Thanksgiving for the Kingdom of God
Getting into God’s Kingdom – Part I
Key Verse: Matthew 7:21
“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.”
Let’s look at the “context” of our key Verse:
“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. 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?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (Matthew 7:21-24)
Today’s Key Verse is challenging and a little haunting. The truth of these contextual verses challenges me to look at my daily behavior and not just my words. If you are like me, you pray every day, as well as read scriptures. I have a deep desire to be all that God wants me to be.
However, the question these verses ask is: “What do I do with the knowledge that I have about God?”. If we could count all the churches in the United States that offer Bible studies to their people, we would be amazed at how much people are studying the Bible.
But we must remind ourselves that God is not asking how many Bible studies we have been a part of, but rather what we do with the information that we got from those Bible studies.
What is even more challenging about these verses is that they describe people who have prophesied in Jesus’s Name, driven out demons, and performed many miracles. Most of us could not claim these amazing feats, yet Jesus said that He did not recognize people who were doing amazing feats as His followers.
Can you imagine hearing these words from Jesus after you had performed miracles in His Name? Jesus points out something that people easily miss: He calls these people “evildoers”. In other words, they had some impressive outward behaviors, yet there was evil going on inside where only God could see.
Jesus came so that God could clean both the outward and the inward part of a person.
Jesus wants us to be authentic followers with no hypocrisy in our lives. This is only possible by the power of His presence in our lives and our total surrender to His Lordship.
It is not hard to learn behaviors that impress people around us, including people in the church. However, there is only one person that we should impress and that is Jesus Himself.
Examine yourself and make sure you are being real and doing God’s will in your life.
Father, help me to be authentic in every way. In Jesus’s Name I pray, amen.