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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Sermon on the Mount, Day 38 of 40: The Heart of a Disciple

Matthew 7: 21-23
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’ Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.’

Sometimes we think we are doing good but we are really doing evil.  The Apostle Paul, before his encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus, thought he was doing God's work by persecuting Christians.  Many Germans thought they were doing good by hauling Jews to concentration camps.  Many southerners thought that keeping and enforcing Jim Crow laws was good.

Sometimes we think we are standing up for God, but we are really pushing God away.   Not long ago I saw a man standing on a street corner yelling through a megaphone to people that were entering and exiting a Beerfest that "You are going to hell!  Go ahead into the sinfest, I am sure they serve cold beer in hell too!"

Sometimes we do work in the name of God, but it is not really God's work at all, but our work, our achievement.  And we are puffed up with self-pride when we tell people all the good things "God" has done.

Many works done in God's name are not, in reality, the works of God.  They may be works of pride, prejudice, or anger.  They may be works that actually help people but done with a grudging heart.

In these verses, Jesus is telling us that we may prophesy, we may cast out demons, we may work perform many deeds of power but still not know Christ.  

Before we can do God's work, we must first sit at the feet of Christ and let the Holy Spirit do a work in us.  Before we can transform the world for God, our hearts must first be transformed by God.

Tomorrow we study foundations.

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