Matthew 7:21-23 - Knowing Jesus And Doing God's Will.
Matthew 7:21-23 - Knowing Jesus And Doing God's Will.
Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV) "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord,
Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will
of my Father who is in heaven. 22 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 perform many miracles?' 23 Then I will tell them
plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
The title "Lord" (Greek kyrios) is applied to Jesus Christ
nearly seven hundred times in the New Testament. The word kyrios was
used as the equivalent of Yahweh in the ancient Greek translation of
the Old Testament, the Septuagint. It is so used in the New
Testament, too. Thus Jesus Christ is identified with Yahweh in the use of
kyrios (Lord). Jesus the Christ is called Lord because he is Yahweh, or
God. [The One Year Bible Companion]
Today's verse is one of the most frightening in the New
Testament. It flatly states that I can be lost while claiming Jesus is my
Saviour; that I can be sincerely deceived; that I can think that all is
well with my religious life when all is wrong.
Today's text is also one of the most serious in all of God's
Word. Jesus is not playing games. He has spent a large portion of His
sermon on the mount telling us how the scribes and Pharisees had
deceived themselves. Now He is pointing at me and you. We can be just as
confused and deceived as the scribes and Pharisees unless we pay heed to
Jesus' words. There is nothing more serious in all the words of Jesus
than those in Matthew 7:21-23. He is speaking to us with all the
earnestness of His soul. It behooves us to listen carefully. [Walking With
Jesus By Knight]
Jesus sheds light on the difference between "going through
the motions" of the Christian life and actually living out faith in
him through obedience and prayer. Some people think they will get to
heaven because they've sounded religious and lived good lives. However,
on judgment day, Jesus will look at them and say, "I never knew
you." On that day - the final day of reckoning when God will settle
all accounts and judge sin - those who have a personal relationship
with Jesus will get into heaven. Those who have tried to get by on
their good works, their good reputations, or their good ideas will
find themselves cast aside for all eternity.
You can't be saved by your good works; however, the Bible
makes it clear that your faith should reveal itself in good works. In
other words, as a Christian, your life needs to begin to show that you
are seeking to live by God's laws and principles. You cannot be
perfect, and throughout your life you will inevitably make mistakes and
continue to sin. However, true faith will always have a positive impact
on the way you live, as you grow in your relationship with God.
[The One Year Bible for New Believers]
The natural inclination in Christian living is to act on the
impulse of a good idea. Not every good idea is from God. Sometimes good
ideas get in the way of God ideas.
Where does your inspiration come from? The vision of the
transfigured Christ inspired Peter: "O Lord, it is good for us to be here. If
you wish, I will put up three shelters - one for you, one for Moses
and one for Elijah" (Matthew 17:4). Our natural impulse is to do
something good for God and suggest it to Him.
The tendency of the well-meaning person is to prepare a plan
to do some good idea, and then pray, "Jesus, this is my plan. It is
a good plan. It hurts no one, and I want it to please You. Lord,
please bless my plan." It is plan, then pray.
So many of our ideas are impetuous. They are not what the
Lord wants to do. They do not resemble in any way the things which
concern Him. We have good ideas, but they are not God ideas. His agenda
and our agenda conflict. We want to build Him a shelter but that is
not what He wants.... When Peter, James, and John heard the voice of
the Lord . . . they abandoned their inventive-but-self-made idea.
The presence of the Lord magnified, and His holiness brought them to
their senses. Jesus gained their attention, not by subduing them with
a stem scolding, but by magnifying His presence until all the
genius of their human ideas was bleached out by His refulgent face.
When they abandoned their good idea and fell facedown before
the Lord, He could work with them again....
When you and I abandon our good idea and fall to our face
before the Lord, then He will come and touch us, too. When we pursue
our own plan He cannot use us. We must abandon our good idea and
fall facedown before Him. Then He will be able to use us again. Then
He will reveal what He is doing - a God idea.... It is pray, then
plan. Through prayer, Jesus instructs of His plan, a God idea.
