I was inspired this morning by the words of Oswald Chambers from today's entry in My Utmost for His Highest. The entry is titled, "The Doorway to the Kingdom." And the Scripture is Matthew 5:3, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Oswald warns us not to simply think of Jesus as a great teacher (remember these words from Matthew 5:3 are the first words of Jesus' great Sermon on the Mount). When we only think of Jesus as a great teacher, we are simply defeated by our inability to live up to His standard. Take a moment to reflect on this excerpt: "I must know Jesus Christ as my Savior before His teaching has any meaning for me other than that of a lofty ideal which only leads to despair. But when I am born again by the Spirit of God, I know that Jesus Christ did not come only to teach - He came to make me what He teaches I should be. The redemption means that Jesus Christ can place within anyone the same nature that ruled His own life, and all the standards God gives us are based on that nature."
Do you really know Jesus as your Savior? I know that nearly all of you have confessed your faith in Jesus as your Lord and Savior. And, I know that many of us are mindful of the ways that we're still trying to let Him really be the Lord of our lives. But today, Mr. Chambers is helping me consider the ways I need to let Jesus be my Savior. He writes, "The underlying foundation of Jesus Christ's kingdom is poverty, not possessions; not making decisions for Jesus, but having such a sense of absolute futility that we finally admit, 'Lord, I cannot even begin to do it.' ... This is the doorway to the kingdom."
We've been talking a lot lately about being a Church on Mission for Christ. We've been talking about becoming, more and more, a Great Commission Church. The starting place for us to move in that direction isn't a great evangelism class or an attractive program we can invite our non-Christian friends to attend or a dutiful obedience to move out as Jesus commands us to do. The starting place for us to increasingly become a Great Commission Church is for each of us to know Jesus as our Savior - not just intellectually, but intimately and existentially. The more we truly understand His amazing grace for us, the more we are ready to share the goodness of that grace with others. May that be true of us.
P.S. Click here to read the Chambers devotional for yourself.