The Battle of the Wills
Matthew 23:37-39

Introduction to the Scripture:
What will I do today? This question is more important than it may appear, for what you do with your days decides what you will do with your life. There is a marketplace of ideas and paths which will soon shape the result of our life. What you do with your life is determined by what you will do with your days.

Discussion of the Scripture:
God’s Desire to Save You
Jesus lamented the Jewish record of rejected God’s spokesmen. Jesus said that his purpose/will/or desire was to gather His people into his care, but they rejected him. We must remember that God doesn’t want anyone to be lost (2 Peter 3:9).

The greatness of God’s desire to save man is seen best at Calvary. This greatness is seen at John 3:16-17. And again in Jesus’ request “And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34). Those arms are yet extended offering a loving shadow of grace, and we have the opportunity to hide beneath the shadow of the cross.

As we find shelter in the shadow of His cross, we kneel in a pool of His blood. Remembering that we were redeemed by that blood (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 1:18-19), helps us appreciate the amazing lengths God was willing to endure for our salvation. Those who hide in that blood will find God to be loving, gracious, and merciful (Revelation 22:14).

Our Lord spoke in similar terms through Isaiah the prophet in the first chapter of his work. God said, “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as owhite as snow; though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

Let us be ever mindful of how we respond to the Lord’s message of hope and his messengers of hope.

Your Desire to Reject Him.
God wanted nothing but the best for His people, however Jesus summarized their attitude as “but ye would not.”. Great sorrow hangs on every word. They would not be saved. Jesus therefore said, “See, your house is left to you desolate.”. Desolate means “uninhabited; lonely place; forsaken; lonely place”. Truly, they were Godforsaken, but only because they had forsaken God.

They had forsaken God by their self-righteous and Pharisaical attitudes (Matthew 23:13-26). Forsaking God led to their destruction (Matthew 24). Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.

Jesus then quoted Psalm 118:26, “For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'”. The Psalm extols the steadfast love of the Lord. The last section concerns righteousness entering the gate and saving God’s people despite being rejected. It is the day the Lord has made, and we should rejoice and be glad in it.

I do not understand why we so often choose the wrong way. It is great to know God still loves us despite our choices. We rejoice with Paul who said, Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also cobtained access by faith1 into this grace din which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:1-2).

Invitation from the Scripture:
Imagine that Jesus is still hanging on that cross with his arms of love open wide extending his grace to you. Would you hide in yourself in his love or just go another way?

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