1 Chronicles 22-24 John 8:28-59
“The person who belongs to God accepts what God says. But you don’t accept what God says, because you don’t belong to God.” (John 8:47 NCV)
The book of John has some of the deepest conversations between the Pharisees, and other Jewish leaders, and Jesus. It’s funny how often I see people trying to claim that Jesus never told people that He was God when trying to deny the Trinity. “He was just a good teacher, but He never claimed to be God.” At the end of this discussion, the people involved were ready to stone Jesus for making that very claim. Jesus also proclaimed how to tell when a person belongs to God or not. There’s a very simple dividing line: do they accept the truth of God or don’t they? If God really is all powerful and all knowing, it would seem that His way would be the best, wouldn’t it. If someone decides that what they want is better than what God wants, then they don’t really accept God for who He is, and thus, they don’t belong to God. God doesn’t hold people to Him against their will.
I have many friends who don’t accept what God says. Some deny the existence of God. Some believe that God exists, but then live as if they believe God made a few mistakes – especially in relation to them. That’s the thing about God. If He isn’t perfect, He isn’t God. He doesn’t make mistakes. He gives us freedom to disagree with Him, which I do often. At the same time, though, He draws us back to Himself while revealing truth about each disagreement. Eventually, we’re confronted with a choice: do we accept what God says and follow Him, or do we reject what God says and go our own way? It’s easy to reject God, while still claiming that we’re all God’s children. The Pharisees sought to do that. They would even tell you that not only did they believe and accept what God said, they followed the Law like no one else ever had! Yet Jesus noted that by not accepting Him, they were rejecting God. It’s not that someone who accepts what God says never sins, it’s that we recognize our sin and our need for forgiveness when we do sin. It all begins, though, with accepting the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Son of God. He came to earth to go to the cross to die and pay the penalty for our sins. Accepting what God says begins with accepting Jesus. We’ll still have sin in our lives, but if we truly accept God, we’ll allow Him to change us, to mold us into the image of Jesus. We won’t reject God when He defines something in our lifestyle as sin, we’ll trust Him to take that sin out of our lives and follow Him obediently. Jesus was pretty blunt when He talked to the Pharisees: if you don’t accept what God says, you don’t belong to God. This statement is still true today. Accept and follow what God says. His way is best.
Lord, sometimes I have issues with Your ways because I think I know better. Thank You for not rejecting me in those times and for gently leading me into Your ways. Help me to trust You and Your word in all areas of my life.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.