Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s reading is Luke 13:23-27 and 30 which says,    

Someone asked [Jesus], “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’....Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last."


A few years ago there was a scandal involving prominent, Hollywood families paying for their children to get into specific schools by having the admissions process rigged to their advantage. Actually, the “college admissions scandal” is much worse than we know. The Hollywood version might be the tip of a bigger iceberg. It’s the scandal where children of politicians get into the most prestigious schools in America, like Harvard and the Yale, effortlessly. One politician had all four of his children get into these elite schools. Let’s just say, if Harvard and Yale are the most competitive schools where only the finest, most talented students get in, then it’s virtually impossible for every child from one family to beat such odds. But the data shows that the children of these “public servants” get in at a remarkable rate. And with those schools receiving billions of tax dollars in grant monies, well, it sure seems to dwarf the Hollywood quid-pro-quo version, doesn’t it? I guess in this world the old adage is true, “It’s not what you know, but who you know!”

Well, that may be true in certain aspects of life on earth, but our stature and status really don’t amount to as much as we think they do, even if we can get away with rigging worldly systems in our favor. The greatest sin of people today might in fact be our pride, the fact that we think way too highly of ourselves. All of our gadgets and inventions have made some aspects of life much easier, but they haven’t made us better people where it matters most, in our hearts and souls. All our successes and status may help us accumulate stuff in this world, but such things don’t bring lasting purpose to our lives.

In Luke chapters 12 and 13, Jesus is telling various stories to drive home a point. The key to life is having a healthy relationship with the God who created and redeemed us. It orders our life properly. It can help us overcome worries and anxieties. It can even reconcile us to one another in spite of our propensities towards hatred, bigotry, and strife. In today’s passage, Jesus is in essence saying, “Don’t play games with this truth. Don’t merely give lip service to that relationship. Don’t play religious games with God, thinking that just being outwardly associated with His things will help you rig the system in your favor.” No, God loves you and wants a reconciled and forgiven relationship with you by grace through faith in Jesus. Wow! He wants that for you and me. And that changes everything.

The world does things the way it does. Our world says, “It’s who you know that counts.” Actually, the real message for this world is whether God in heaven knows you as His own. And by faith in Jesus, He not only knows you, He calls you His son, His daughter, His family. No rigging allowed there, because, through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus for you, no rigging is necessary.

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, what a joy it is to realize that I can have a relationship with You because of what You have done for me. Give me the faith to receive that and to live in its truth daily in my life. AMEN.

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