“Scary Words: ‘I never knew you'” January 9

 

Scary Words, "I never knew you" - Jesus gave a pretty serious warning in Matthew 7 when He said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven ..." Are there people, sitting in church every Sunday, who believe they are headed for heaven when they're really in danger of hearing those words, "I never knew you, depart from me ..."? Read today's post to see what won't save us. Don't let pride or fear of what people might think keep you from seeking answers if you think that could be you!Jesus gave a pretty serious warning in Matthew 7 when He said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven …” There are people, sitting in church every Sunday, who believe they are headed for heaven when they’re really in danger of hearing those words, “I never knew you, depart from me …”

Read today’s post to see what won’t save us. Don’t let pride or fear of what people might think keep you from seeking answers if you think that could be you!

Also, read about the importance of removing the logs from our own eyes before we can be any help to others in “Judging Hearts & Log Removal,” what it really means to live “Life on the Rock,” about “God’s Favor,” “Our Higher Standard,” and from our Old Testament reading, “Why did Sarah laugh at the promise of God?”

 

Today’s Readings:
Genesis 17 & 18
Psalm 5.8-12
Proverbs 2.10-22
Matthew 7.1-29

 

Scary Words: “I never knew you”

 

Matthew 7.1-29:

Judging Hearts & Log Removal

 

logs

Verses 1-5 remind us of the dangers of judging the hearts and motives of others (although we are to judge sin and even, at times, to lovingly rebuke one another, more about that in a later commentary).

Verse 5 points out that we must first judge ourselves! We are to see the sins of others as specks in comparison to ours. Our sins are the “logs” or “planks” that keep us from seeing clearly!

 

I never knew you!

 

Verses 21-23 should serve as a serious warning to us:

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'”

This passage should remind us that there are many people sitting in churches who think they are right with God, but who Jesus says are in danger of hearing, “I never knew you!”

Believing in God, coming to church, reading your Bible, teaching in church, serving in ministry, taking sacraments, doing good works, prophesying (God spoke through pagans and even a donkey once so this is not a test of spirituality), casting out demons, and doing wonders cannot save you!  Continue reading

August 29 “God’s promise in trials”

Older coupleGod has given us a great promise to hang on to when we’re going through tests and trials. God’s promise in trials is one every believer should memorize.

Today’s Readings:
Ecclesiastes 7
Psalm 103.1-5
Proverbs 24.7-9
1 Corinthians 10.1-18

Ecclesiastes 7:

Funerals and parties

There are so many nuggets in this chapter! Let’s start with verse 2. What does it mean when it says, “better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting”?

Solomon is saying it’s better to go to a funeral than to a party, because a funeral causes you to examine your life and your relationship with God. But a party often distracts you and keeps you from looking honestly at your life.

This chapter also talks about the sovereignty of God and how the plans and purposes of God cannot be thwarted (vv. 12-14).

Solomon encourages us to do right, even though in a sin-cursed world, bad things happen to the good and the evil. He reassures us that the laws of sowing and reaping determine that it is better to do right. Peter echoed that truth in the New Testament:

“For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil” (1 Pet. 3.17).

Continue reading

July 10 “What makes a Christian?”

 

works

What makes someone a Christian? Is salvation based on living a godly life, doing good deeds, or something else?

 

Today’s Readings:
2 Chronicles 15 & 16
Psalm 81.1-10
Proverbs 20.24-25
Acts 16.1-21

2 Chronicles 15 & 16:

The only time we seek Him

As we saw yesterday God had done wondrous things through Asa as he worshiped and trusted in Him. After a great military victory over the Ethiopians, God sent the prophet Azariah to encourage him. His prophecy ended with these words, “… be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded!” (2 Chron. 15.7).

Then God was with him as he called the people to repentance and removed his own mother from power because of her idolatry. And God blessed his reign for 35 years. But he began to decline in his relationship with God. Most likely he quit praying and seeking God. He quit listening to godly counsel and even threw Hanani the seer in prison for giving him God’s message. And instead of trusting in God, he relied on a pagan king to deliver him from trouble.

 

religionIt seems so foolish from our historical perspective, but we often do the same thing. When we’re in a desperate situation, whether financially or medically or in some other way, we pray and seek the Lord. But when God blesses us with a better financial situation, good health, medical insurance, or greater wisdom and maturity, we start handling things on our own. It’s not that we shouldn’t take care of our financial responsibilities or utilize our insurance, etc., but our ultimate trust must be in God and not in our ability to “handle things.” It’s no wonder God puts us in desperate situations over and over. For many of us it’s the only time we seek Him. Continue reading