Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Deuteronomy 11:18,26-28; Romans 3:21-25,28; Matthew 7:21-27

Obedience and Blessing
God is at work among His people, teaching them many lessons.  Through His precious promises and strong warnings, He leads us in the way of obedience and blessing (Deuteronomy 11:31-32).  If we are to enjoy the Lord’s blessing, we need the whole Word of God – the warnings as well as the promises.  Obedience to God – This is the most important thing in the life of faith.  Obedience demonstrates the reality of faith.  By our obedience, we show our ‘love’ for the Lord.  We rejoice in ‘all the great work of the Lord’.  By ‘His mighty hand’, He has provided for us a great salvation.  Our enjoyment of His salvation increases as we live in obedience to Him (Deuteronomy 11:8-15).  Without obedience, there can be no blessing (Deuteronomy 11:16-17).  Teach others to obey God – especially the ‘children’ (Deuteronomy 11:18-21).  God is good.  He loves us (Deuteronomy 11:22-25).  Obey Him.  Choose blessing (Deuteronomy 11:26-28).

We bring our sin to Jesus. He gives His salvation to us.
We are sinners – every single one of us. There are no exceptions – ‘all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’. When we see ourselves as we really are – sinners – , we come to see that there is no way for us to earn God’s love. We will never deserve to be loved by God. His love is always ‘a gift’ – ‘the redemption which is in Christ Jesus’ (Romans 3:23-24). Through ‘faith’ we look away from ourselves to Christ. We rejoice that ‘His blood’ was shed for us. We receive from Him the forgiveness of our sins. This is the love of God. This is His gift. He gave His Son to be our Saviour. He gives salvation to all who trust the Saviour. ‘By grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God’ (Ephesians 2:8). No ‘boasting’ (Romans 3:27) – Rejoice in your Saviour!

Build on Christ – His Word is unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable.
Whenever we are seeking to follow Christ, there will be dangers – false prophets (Matthew 7:15-20), empty profession (Matthew 7:21-23). Clearly, our faith must be grounded in the Son of God and the Word of God. This is the point of Jesus’ parable of the two builders and the two houses (Matthew 7:24-27). We must build upon Christ. We must build on the Word of God. Jesus’ ‘sermon’ ends in verse 27, and is followed – in  verses 28-29 – by a statement of its effect upon His hearers. Down through the centuries, Jesus’ teaching continues to make this impression on people. His words come to us with authority, addressing us with remarkable relevance. We imagine that our time is very different from Jesus’ time, yet Jesus’ words make it very clear – things are not so different after all. Still, we hear Him speaking as One who has authority. His Word is unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable.

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