The World Needs More Jesus?
In this section of the devotionals, we will focus on Jesus and his words in the book of Matthew. You might ask, why have a question mark at the end of the title of this section? Do you not agree that the world would be a better place if we all followed Jesus’ lead? Absolutely, I agree that the world needs Jesus! The challenge comes when what Jesus taught goes against my/our natural instincts.
Before writing this, I struggled with how to write it. The last thing I want is to sound pious or condescending because I fail every day. Reading the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 7:15-16 gives me hope. “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.”
Understand that each and every one of us is going to fail. Jesus is God. He is perfect and we are not. When we fail, God will forgive us.
We will delve into many things that Jesus said and some will challenge you more than others. Some are very hard. For example, Jesus said to love our enemies. When someone hits me, I don’t want to “turn to him the other cheek also.” (Matthew 5:39) Heck, I want to hit him back, but I don’t get to pick and choose what words of Jesus I want to follow. If we want the world to have more Jesus, it starts with us!
The Greatest Commandment
“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the Law of Moses?”
Jesus replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” Matthew 22:36-37
“You must not have any other god but me.” Exodus 20:3
It’s easy to make fun of people that worship things that we can’t fathom. For heaven’s sake, the Israelites made a golden calf and worshipped it. Rome had a god of the sky, Jupiter. Neptune was Jupiter’s brother and was the god of the seas. Juno was the wife of Jupiter and was the goddess of marriage and women. Mars the god of war. Venus the god of love. Bellona was the goddess of war. I guess Mars needed help. It seems the Romans had a god for almost everything. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Roman_deities)
Today, we Christians can’t imagine how anyone could worship some of the things that they bow down to, but are we really any different? Are there things that I have put before God? You? If I’m honest, the answer is yes because my actions prove stronger than my words.
One of my gods was baseball. Is there anything inherently wrong with baseball? Of course not, but it would be a lie if I said I didn’t place it before God. For others it’s fame, a career, possessions, and maybe even other people. Where are my thoughts? What do my actions prove? What do I worry about?
Taking an honest look at your own life may reveal who or what you really worship. If there is anything that you are unwilling to give up to follow God, that is your god. That is my god. Ask yourself this one question. If I were to stand before God today, would He find something that I placed above Him and am I doing that now? God is a god of love, but He is also just, and the answer to that question has eternal consequences.