Bible Ballistics: BBs #196 The Match Game???
Most of us remember playing the ‘Match Game’, or maybe you called it ‘Concentration’, the game where you matched the items whether it was a deck of cards, or a board game; the object of course was to match all the cards on the board one pair at a time. Well I think we who claim to be ‘Christians’ need to be doing a better job on the “Match” game. I’m talking about our “walk”–what we do, where we go, what we say, how we behave toward others–matching our “talk”—what we claim to believe with our lips. Jesus quoting Isaiah 29:13 warns us about the danger of having a “walk” that doesn’t match our “talk”:
“This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” Matthew 15:8
Jesus goes on in to reveal the root of the problem, and it’s not just the “mouth”, it’s the heart. It’s not religious ceremony that stops defilement but a transformed heart.
“Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: 20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.” Matthew 15:17-20
Jesus says it’s not what we eat, or even if we washed our hands (referring to ceremonial washing), because whatever we eat simply passes through the body and is discarded. Not pleasant dinner conversation, but truth, nonetheless. It’s what comes OUT of the mouth that defiles a man, woman, boy, or girl because the mouth reveals what is in the heart. So to walk the walk requires a heart that is set on Jesus. A transformed heart that the Holy Spirit possesses!
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” John 3:3-7
Born of God, by the Holy Spirit—you “must be born again”!
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13
God the Father sent His Son to give us new life by His Holy Spirit who convicts us of sin and brings us to a place of repentance and faith in Christ Jesus alone, by faith alone, through grace alone! All because Jesus was willing to come and live in this body of flesh, to live a perfect sinless life and then to die for sins HE didn’t commit so we wouldn’t have to. That’s why He came! He came to live a life in flesh and die an unjust death on a cross because I sin!!! He paid a debt that HE didn’t owe, because we had a sin debt that would cost our death! He came to die, so we could LIVE!!!
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21
“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10
“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” Luke 13:3 & 5
“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. 15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” Galatians 6:14-15
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
It’s not what we claim to have, but what we receive through Jesus’ blood–NEW LIFE!!! A life that reflects the work that God has done within! A life that reflects the “NEW COVENANT” relationship with God—one that is fixed in our hearts, not in ceremony or rituals regardless of how lovely or seemingly meaningful they may be. What brings transformation to a life is the blood of Jesus applied to the heart, soul and mind of all who come to HIM in repentance and faith! And our life-style IS the evidence to the world of what JESUS has done within our hearts or what we don’t really possess.
“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:20-23
So??? Will you spend your life just “talking” about Him, or will you bow your knee before Him and be “born again” and walk in the power of His Spirit? If you know HIM, will you stop going your way, and yield to His work in your heart and mind? What is the measure and mark of a life—not what ‘goes into the mouth’—but what ‘comes out of it’? What does your “Match Game” reveal to the world?
“by their fruits ye shall know them”
What do your ‘fruits’ say to others? To God? It’s your choice—but remember there is a test at the end! And remember, if we belong to Jesus—HE is working in us at all times to fit us for glory:
“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” Philippians 1:6
And when we belong to Jesus, HE has a plan for our walk:
“For we are his workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus
unto good works,
which God hath before ordained
that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
How’s your match going????? It IS eternally important!!!