We often consider how God uses all kinds of circumstances to draw us close to His side. The purpose of being drawn close is ultimately to be transformed to the image of His Son and to have intimate fellowship with Him for all eternity. But initially, the purpose of being drawn near is so we can be introduced.
The Kingdom of Heaven is open only to those who truly believe in Jesus. We may think this to be intolerant, but if we profess to believe the Bible is true there can be no other conclusion: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:13-14). Our Father is drawing us near because the narrow gate is only open to those who are known to His Son.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in Heaven. 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 perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from Me, you evildoers!'”
Clearly, being “good” does not ensure we are known by Jesus. Neither does going to church, reading our Bible, teaching Sunday School…or even writing devotional messages! Jesus knows, and takes away the sin, of “only he who does the will of My Father.”
Fortunately, Jesus also tells us exactly how to do His Father’s will: “For My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40). The will of our Heavenly Father is to truly know and be known by His Son.
All the wonderful things we do in the name of Jesus count nothing toward granting us the gift of eternal life. True believers in a risen and glorified Lord will certainly desire to turn from a life of sin and obediently serve; “anyone who does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me” (Matthew 10:38). And while our obedience demonstrates that our faith is not dead (James 2:17), entrance through the gate of eternal life is based on sincere belief, not on the results of belief.
We must spread this message throughout the world and, most importantly, we must receive this message into our own heart! All our “good” will be burned up and cast aside if done without first having placed the entirety of our life in His hands. He is drawing us near because belief in Jesus is both necessary and sufficient for our Salvation. He is drawing us near and inviting us to submit to the Father’s will.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries
**** Reading Plan ****
Jan 10 Genesis 23:1-24:51; Matthew 8:1-17; Psalm 9:13-20; Proverbs 3:1-6