Matthew 7:21-23 NIV
“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 who is in heaven. 22 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?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”
Take a Moment to Ponder
Recently, I have had interactions with persons who express having a faith in Jesus Christ that allows them to work great wonders in their lives through the power of the Holy Spirit. While I do believe in the works of the spirit, and its ability to transform people’s lives, I could not help but ponder how many are authentic in their expressions of faith. As I reflected on this, I was drawn to the reading of Matthew 7: 21-23. In this brief section of Matthews’ gospel, Jesus speaks to what I believe is happening within the faith community in Jamaica today.
So many are conducting great signs and wonders in Jesus’ name, but their everyday living does not show the light of Christ working and transforming them within. We need more genuine leaders of God, as many are too quick to make it known that they possess special abilities of healing, prophecy, and driving out demonic forces, which creates a focus not necessarily on Jesus but on themselves. Within the ten commandments found in Exodus 20 or in Deuteronomy 5, God makes it clear at the very beginning that the making of idols in any form will be a serious problem for God. As idolatry always disrupts the relationship and the connection to God. It is the process of creating a god in our own likeness, a god that is active in the ways we desire, rather than us humbly listening to God and seeking God’s direction.
Therefore, Jesus confirms in Matthew 7:21-23, that even if they say they do these things in my name, He will deny them as they do not have a genuine relationship with Him. What does it gain to fake these practices and lose your whole soul, and why mislead others so that you can gain the perceived power? Let us be wise to remember that in the exodus story, almost every act that Moses could perform by the instructions of God, the magicians on Pharaoh’s side could mimic the same.
Take a moment to recognize the idols of wealth, power, and importance, that plague our world today and are now becoming a staple within our Christian practices today. Spend time to reflect on how we can deepen our relationship with Jesus so that we reflect his light within.
A Moment in Prayer
O God, you declare your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity: Grant us the fullness of your grace, that we, running to obtain your promises, may become partakers of your heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
Contributed by Rev Khan Honeyghan