“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’ Then I will declare to them, I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers. “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!” Now when Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.
This passage says to me that we need to live what we preach without secondary agendas or deception. We have all encountered people in our lives that fall on either side of this concept. Politicians are a great example of being outwardly supportive but with a hidden (or not so hidden) agenda that will foster their own advancement. But then there are those individuals that are genuinely committed to living their lives caring more for others than they do for themselves. When we find these people we are filled with joy and love. We want to be like them, caring, honest, full of integrity.
As you reflect on this passage, find a memory of someone that displays Christian attributes; someone that you find yourself admiring; someone that you would like to be around as they make the world a brighter place. Regardless of the intensity of your faith, find a way to reach for solid ground, the rock, for your life’s foundation.
– Submitted by Dana Zaccone