Tag Archive: matthew 7


A fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.

We’ve all heard that one. Well, you have at least now.

It is King David speaking and you can find the quote in Psalm chapter 14 verse 1.

You can also find it in psalm 53 which I just realised is pretty much the same psalm – strange.

Anyways, that’s not really the point of this post. I was thinking about that line on the bus the other day when I came up with this:

A fool says, “In his heart there is no God.”

The idea that we can look at someone else and judge whether or not God is at work or living in their heart.

It has been said before that many people might be surprised one day not so much by who is not in heaven, but by who is.

[This, of course, excludes the Universalists who will just be surprised if anyone is not there]

The church has for too long focused too much energy on the whole “who is in and who is out” vibe.

And this is nothing new. The disciples were at it in Mark 9:

38 “Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”

39 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40 for whoever is not against us is for us. 41 Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.

Whoever is not against us is for us. I’m sure many theologians have had many issues with this one.

And it is at times like these that I am reminded of the two foundational rules of life:

I. There is only one God.

II. It is NOT me. 

Get that one right and you’ll be golden. Because you know what, it is God who is going to take a look at our lives and our commitments and how we spent out time and energy and money one day and He is going to make a call on it.

I am fairly confident that the sole provision for ‘making it’ into heaven one day is not going to be ‘Did you raise your hand and say a prayer at some holiday meeting when you were a child?’ Beyond that, well I’m happy for it to be up to God.

I do think Jesus spoke quite strongly and clearly about it [take a read of Matthew 7 for example] and I think there can be a lot of evidence in play that might suggest that someone is not following [active] God.

But sometimes we just can’t tell. Sometimes the Jesus followers look a little rough around the edges like a fisherman Peter or a tent-maker Paul [you know? the guy who went around killing them]. And we should take absolute joy in the fact that it is going to be God who makes the choice.

We’d be foolish to spend our time judging the unjudgeable surely?

A fool says, “In his heart there is no God.”

What we can do in the meantime is focus on our life, our walk, our talk, the consistency with which we live and follow and bring in the kingdom. [There’s usually a lot of work to be done there]

waiting

And then lead others towards Jesus. Point them towards God or else grab their hands and say, “Hey, let’s go check this thing out!” and walk and lead and direct and wrestle and give them opportunity to doubt and disbelieve and question and be angry or incredulous or skeptical.

Just don’t let them not be loved.

another short psalm but a lot in it, although the part i want to pick up on is the last line:

‘You, LORD, will keep the needy safe and will protect us forever from the wicked, who freely strut about when what is vile is honored by the human race.’ [vs.7-8]

this is quite a tricky one and i won’t go deeply into specifics, but i see this line as a warning for us who call ourselves Christ followers to be very mindful of the call to be set apart and holy [which means set apart, to be distinct] and to heed the command in romans 12 to ‘not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your minds’ because that way we will be able to discern what God’s will is and we always need to remember that it is God’s will that we are seeking, not the will of society or the context we find ourselves in, or what feels comfortable or even fair to us… we are part of a story that is all about God and we are merely walk on players with cameo roles and for some reason He has invited us to have roles of significance in this story about Him.

‘when what is vile is honored by the human race’
– just because society starts accepting something should not automatically mean that it is right in the eyes of God [and this covers a multitude of topics] – matthew 7 is a passage which strongly seems to indicate that the minority is more likely to be right than the majority and so if you look around and everyone looks pretty much like you, then maybe you have to get worried, or to action or something [unless you just happen to hang out with a crazy above action crowd]

however, having said all that i am deeply reminded that too often the church has been known for what and how much they are against and while that is important at times and to various degrees, it is and should always be more important what we are about and for. which ultimately is Love, in its various forms and guises. the tattoo of the church – we should be known/marked by the love we have for each other [John 13.35]

and then that phrase – the words of the LORD are flawless [vs.6a] which kinda speaks for itself…

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