his choice to building a house on rock or sand. The one who fails to live out his/her faith is like the one who has built their house on sand.

It is possible to look at this as an anomaly. Is Jesus saying works save us? No. What He is saying is that our lives will exhibit His truth in the way we live our lives. It is what James is speaking about in James 2. I heard it put this way: it is faith alone that saves us, but the faith that saves us is not alone.  Simply put: we are saved by faith, but faith is always seen in the way we live.

To be truly discerning, I must start with myself. To point the finger at another without an inward look is just wrong…and sinful…and dangerous.


8 Comments so far ↓

  1. Yes, indeed! Years ago, I asked Jesus how I could possibly thank Him for all He has done for me. After asking that many times over a long period of time, Holy Spirit spoke this to my heart, “You show your thankfulness by the way you live your life.” I habitually do self-examination against The Word of God. Hallelujah, He shows me the error of my ways.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I agree with what the Holy Spirit led you to understand Diane: we do show our thankfulness by the way we live our lives. What a difference there would be if we all took that seriously. Thanks for commenting.

  2. R Spires says:

    As I read through the 4 gospels, I can’t help but to think that Jesus is still trying to convince the Jewish people that the Law will not save them. They have tried, they have failed. I think Jesus continues to point that out in the passages mentioned that even a thought about sin is sin and just points to the need of something more… someone more… Jesus. No doubt my salvation should lead me to following Christ… This is the evidence of my salvation, not the reason for it. That said, there will be some that simply will not grow beyond an infant in regards to spiritual maturity. That can make for a pretty unstable foundation to live life. One that will surely erode and cause one to fall apart when the waves come crashing in.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I wonder if Jesus ever got tired trying to get that point across to the Jewish people Ryan. Only He was enough to save them, not their keeping of the Law. And I totally agree with what you said…this is evidence of, not the reason for.

  3. gail says:

    Father, help me not to just read your words, but to live out your words. Do not let me be content in reading the bible alone, let the bible shape my life so that my life glorifies You. Teach me to honestly do a shelf check, and to ask for guidance on how to overcome my weaknesses. Truth can only be revealed, when I am ready to accept the truth. Please make me a willing vessel for Your truth.

  4. As I read this, Bill, the lyrics of an old “folk” Christian song came to mind – “They will know we are Christians by our love, by our love. They will know we are Christians by our love.”
    Yes, if we are living our lives for the Lord, it should be recognizable.
    Blessings, Bill!