Monday, April 22, 2013

Wheat or Tares?

              There is a song I like to listen to, and every time I hear it, it always makes me wonder about my own faith, my own walk with the Lord. The song is called, “Live Like That” by Sidewalk Prophets. It asks the question to each one of us if we were to leave this earth and go home to the Lord, how would we be remembered? Would our lives have been evidence of the Lord Jesus Christ? Did we love the least, did we live our lives daily for Christ, and was it evident to others?

                I believe there is a time coming where the Lord God will send a refining fire upon those who call on His name to see who is true and who is not. Jesus talks about a time of harvest when the wheat will be separated from the tares. (Matthew 13:30) The wheat is the Christians, the tares are those who profess but do not live. There is a time coming when the Lord God will send a fire, and He will separate those who seek Him, who love Him and who live for Him, with all their hearts from those who profess but do not do.
                I have been thinking about all these things lately, the fire to come, the song urging me to live for Christ and it has caused me to examine my own walk with Jesus Christ. My mother used to say “practice what you preach”. She was not one for words, she was always pushing my sister and I for action. Our words meant little to her if our actions didn’t follow suit. The Lord God looks at us in much the same way.
                “So they come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words but they do not do them, for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain.” Ezekiel 33:31
                The prophet Ezekiel is speaking to the Lord. He says to God, “these people don’t want to know You; they only put on a pretense and pretend to worship You.” There is unfortunately a truth to these words for us today. Just as the people of Israel would come and listen to God’s word, worship Him, and say how much they loved Him, their hearts did not follow. They spoke love but they did not practice it. As Christians we are to love, we are to be the example of love to all those who are lost, to all those who are without hope and without God. But instead, I see more and more “Christians” playing the part than actually being the part.
                “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil, cling to what is good.” Romans 12:9. Paul tells us that we are to love without hypocrisy. A hypocrite is someone who says one thing and does another. Now, we have all been hypocrites at some point in our lives, and if you say you haven’t then you are most likely not telling the truth. The word in the original Greek refers to an actor on the stage. They would put on masks and pretend to be someone else. This is the word used by Paul to describe what we are not to be.

                As believers we are to express our commitment to God in our words, and in our deeds. Why are we followers of Christ? Do we seek to live for God, or do we just like the way that church on Sunday makes us feel? Do we go to church on Sunday and worship and praise with our lips and on Monday seek to do our own thing? There is coming a day (and sooner than we think) when persecution of the church in America, and worldwide will separate the wheat from the tares. The question is which one are you?
                Do we say we love God, yet hate our brothers and sisters? Do we help others for their sakes, or to be seen by others? Do our deeds match our words? A true Christian, a true follower of Christ will seek to grow; they will seek to give themselves daily to the Lord Jesus Christ, without judgment of others. We are to be separate from the world, we are to be a light to the darkness that the lost are trapped in. We are to be the ones who go out and proclaim that hope and light have come in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
                “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me.” (Matthew 15:8) God knows who are truly His, and He knows if your heart is near or far. We, those who call ourselves Christians today, must lay down all that is not of God and pick up all that is righteousness and truth. We want the world to change, we want the evil to stop and the good to win, but we ourselves are not willing to let go of the evil and be the good.
                How many of us could stand in a room full of people and be set apart by a stranger for being a Christian? How many of us could pick out a fellow Christian in a crowd? Our lives are to be so saturated in Christ that we look like Him in our deeds, in our words and in our motives. Others should come to us, the Church, during times of trouble. Is your life so saturated with Christ that others can tell you are a Christian? There is coming a time my brothers and sisters when the wheat will be separated from the tares. You will have to make a choice, to either give it all to Jesus or to follow the world and the wrath to come upon all those who seek the ungodly.
                We want people to come to our buildings every Sunday and worship alongside us, but do we worship, truly, do we worship God ourselves with our whole hearts? How can we say we love God but are unwilling to love the sinner next door? We need to wake up and take a good hard look at our own hearts. Because the time is near, and those who think they are wheat, may actually be tares.

                I pray that the words today would urge you and encourage you to draw closer to God, and to immerse yourself in His word today. May His Holy Spirit reveal our hearts to us, and show us who we are in Him. I pray for the church in America, that we would stop pretending and begin to be the disciples of Christ our world so desperately needs. May the Lord Jesus Christ rain down a fire upon His church and refine us, renew us and strengthen us to be His forever and ever, with all our hearts and souls and minds dedicated and committed to His great glory. Amen and Amen.   (Link to Song "Live Like That" by Sidewalk Prophets)