Matthew 7 vs 21 - 23
21 ‘Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?” 23 Then I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”
If you’re unsettled after reading Jesus’ words let me first reassure you, that’s probably a good thing. It’s a good thing if these words of Jesus cause us to dwell deeply on the veracity of our faith and discipleship. Clearly not everyone who speaks respectfully about Jesus and calls him Lord, or those who speak intensely of him.... “Lord, Lord” are actually known to Jesus. Nor is it a guarantee of genuine faith when people either preach about Jesus or seem to do dramatic miracles. Though we are often impressed by what appear to be spectacular gifts there is no certainty that these either are any proof of real faith. What then should we look for as the evidence of real faith in ourselves and others? Well, something more than words or dramatic gifts, something in fact that is not very dramatic at all, which most of us overlook or pay little attention to, obedience to the will of God. So it is the thing that is least in your face; that is apparently the most mundane, and least attractive which is the best indication of a true relationship with Jesus and the title of a book I bought a few years ago sums it up admirably, it is “A Long Obedience in the Same Direction” It is faithful living week on week, month on end as year follows year. That kind of life is the proving ground of faith for that one does the will of God the Father.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father very often I get it all wrong, especially when I delight in the gifts and talents that bring glory to me rather than inconspicuously day by day thinking, acting and living in obedience to your word. As my heart is revealed by your word and that word is understood with the help of the Holy Spirit then I see more and more of your undeserved mercy to me. Lord make and keep me humble and so produce in me the kind of fruit that is wholesome and not rotten, sweet and not bitter to you and those around me. In Jesus name I ask it. AMEN