True Devotee

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven ~Matthew 7:21

Brian was a football fan - big football fan. It didn't matter if his team played at home or away, Brian figured out a way to make it to the game in order to cheer on his favorite players. He wore the team jersey, had the logo stickers on his car, and had pictures of the players hanging on the walls of his home.  He liked all the players, well most all of them, but the quarterback was his favorite. Brian knew every single thing there was to know about his quarterback. He knew his birth date, his mother's favorite food, the names, ages, and eye color of his pet hamsters, and the type of oil he preferred to put in his very expensive car. Brian knew so much that he had even written two books on the life and times of his quarterback and maintained a blog to keep up with all of his stats and to promote his greatness to the rest of the world. In every city and town that he visited he told people about his team and about his quarterback. Brian was the real deal, a true devotee. 

One day the news broke that his quarterback was getting married. The wedding was to be held at a big fancy resort with no expense spared. All of the quarterback's family and friends were invited to share in the joy and celebration of his special day. Brian was very excited and immediately made plans to attend the wedding. He took time off of work, bought an expensive tuxedo, arranged for airfare, and made certain to pack signed copies of the books he had written (surely his quarterback would want a couple of these!)  

The day of the wedding arrived and Brian showed up, decked out in his tux with his books in hand, at the resort. He was appalled when the man at the door told him that his name was not on the list. Brian showed the man the books he had written and told him that there must be some mistake. The man took one of the books to show it to the quarterback and see if there had been some oversight. Considering that Brian had never actually met the quarterback what do you think the response was?

Knowing facts about somebody is not the same thing as knowing somebody. You could study a person all your life and never develop a relationship with them. Sadly, this is what many of us do with Jesus. We study Him. We like Him. We put stickers on our cars to make sure everybody else knows we like Him. We write about Him. We speak about Him. But do we really know Him? When we show up to His wedding feast will we be invited in as honored guests or sent away as masquerading usurpers? This is a question that all of us must ask ourselves and honestly evaluate.

I am writing this message as much to me as to anyone else. After all, I have a Jesus fish on my truck, I listen to Christian music, I study all about Jesus, and I obviously write about Him too. But do I really know Him personally or am I mistaking intimate knowledge for intimate relationship? Am I counting on my good works and my good intentions to win me a place at the table, or am I focusing on surrendering myself fully to God so that He brings me ever closer to Him in a personal relationship? Most of us skip too quickly past this question and run the risk, like Brian in our example, of foolishly assuming too much. Take a moment to talk to God and listen to what He tells you about your relationship and where you need to surrender to Him more.

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 in your name perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’~Matthew 7:22-23

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