Matthew 3:9-10 Don’t just say to each other, “We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.” That means nothing, for I tell you God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.
When I read in verse 9 that God can raise up children from these stones, it made me think of that show on television, “Dance Moms.” Abby Lee always shouts out, “Everyone is replaceable.” The show is not a reality program that I enjoy, in fact I loathe it, but I get sucked into it so often because I cannot believe someone is really that cruel. In this case though, Abby Lee is right. Everyone is replaceable. That is exactly what that verse says. God can replace us at the snap of His finger. When we do not follow His Will, when we do everything for ourselves and just think that because we are sons of Abraham our spot in heaven is reserved – we are doing ourselves a disservice.
God does not have any use for people who cause trouble, constantly forsake Him and create chaos wherever they go. He allows us time to show Him that we can do His Will and we are worthy of eternal life with Him.
We cannot go around thinking that God owes us a good life because we are doing His Will here on earth. We cannot go around thinking that since Abraham is our great grandfather to the 24th degree that we deserve the best; we DO NOT deserve anything. We do not have a sealed deal with God because we are in direct line with Abraham.
Many times in my life I felt I deserved something. Whether it be a new car, a promotion at my job, a healthy child, a new house, or whatever, I felt I had it coming to me because of all my hard work. That is so far from the truth. We should do everything with the realization that we will get nothing in return. We should act because it is the right thing to do, not because there is a reward for our goodness.
When I was joining my husband’s church after we married, a friend of Pete’s asked me, “Why did you decided to join the church?” I had all kinds of reasons: Pete and I want to practice a faith together (not separate), we wanted to raise our kids in one church, and I probably spewed out a few others too. Pete’s friend responded something that seemed harsh, “You should be doing it because it is right.”
Hmmm. That kind of hurt. Later on (and I mean years later) I realized he was correct. I was joining the church for all kinds of reasons but not necessarily the right reason. I hadn’t thought even once that joining the church would bring me closer to God which in turn would enable me to get my family closer to God. That is my goal right? My goal has always been to get myself and my family to heaven? I was on the wrong path. I was joining for the wrong reasons.
In the end, it all worked out. I opened my heart to God and realized my mistake, but it took a long time!
God didn’t owe me anything because I joined a church. He didn’t owe me eternal life. He didn’t owe me a good life. I didn’t deserve a spot in heaven because of my lineage, in fact I wasn’t even close to a spot in heaven because I was selfish (and still am), my tree was certainly not producing fruit. I could see why God might want to take His ax and chop it down.
God is so patient with me. He allows me to stick my nose where it doesn’t belong. He never stops me from doing my Will. He waits for me to realize that His Will is so much better. The times that I get all high and mighty and pretend like my faith is so secure, he still waits. I act like nothing is going to stop me from getting to heaven. I act like God cannot do it without me, and God still waits for my humility to settle in. He gives me a chance to realize that He doesn’t need me – I need Him.
As we read these scriptures in Advent, we are reminded that God will judge us based on our choices. We are not guaranteed a spot in heaven just because of our ancestry. We must live out our faith and prove to God that we are worthy of His Kingdom. After all, he can find anyone to do His Will. He can turn anything into His tool here on earth. We have to earn the right to be that tool for Him.