Wednesday, June 22, 2016

How to be a True Follower of Jesus

Matthew 7:21-23: True Followers of Jesus
“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. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’ Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’”

Jesus declares to his audience that only those who do the will of the Father will enter the kingdom of heaven. Jesus emphasizes that calling him “Lord,” casting out demons in his name, proclaiming prophecy, and performing deeds of power do not entitle anyone to enter heaven. It is following Jesus’ Way, his love, mercy, forgiveness, and self-giving, that marks us as his. Performing deeds of power and proclaiming Christ’s name are not enough. We are called, instead, to follow God’s will and imitate Christ’s example in our lives, living a holy, loving, merciful way of life. As a result, our lives will naturally bear the good fruit of love in Christ’s name in the form of caring for and giving ourselves away in service to others.