BUT does He know you?”
Recently I have seen this message on several church signs that I’ve passed … and I find it quite biblical … ala the Sermon on the Mount … there is a fine BUT very distinct line between religion and relationship when you choose to stand on one foundation over the other …
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'” Matthew 7:21-23 (NASB)
A few lessons I’ve learned from this passage thru the years … a little bit more of the wisdom within seems to be opened to me every year …
- Expecting God to recognize us because of ‘our’ works is not going to result in a favorable outcome (aka hearing the words, ‘Depart from me’)
- In fact, Jesus says to those who practice such an approach that they practice lawlessness … gaining any insights into the battles Jesus had with the Pharisees and why?
- God wants to know us and be known by us and He will do ‘His’ works through us
- He who is known by Jesus and does the will of the Father will enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Next question … what does Scripture say about the will of the Father?
“For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:38-40 (NASB)
Some basics from the above on the will of the Father …
- The Father desires that Jesus loses no one He has given Him
- That everyone who beholds the Son and believes IN Him will have eternal life
- And that Jesus Himself will raise the believers up on the last day
Note: IMHO … believe is the action verb for the noun faith.
Did you notice this phrase in the above passage? That of all that He has given Me I lose nothing. See it now? Given is past tense … and the word all is involved.
So you might wonder how Jesus could know who He was given … foreknew and predestined …
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, HE ALSO PREDESTINED TO BECOME CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON, SO THAT HE WOULD BE THE FIRSTBORN AMONG MANY BRETHREN; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? IF GOD IS FOR US, WHO IS AGAINST US?Romans 8:28-31 (NASB)
Jesus not only knows His children … He foreknew His children. Foreknew – predestined – called – justified – glorified … think about that.
OK, this is a roundabout post … sometimes where I end up in a post has nothing to do with where I thought I was headed … this is one of those posts.
So I have arrived at a bit of Christmas challenge for myself (and I hope you’ll share in this challenge). This year as I celebrate the birth of Jesus, let me be reminded that …
- Jesus is the firstborn of many brethren of which I am (and hopefully you are) blessed to be counted
- God predestined me (and you) to be conformed to the image of Jesus
- If God is for us, who is against us?
- Just as Jesus was and is glorified, (hopefully you) and I will be glorified.
- And, yes, the God the Father and Jesus the Son know me (and hopefully you)!
This Christmas I will be reminded of these impacts the birth of Jesus is having upon my life … IN Christ!
Thank you heavenly Father … thank you Christ Jesus!