I had a dream that frightened me…
In fact, I’m trembling now.
I dreamt that Jesus stood in front me, looked me in my eyes, and said,
I felt pretty good
I felt kinda proud.
I felt almost superior
I felt convinced I’d get God’s approval
I felt sure I’d win a blue ribbon for my effort.
Matthew 7: 21 “Not all people who sound religious are really godly. They may refer to me as ‘Lord,’ but they still won’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The decisive issue is whether they obey my Father in heaven. 22 On judgment day many will tell 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. Go away; the things you did were unauthorized.” NLT
Scary as in Sobering.
“But God … what? … I’M DOING GOOD STUFF LIKE YOU ASKED … This is fruit, right? … This is what you’re looking for, isn’t it?
“Nope, I don’t want any part of it.”
Mickey (a former fellow radio announcer) and I often talked about how important it was for us to guard ourselves from thinking we were special, or acceptable, or safe because we said and did respectable things for a living.
We were inside Christian radio. Daily we courageously pointed people to Jesus. Who would ever question our motives or suggest we weren’t exceptional?
But that was the point. It was easy to feel smug because we had a “Christian” job. This was a dangerous attitude. It was dangerous because we ran the risk of falling into religious activity and substituting that for intimacy with God.
These words in Matthew 7 were a wake up call to us… These are tough love words… Jesus spoke these words to those who sincerely desired to be true disciples.
Jesus said, 21“Not all people who sound religious are really godly. They may refer to me as ‘Lord,’ but they still won’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The decisive issue is whether they obey my Father in heaven. 22On judgment day many will tell me, ‘Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ 23But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Go away; the things you did were unauthorized.
This word unauthorized frightened us.
It caused fear because we weren’t spiritually stupid. We understood that we could become religious, arrogant, self-satisfied and that this conduct would limit, maybe ruin, our avowed love of Jesus.
Obviously, I don’t know how you feel. But I know how I felt and I didn’t want to stand before God and hear, “The works you did were useless because they were unauthorized.”
Jesus got my attention with these words from Matthew 7 in the New Living Translation.
For me it’s an alarming question: Am I doing work that is unauthorized?
Here’s what I’m trying to do so that I never hear the word unauthorized. I’m trying to do away with anything that smacks of being just religion. My goal is to have a authentic relationship with Christ.
So let me ask, Is there any unauthorized activity you need to get rid of?
Our life has meaning, God is waiting to show us this.
Does God have your attention? God has my attention.
With recent challenging events in various places many have been eager to re-focus on what life is about. Here’s my take.
No doubt you’ve wondered and asked: What is life about?
Well, actually, it’s about God rescuing us, isn’t it?
It’s the Exodus story, right?
It’s about God delivering us from the cost and captivity of sin.
Until God did something we were trapped in slavery without any hope of freedom.
God did something by sending someone like Moses—yet different from Moses—to remove us from slavery.
God sent Jesus.
Jesus rescues us from slavery’s certain death.
Yesterday, Moses sprinkled lamb’s blood on the doorposts to ransom the Hebrews from death.
Today, Jesus’ shed blood on the cross is able to save everyone from never ending death.
We no longer have to be victims of sin because our deliverer has come.
The life and hope of Jesus offers deliverance from slavery.
This is Good News, right?
Exodus is real.
Salvation is here!
This is what life is about.
Leave a comment. What’s your thoughts?
(to be continued)