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1 Samuel 10:1-16; Romans 4:13-25; Matthew 21:23-32

SCRIPTURE

Matthew 21:31b — Jesus said to the (chief priests and elders), "Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you.

THOUGHTS TO PONDER

The “big kids” usually had the advantage over some of us younger ones. They were faster and more experienced in getting the best seats, the first treats, the most capable players. As we were preparing for a field trip to the big city of Norfolk, Nebraska, they were the first in the cars with their friends, making us squeeze in wherever there was room. If I’d have had a choice, I certainly wouldn’t have ridden between Blue and Schwendt! Both had left me with painful bruises from time to time. When we stopped for a snack at the bakery, the “big kids” were first in line for the treats. To their surprise and dismay, the baker declared, “Youngest ones first!” As a result we received the biggest cookies on the rack, while some of the “big kids” ended up with smaller, broken cookies.  The chief priests and elders (“big kids”) in the religious establishment considered their favored position to be secure, even in heaven. Jesus informed them that such was not necessarily the case. Some of the despised of the world who turned their lives over to God, would be better off, when the Day of Judgment came. In other words, entrance into the kingdom of God is not based on position or rank, but on the state of the heart in a person’s relationship with God. Have you been counting on the fact that your name is on the church books, or the fact that you serve on the church council, to get you into heaven? The question is, “Where is your heart in your relationship to Christ?”  Or, have you been feeling “less than holy and not good enough to enter God’s presence? Rejoice! Jesus judges hearts not rank or worldly wealth. He loves you “just the way you are!”

PRAYER

I am ashamed, dear Lord, that sometimes I think that because I am doing what you have called me to do, I deserve the best. Thank you for blessing me so abundantly. I pray that I will use my blessings to bless others who suffer and lack the basic needs in life. In the Holy Name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

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