Bible Reference: Matthew 7:21
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)
Bible Text: 21 “Not all who sound religious are really godly people. They may refer to me as ‘Lord,’ but still won’t get to heaven. For the decisive question is whether they obey my Father in heaven.
OBSERVATION: What must I do to be saved? What must I do to be assured of going to heaven? What must I do to look good in the eyes of Almighty God? What should I do to be happy and content like other ‘real’ Christians I see? These are some of the questions we may hear from loved ones that God is actively dealing with. Let’s meditate on how we might biblically answer them.
APPLICATION: One of the skills that might help a security guard, or a policeman, might be to recognize attributes in a suspicious person, before they reach to their pocket to pull out a gun. One of the ways that we recognize who might be a good friend, is through their personal qualities that attract us to them. Of course, the opposite is also true, and our instincts quickly kick in causing us to run the opposite direction. So then, wouldn’t it be easy to identify those who have surrendered their lives to Jesus? Wouldn’t they tend to act like Him; speak like He does in His Word; and live like Him – as demonstrated throughout His Word? In our Scripture today Jesus is warning us to be on guard for those who claim to be of God, but who are not, for they are really pretending to be a God follower, while all the while intentionally misleading unsuspecting children of the King away from God. This will sound so strange to many of you, that you might wonder why on earth this would even be included for our edification. But friends, Jesus goes on to explain that many are claiming salvation through various means, in spite of the Word being very clear that there is only ONE WAY. It is really frightening to listen to regular church attendees on the reason for their assurance of salvation. While I don’t claim to be the expert, I believe the Word of God has the full story. Attending church for numerous years, or having the most godly parents, or doing good for everyone you come across, or giving your last dime to help a person in need – these may all be evidence of a heart surrendered to the person of Jesus Christ, and in full conformity with the will of God. But to attempt these good works hoping to win the heart of God, is not at all biblical. For those still standing in awe of what God expects, please read Matthew 7 carefully and other related Scripture, for the Word declares that unless you accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, you are just living in a world of wishful thinking. In our chapter today, in verses 21 – 23, we are told that the proof of a believer’s relationship with God is evidenced in their obedience to the will of God. What is God’s will? Let me encourage you to read His Word and seek out all that He would have you do. God put it in His Word so that we might know what He wants from us. Let’s seek to be obedient children, fellow believers.
PRAYER: For mankind to be changed from a sinful, destructful life of pleasure, greed and selfish desires, it could only be through the power of a God like You. Thank You Heavenly Father for reaching down into my world and touching this child that was destined for Hell. Lord, I believe that there are many who will read this devotional who could share the same sentiments as I did, and I thank You for being so gracious to us. However, there are some who will be destined to read this who really needs You. Please do Your amazing work, even through these humble words from your servant. Please draw these wonderful people to yourself, and gently challenge them to a true, real, dedicated relationship with the Master of our universe. There is no other God besides You. Oh that we may find ourselves in true relationship with You and obedient to Your perfect will for us. AMEN!