“Not everyone who says to me, &lsquoLord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven …”
My wife, Amy, once worked for someone who spoke of his plans to begin a ministry serving the poorest of the poor. But his lifestyle told a different story. He was quick to belittle his employees and scream at them in front of customers. He was manipulative and controlling with people who were close to him. He also defrauded the company and the government.
Jesus has already warned us to be on guard against leaders who teach with improper motives. Now he warns us to be on guard against people who appear to follow Jesus but are actually far from him. It’s possible to say all the right things and sound very spiritual. We may speak in pious language, correcting other people’s wrong behavior or criticizing all that is wrong in our world. We may even busy ourselves with religious activities—all in the name of Jesus. Yet on the day of Jesus’ return, the sobering reality is that some will be sent away because he doesn’t know them.
It’s not enough to speak for Jesus or even work for him; we must know him as our Savior and Master. Transformed by his love, we must be ready to do his will, laying down our life for him. Do you know Jesus, who laid down his life for you? Or do you merely sound as if you do?
Jesus, you demonstrated a life of true obedience by doing your Father’s will, even to death on a cross for our sake. May we show the fruit of an authentic relationship with you by laying down our own lives in love each day. Amen.
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