Recently I have seen the message ‘EVERYBODY KNOWS JESUS … BUT DOES HE KNOW YOU?’ on several church signs that I’ve passed …
Everybody may know of Jesus … everybody may know about Jesus … but very few know Jesus in a personal and intimate relationship … a relationship available only through the will of God. And this is a two way relationship … something I like to call a mutual indwelling … we abide IN Jesus and He abides IN us … we know Jesus and He knows us.
That’s God’s plan … but as men oftentimes we find ways to twist what God has said …
I find that church sign message 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 and reward us based on ‘our’ works alone 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 … are you gaining any insights into the motivation behind the battles Jesus had with the Pharisees?
- God wants to know us and be known by us and He will do ‘His’ works IN and 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’s will is 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.
So for 2014 I have arrived at a New Year’s challenge for myself (and I hope you’ll share in this challenge). This year as I follow and abide IN Christ 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, God the Father and Jesus the Son know me (and hopefully you)!
In 2014 when asked “Does Jesus know you?”, may we both answer with divine confidence in the affirmative!!!
According to the will of God … according to His will …
Note: This edited post was originally published as a Christmas challenge in December 2011.