April 9, 2017

Matthew 21:6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them.

The story of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem is so familiar that I could just about quote the whole thing exactly, but reading it once again just now, the thing that stands out to me is that the disciples did as they were told. This is a very important fundamental principle, as James famously pointed out. (James 1:22) If we don’t do what Jesus tells us, what good is it to pretend to listen? Jesus Himself made this point very clear. “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46) He followed that up with His parable of the men who built houses on bedrock and on sand, to paint a very graphic picture of what He was talking about. No one is perfect in their obedience, but if the will to obey, to follow through, is not there we are only deceiving ourselves, just as James said. This is an issue for every believer. If our faith doesn’t lead to obedient action it is an illusion. Paul’s famous statement about our being saved by grace through faith, in Ephesians 2:8-9, continues on to verse 10, which talks about our doing the things that God has prepared in advance for us to do. Too often we come to Jesus thinking we’re getting a meal ticket and a ticket to heaven, not accepting that we’re also signing onto a work crew. Whether that actually is saving faith is God’s business, but it certainly isn’t the path of fruitful discipleship.

This is my situation in spades. Whereas some would think I’m some sort of “super Christian” for being a missionary pastor, the ultimate question is whether I have done what Jesus has told me to do. I have baptized people and I have raised up a few pastors, but at the same time I have hardly done the best job of casting God’s vision for this church and equipping the people to fulfill it. We have our annual business meeting today, and after the reports and such we will have a time of prayer and sharing, seeking God’s vision for us as individuals and as a church. To be honest, I don’t know how much I can contribute. I am very aware of my own inability and weakness, so I need to fix my eyes on my Lord, for whom nothing is impossible.

Father, You know what has been running through my mind, and I know that the devil is the accuser. Help me distinguish accurately between Your voice and his, and listen only to You. May Your perfect will be done, for me and for this church, today and every day, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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