“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. 22“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?’ 23“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.‘” (Matthew 7:21-23)
I write these in advance so that I’m not under the gun in the morning. I sat down to finish out the Sermon on the Mount, which we left off yesterday, last week and after writing a couple, I looked at these 3 verses and felt my head would explode. I had no idea what to do with it, but after several days I feel I have a little better insight. Actually, I’ve written too much for one blog post and will break this into an overview today with specific applications tomorrow. I’d love your feedback on what I’ve written here.
The problem with going straight through the Bible in a public forum is that you have to talk about things that you would rather not. I’d prefer not to ruffle feathers, but I have to get through the scriptures, so let’s see how this goes…
Life in the Kingdom of Heaven is attained by submitting to the will of God for our lives. Jesus introduced it and He submitted to betrayal, torture, and the most humiliating and painful death. Would you submit to this if God called you to do it? Could you? The beauty of it is that although it is often difficult to submit to a will other than our own, once we do, we find a life more rewarding and joyful than what we had before…oh and He doesn’t typically ask us to do the torture and physical death thing!
Our flesh is constantly at war with the call of God within us. The more that we submit to Him and invite Him to take control over our lives and current situation, the more we experience the true joy of what life can be like lived in communion with God (discussed here in a comment to last week’s post) and in doing so live more the Kingdom life. Jesus calls us to live this Kingdom life while here on earth. It is a small seed planted inside of us that can only grow when we let the gardener (Holy Spirit) do His work. He is not forceful. He wants to do a great work in each of us, but will only do so when we invite Him in and give him permission to work.
Tomorrow we’ll discuss what this means in our life and ask what it means to give your life to Jesus. Too many people today believe that if they live a good moral life and do good deeds that they will get into Heaven. Jesus says that this is not true. We can spend all our life doing good deeds and miss everything Jesus is teaching here. Good deeds will come from one devoted to Jesus, but good deeds do not impress God.
Who else should be participating here?