Prayer removes the impulse of the good idea, the good idea
born of human ingenuity but not of God. Pray, then plan. It is the
habit of the surrendered saint. (Walking with Christ in the Details of
Life by Patrick M. Morley)
This is one of the scariest passages in Scripture but also
one of the most revealing. This Jesus will later tell His disciples
- and us, by implication - to do supernatural works in His name.
"Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out
demons. Give as freely as you have received!" (Matthew 10:8). But here
He tells them that many will do exactly these things while calling
Him "Lord" and find themselves outside His Kingdom. Why? Because He
never knew them.
It makes little sense to us. It would make slightly more
sense if He said, "You never knew Me," but the issue is actually His
knowledge of them. Clearly He isn't talking about knowledge of them; He is
in no way ignorant. No, He must be talking about relational
knowledge - His communion and fellowship with them. If that's lacking, so
apparently is salvation itself.
Jesus' words imply that it's possible to do supernatural
miracles in His name without belonging to Him... That stretches our
theology, but it makes an essential point. The works we do are not the
essence of the relationship. The relationship is a matter of sharing His
Spirit, knowing His heart, and stepping into His purposes. It isn't a
supernatural sideshow, though it's certainly supernatural. It isn't a record
of performance, though it certainly involves works and
fruitfulness. The heart of the matter is ... well, the heart. If He doesn't
have ours, we don't have Him. And that's a tragedy with devastating
Jesus, know me - in every sense of the word. I open myself up
for You to fill me with Yourself. I want to do miracles, but only
with You truly as my Lord. I want to bear fruit, but always and only
Yours. [The One Year Experiencing God's Presence Devotional by Chris
Trust Me enough to spend ample time with Me, pushing back the
demands of the day. Refuse to feel guilty about something that is so
pleasing to Me, the King of the universe. Because I am omnipotent, I am
able to bend time and events in your favor. You will find that you
can accomplish more in less time, after you have given yourself to
Me in rich communion. Also, as you align yourself with My
perspective, you can sort out what is important and what is not.
Don't fall into the trap of being constantly on the go. Many,
many things people do in My Name have no value in My kingdom. To
avoid doing meaningless works, stay in continual communication with
Me. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I
will counsel you with My eye upon you. (Luke 10:41, 42; Psalm 32:8)
[Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
A man was being tailgated by a stressed-out woman on a busy
boulevard. Suddenly, the light turned yellow, just in front of him. He did
the right thing and stopped at the crosswalk, even though he could
have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.
The tailgating woman hit the horn, screaming in frustration as she
missed her chance to get through the intersection with him.
As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window
and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer. The
officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up. He took her to
the police station where she was searched, fingerprinted,
photographed, and placed in a cell.
After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and
opened the door. She was escorted back to the booking desk where the
arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.
He said, "I'm very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled
up behind your car while you were blowing your horn and cussing a
blue streak at the guy in front of you. I noticed the 'Choose Life'
license plate holder, the 'What Would Jesus Do' bumper sticker, the
'Follow Me to Sunday School' bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated
Christian fish emblem on the trunk...
Naturally, I assumed you had stolen the car." [author unknown]
If Satan can't get you to do wrong, he'll simply wear you out
with a lot of good things. He'll get you over-committed to the good
but not the best. The Bible says, "Set your minds on things above,
not on earthly things" (Colossians 3:2 NIV). [Rick Warren]
Joy comes from being with Jesus. So, draft behind where God is
working, instead of striving to get your way. [Wisdom Hunters Devotional
re Ecc. 11:9]
VIDEO CLIP ON THIS PASSAGE BY PASTOR SHAWN BOONSTRA
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT:
Importance of Choice:
http://creationhealth.com/CREATION-Health/Choice [click on video]
Seeking God Made Real: http://vimeo.com/31489782
Musical Devotional On Christian Living:
LINKS FOR BIBLE STUDY:
Lifting Up Jesus Bible Studies: http://www.liftingupjesus.net/
Amazing Facts Bible Studies:
Discover Bible Studies: http://studies.itiswritten.com/discover/
LINKS FOR PROPHECY SEMINARS:
The Last Day of Prophecy by Pastor Doug Batchelor (new series!):
Revelation Today by Pastor John Bradshaw:
Prophecies Decoded by Pastor Ron Clouzet: