What is our focus? Is it exclusively the will of God?
Jesus continues His Manifesto (aka The Sermon on the Mount). Jesus is getting close to wrapping it up. Jesus doesn’t let up. There are some big deal things left to say. Jesus is going to say them. We need to hear them and obey them. This is crucial as we live out our faith at work. As we profess that Jesus is our master, our co-workers will look to see our actions. Are they aligned with what Jesus commands?
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 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?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ | Matthew 7:21-23
Many evangelistic churches make a big deal about the “profession of faith” and it is not to be diminished. That is only the beginning. When all we hear, Sunday after Sunday, is about the profession, we may need to find a new church to spend time in. Perhaps we are not learning as disciples should.
Jesus warns us it can’t just end with “walking the aisle”. It is not just about the profession, it is about the living. Do I accomplish the will of God.? In the middle of the Manifesto, Jesus teaches a short prayer. Key to it is “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.”
If I don’t get this, then I don’t get anything.
We all love John 3:16. I know I do. God loves me. That is cool. Keep reading and you will get to John 3:36.
“He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” | John 3:36
There is another “Sermon”. It is the sermon on the plain. Again, Jesus lays it out.
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock.” | Luke 6:46-48
The resurrected Jesus gave us a final command.
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” | Matthew 28:16-20
Jesus is our perfect example in all of the this. The hallmark of the life of Jesus is His perfect obedience.
And Jesus went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:39 (NASB)
“But so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me.” John 14:31 (NASB)
Alert: Obedience is an act of love
The big command is to love God with our entire being. If I love God, I will be obey His will. That is the proof. It is not about the profession and the confession. It is about the doing.
- “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” John 14:15 (NASB)
- For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. 1 John 5:3 (NASB)
- My soul keeps Your testimonies, And I love them exceedingly. Psalm 119:167 (NASB)
- But whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him. 1 John 2:5 (NASB)
- By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. 1 John 3:10 (NASB)
- And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it. 2 John 6 (NASB)
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The lessons taught at CTCI are not designed to be learned just in the classroom. They are not simply taught in a week or a month program. Rather, they come through the furnace of daily living and are hammered into useful form on the anvil of unrelenting daily life and common struggles. The hammer must fall repetitively over and over before the shape takes form. This type of experiential learning is formative.
Learning is driven by an insatiable curiosity in God’s ways. The value of hard work and the merits of creative problem-solving are by-products of “fleshing out” Biblical principles and watching them come to life through God’s creative power. Families are transformed and young people are reformed.
When given the right conditions of sunlight and good soil, an acorn grows into a mighty oak. When the same acorn is crowded out by larger trees and the elements for health are lacking, the tree grows crooked and deformed.
When a family arrives tattered and worn, we provide the sunshine and nourishment of God’s word in daily life experiences – and the transformation is nothing short of remarkable.
When a young person arrives soiled in the mud and mire of worldly ways, we provide the nutrients which build character and integrity for future leaders – and the reformation is nothing short of miraculous.
This is what we do: Transformation and Reformation. Learn more here.
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