Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Grade Cards

I thought about this while reading a CNN article on grading our current president. It became intertwined with a comment in Sunday’s sermon, too. So, no – this is not a political statement. We will be faced with that decision over the next two years.

I want to think about grade cards – remember those from school? Now ones for a school are posted on the ‘net. This one is from my Beloved Husband’s high school. None available for my schools, nor my sisters. Too many changes in the Tulsa school system and our schools no longer exist. These schools are graded on Performance Indices, nicely laid out so we can see what they have – or have not – done for their students.

Now – think of your own personal Christian grade card. No, no one is going to grade you (though some might come up with judgmental thoughts), but there are specific subjects Jesus brought up and gave us some standards to consider. No, our salvation does not depend on a grading system, but do you think He would be supportive if we achieved a high grade? Saddened if we failed?

Go back to political grading for a moment – just how do you feel about the current administration? The previous one? What are you looking for in the next? Do you believe God does not give the same consideration to the works of His children? James did:

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. (James 2:14-18 KJV)

Jesus gave an even more interesting description in Matthew 25:35-46. How else can that be interpreted than to mean we are to work here on earth in His service? Jesus came to us through His Father’s will, according to John 6:38-40. John quotes Jesus more than once speaking of His Father’s will:

I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. (John 5:30 KJV)

Even when it was not what He wanted to do, He responded to His Father’s will – Matthew 26:39, 42; Mark 14:36, Luke 22:42. He knew what was coming:

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 KJV)

How can we know what is being graded if we don’t know God’s will? How can we know His will without getting to know Him?

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? (Romans 10:13-14 KJV)

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