Hope Chapel Blog
Learning and living the Way of Jesus!
Daily Devotional – Tuesday, May 4, 2021
“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. 22 On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ 23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’” (Matthew 7:21-23, NLT)
Will any words bring greater disappointment, shock and terror, than Jesus’ own, “I never knew you?” These words contain such a rebuke for those of us who are ever tempted to fake our faith—to go through the motions and say the words, yet refuse to wholly submit to Jesus’ Lordship. Jesus’ words should act as a check for anyone who draws comfort from the fact that they claim the name of Christ. Who is Jesus warning, if not us?
Jesus is not telling those who rejected him as Saviour to ‘get away from me.’ These are people who have prayed, have called Jesus ‘Lord,’ and done work in his name—prophesying, casting out demons and performing miracles. But it’s not been enough! All the while putting on the pretense of being a loyal follower, they have continued to do things their own way and have rejected the need to obey God fully. They have loved the applause from the faithful, but have not fully loved God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. They have been inspired by lesser motivations and have not loved others as they should. They thought to benefit from the world and God simultaneously, having one foot planted in both spheres.
But Jesus’ clear words decry the fallacy contained in this sort of thinking. We are either God’s or not. We either serve him or not. We fully take up our cross or not. We cannot serve two ‘masters.’ Jesus is making it clear that we cannot hope to enjoy the benefits of eternity with him, until we give up everything else. None of us is perfect and we all make mistakes from which we can repent and receive his forgiveness. This isn’t what Jesus is condemning. He is making it clear that we cannot comfortably settle into a relationship with him and yet reject to do God’s will. We are to love God and love others. To allow the Holy Spirit to transform our hearts and minds. To work to please him at the expense of our own comfort. Only then will we hear, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world” (Matthew 25:34).
Dear friend, when you come face to face with Jesus, I pray that you will not hear Jesus’ rebuke, “Get away from you,” but rather his warm welcome, “Come!”
~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!