Matthew 3:9 – “And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.”
In this passage, John the Baptist rebuked a group of Pharisees and Sadducees that came to witness one of his baptisms. The verse above is a stern reminder that although the children of Israel were God’s chosen people (the lineage of God’s covenant with Abraham) that their title of “chosen” was not enough to merit the favor of God.
In like fashion, many Christians cling to the title of their salvation as the end all be all of good standing with God. Just like the Pharisees and Sadducees, modern religious philosophy has claimed that by being saved a person has reached the pinnacle of spirituality. This mindset of “being saved is enough” has resulted in countless congregations having ICHABOD stamped above the entrance to their sanctuary. After being saved I have received a Title as joint-heir with Jesus Christ and have been commissioned as a King and Priest; yet, those titles merely mark me as a saint … not a servant. John the Baptist went on to preach that God had the power to raise up a stone and present it with the same status that the religious crowd put their faith in. Therefore, today’s devotion centers on Title & Stones.
1) Salvation is not the Finish, it’s the Beginning – If God was merely interested in your salvation, He would have called you home to Heaven the moment after your redemption. The Pharisees thought that they had reached the apex of spirituality by having a claim to God’s covenant. If the mere association with God was all the Almighty had planned, why weren’t Peter, James and John taken to the third Heaven as soon as they turned to answer Jesus’ call to follow Him? Salvation isn’t the finish line, it’s the beginning of the course that Paul spoke of completing. You have been made into a new creature to live a new life before the Lord. Praise God that He saved you!! Yet, how many are lulled into false satisfaction because they believe that being saved is all that God requires of them? God could have cleansed the entire world from the curse of sin, but He chose to love you and not the rocks. He called you, not the stones. So, now that you have received a title, do not squander the blessing of being saved by sitting like a rock and collecting moss.
2) Salvation Comes with Duty – Everyone in the Bible that received a call from God had a reason that called them. He chose them to accomplish a gal for His Name’s sake. Yes, God could have chosen the rocks to preach salvation to all that pass by. He could write His Will in the skies with lightning or speak through a voice as many rushing waters. Yet, He chose you to do something for Him instead. Peter, James and John were commanded to follow Jesus so that He could make them fishers of men. John the Baptist was called to the wilderness to become the forerunner of Christ. Abraham received a covenant so that God could use his lineage to bring about the arrival of the Savior. God saved you to accomplish His Will in like manner. Salvation has many blessings which we cannot truly begin to fathom and those benefits come alongside responsibility. We are commanded to be Holy as He is Holy, to be in the world but separated from the world. We have been commissioned the take the gospel to ever corner of the Earth and tell every living creature as well as to take up our cross, daily, and follow Him. We are even told that if we forsake the privilege of lifting our voice to praise God that the rocks will cry out in our stead. The Pharisees and Sadducees had their places of praise taken by rocks, what duties have we neglected and forced God to replace us in those capacities?
3) God Will will Be Done Regardless – Who can stand before the Will of Jehovah? If God wishes something to be done, He will see it done. How many Christians, like Jonah, must wallow in the belly of a fish for several days before they assume the role that God wishes for them to have? How many, like Esau, despise their duty and have their blessing given to another? How many are like Saul and have had their position revoked and have been replaced by another? Like these examples from the Word, if we continue to avoid our responsibilities toward God we will face the chastening rod. For those people, God will chastise, withhold His blessings and eventually require their life should they proceed to balk at the role God set aside especially for them.
I have been made into a child of the King, but that title comes with burden. God now entrusts the future of His Church to those that are a part of it. I am a representative of God in a sinful world. I am meant to be a light that casts out the darkness and brings glory to my Father in Heaven. But how many days has God been required to find a stone to fulfill the job that I should have done? How many duties have been wrongfully unfulfilled by His people? What would the world look like today if people cherished their obligations to God like they do their title of salvation? Humbling questions that serve as food for thought.
Your fellowservant in Christ,
Bro. Jordan Foster