The Doorway to the Kingdom

July 21st, 2015 by JDVaughn Leave a reply »

Blessed are the poor in spirit… —Matthew 5:3

Beware of thinking of our Lord as only a teacher. If Jesus Christ is only a teacher, then all He can do is frustrate me by setting a standard before me I cannot attain. What is the point of presenting me with such a lofty ideal if I cannot possibly come close to reaching it?
I would be happier if I never knew it. What good is there in telling me to be what I can never be— to be “pure in heart” (Matthew 5:8), to do more than my duty, or to be completely devoted to God? 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.
The teaching of the Sermon on the Mount produces a sense of despair in the natural man— exactly what Jesus means for it to do. As long as we have some self-righteous idea that we can carry out our Lord’s teaching, God will allow us to continue until we expose our own ignorance by stumbling over some obstacle in our way. Only then are we willing to come to Him as paupers and receive from Him. “Blessed are the poor in spirit….” This is the first principle in the kingdom of God.
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.” Then Jesus says, “Blessed are you…” (Matthew 5:11). This is the doorway to the kingdom, and yet it takes us so long to believe that we are actually poor! The knowledge of our own poverty is what brings us to the proper place where Jesus Christ accomplishes His work.

July 21 2015

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, this devotional really strikes home with me. Most of my early Christian life was spent wondering how all those people in church were able to always “color inside the lines” except me? I would leave church depressed when the preacher would focus on sin management and how “good Christians” didn’t do this and wouldn’t do that. I thought I was the only one in the congregation that was not able to stay on the path. I sure would have appreciated a bit more transparency. So now I understand that we will always fail without You living through us, and that our very best service, in our own power, counts for nothing.

And God says…”As Chambers said in the devotional, Jesus is not to be considered a good teacher; He is to be considered your life. Chambers said it well…”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.” Jesus gave you insurmountable standards, NOT so you would give up on becoming a “Christ like disciple”, but so that you would quit trying to achieve the standard on your own power. And recall it is not a partnership. It is not a 1940s movie entitled “God is my co-pilot”. Becoming the man or woman that Christ describes is only possible when you are surrendered to His power, and connected via the Holy Spirit. Then you can do all things through this power of Christ Jesus. And when you are not surrendered and connected to Jesus, My grace is sufficient for you and fills the gap. Seek first the Kingdom of God, which is Jesus, and everything else you require, including the power to live to the impossible standards set by Jesus, will be provided.”


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