Today’s reading is from Matt 24:37-39. Jesus said in the last days it would be like it was in Noah’s day; people just kept doing their own thing right up until the flood came. What happened to all the other godly people in Noah’s day? Somehow they ‘missed the boat.’ It is possible to get so out of touch with God that you don’t know what is going on and what God is doing! It is possible that God’s Holy Spirit was speaking to them, surely Noah preached to them. Yet they were too caught up in the ways of the world. They didn’t think judgment was really going to come. They didn’t think they were that bad! People tend to ignore the reality of judgment. This is true in almost every age. It was true in Noah’s day; it is true in our day. In Noah’s day people were breaking the laws of God’s, and did not even consider the possibility that the Lord would punish them for their disobedience.
Even as the culmination of history approaches, when Jesus Christ will return to earth, people will still go on living in rebellion against God, giving no thought to the consequences of their sin. Certainly we see this in our day. Many people want nothing to do with God, they never go to church, and never read the Bible. They don’t hesitate to violate God’s laws, and some even claim the Ten Commandments and the Bible are outdated and irrelevant. Most never seem to consider the possibility that God will punish them for their behavior. The moral decay in our society is obvious. Living together before marriage, divorce and homosexuality has become so common that many folks no longer think it is wrong anymore. Honesty, simply telling the truth is becoming a lost virtue. Many young people seem to be unable to distinguish between right and wrong. A big reason for this type of epidemic of immorality is that people ignore the reality of God’s judgment. They were breaking every one of God’s commands, but did not even consider the possibility that the Lord would punish them for their disobedience. Many folks are uncomfortable with the topic of God’s judgment and even the concept of hell. They prefer a nice, loving God, who is always trying to help everyone. But God will punish evil. That is an important part of His character. Exodus 34:6,7 “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished.”
What are you doing to make sure you don’t miss the boat?
Today’s reading is from Matthew 22:35-40. When Jesus was asked the question what is the most important command He answered, “Love God and love neighbor as yourself.” Jesus’ simple, clear answer to this question is a powerful statement about what God really values. The number one lesson that a person should get from the Bible, Jesus is saying, is simply this: “Nothing is more important than relationships!” This is the summary of the entire Bible! By choosing these two commands as the most important of all of the OT commands, Jesus tells us how deeply He values relationships. Notice that Jesus actually gives TWO commands but says they are really ONE command, because to God, loving God and loving our neighbor is one thing! They cannot be separated. You can’t do one and then NOT do the other.
From the beginning of the Bible to the end, the same message is preached, nothing is more important than relationships. We are told “in the beginning,” God created you for relationship. He made you to relate to Him. Then we read the story of how even though Adam had relationship with God he had no other human to have relationship and God said it was not good, meaning Adam was lonely, so God created Eve. If a person lives their life and misses out on relationships, they will be missing the CORE reason for which God put us on this planet. In the end, nothing is more important, because nothing will last longer than relationships. Your relationships with God and others will last all the way into eternity. The main reason that Jesus came to this earth was to offer an opportunity for all people to establish a relationship with God, which had been broken by sin. This relationship with God would also strengthen all your relationships with others. Relationships are the number one priority to God. Jesus came to show us how to enjoy a new way of relating to God and to others. Why do you think that so many people, even religious people, miss this? Why do we let things get in the way of building healthy relationships?
Today’s reading is from Matt 20:1-16. Jesus told the story about the workers who worked a different amount of hours but at the end of the day they all received the same pay! This made the workers who worked all day mad. They felt that it wasn’t FAIR that people who worked less than they did got the same amount of money that they did. It didn’t matter that they got what they had been promised. It didn’t matter that the money was the landowner’s to spend however he pleased. Somehow, they DESERVED better, because the other workers had worked less than they had. I love this story because it reveals the heart of God in such a shocking way.
Jesus is letting us know that when it comes to rewards, He is not fair. He gives people more than what they deserve. He won’t ever short change anyone. Each person will get at least what they deserve, but some people will actually get MORE than what they deserve! Actually that is the definition of grace. Grace is getting something we did not deserve. Mercy is not getting something we do deserve, like being let off the hook for something we did and not getting punished. But grace is all about getting more than we deserve and this is the heart of the Father. For some reason we all like it when that happens to us. Don’t get ripped off of your blessing when you see God blessing others more than they deserve!
Have you ever experienced times in your life when you got more than you deserved? Have you ever experienced times in your life when you saw others get more than they deserved?