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Beware of Self-Delusion

Today’s reading: Luke 6:46-8:25

My selection: Luke 8:18

18 Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.”

My reflections: When the final judgment comes, God will “judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ” (Romans 2:16). A warning is sounded here, because what is secret will come to light, and because what a person thinks he has may be a delusion. For one who has heard much preaching, or is very familiar with the Bible there is a danger that he has not heard carefully. Some typical delusions are:

1. Knowing the facts about the Bible and theology without personally trusting God. Being able to win at Bible trivia will be of no advantage when the secrets of our hearts are made manifest. A lot of seed falls on bad soil.

2. Thinking that mere compliance with church requirements brings salvation. Raising one’s hand, going forward at an “altar call” , baptism, or joining a church is not the basis for salvation. Faith is. Those outward actions may indicate faith but they may also be done without true faith within.

3. Presuming that God’s love covers everyone and that ultimately all will be saved. The Bible teaches that only those who repent and believe in Jesus Christ will be saved and that those who do will show their faith by a changed life.

My challenge: Be careful how you hear. Do not be deluded by mere head knowledge of the truth. Seek to know the truth truly so that there is a changed life that confirms it. Always beware of the deceitfulness of your own heart.

Tomorrow’s reading: Luke 8:26-9:56

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