"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord!' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father in heaven.” - Matthew 7:21 HCSB
We celebrate the birth of Jesus the Christ on Christmas. But is it really His birth we should celebrate or His life? What if the Master had been born, but then took the devil up on his offer to make the stones into bread, or to seize the rule of the kingdoms of the earth, or to do some fantastically publicized but self-glorifying deed? It is because the Lord spent His life doing the will of His Father and being a submissive servant all the way to His death that we can celebrate Him.
It is the same with us. Our births, whether they be low or high are insignificant. Our appearances, whether good or bad, are meaningless. Neither money, nor prestige, nor race, nor position, has any import.
It’s our lives that count. Not our professional beliefs, nor our form of worship, nor the church we may attend. What counts, above all else, is how we live. Nothing we say with our lips can outweigh what we do with our lives. Nothing we claim to believe is nearly as important as what we actually act upon. Our lives must be characterized by integrity, sensitivity, unselfishness, a forgiving spirit and an indefatigable desire to obey and submit to God. True happiness is directly tied to doing what’s right and having a clear conscience.
The verses that follow today’s text reveal the dangers of self deception. “On that day many will say to Me, 'Lord, Lord, didn't we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?' Then I will announce to them, 'I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers!'
What a tragedy to go through our lives being assiduously religious only to discover our deception! What a disaster to do all those good works only to find that because they were driven by the wrong motives they do not count!
So if simply being religious, or doing great charitable works do not make our lives count, what does? Jesus answers that question in the very next verse. “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on the rock.”
Obedience. That’s it. That’s what makes your life count. Simple obedience to the will of the Father and the teachings of the Christ. It’s not about what you or your family or friends, or your church or even I think. It’s about Jesus. You make your life submissive to him and your life will count.
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