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Devotions With Jesus – July 1 From Pastor Mike

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 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 in your name perform many miracles?” Then I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”

            Some people love to be associated with the latest trend, whether it’s a popular cause or a political movement or eating gluten-free or saving the rainforests. They say the right catch-phrases, wear t-shirts emblazoned with the popular viewpoint, and post on social media about how dedicated they are to the movement of the moment. But when trends change, so do they. Then it’s on to the next fad they hope will make them cool or socially relevant. In the end, they might not really care about any of the causes they profess to support, but they sure do care about what other people think about them.

            That seems to be the kind of insincere faith and religious showboating that bothered Jesus. There are people who want the benefits and blessings that Jesus promised but don’t have hearts deeply committed to him. They want to be associated with the King of Kings but don’t really have faith and aren’t willing to live a life of obedience, sacrifice and service. As He neared the end of his long sermon, Jesus wanted to be sure his audience understood what they were signing up for. If you want to follow Jesus, it takes more than calling him “Lord.” It means having a transformed heart. It means trust God each day. It means submitting yourself to God’s will. It means loving others, even those who don’t like you. It means choosing the narrow road of faith and righteousness.

            Those of us with sincere, devoted faith can still fall into this trap of paying Jesus lip service and not truly serving God’s will. Sometimes we go through the motions of faith and worship, but our hearts aren’t really in it. That’s when we need to re-read Jesus’ words and remind ourselves what it means to call him Lord. He came to rule over every part of your life, purchasing you from sin and death as your Savior and calling you to follow him as your only Lord and Master. That takes commitment, and it leads to eternal blessing.

Jesus, You are my Lord and my Savior. Without You, I would be lost and hopeless. Thank You for giving me new life and showing me how to follow God’s will. I give all I am and all I have in service to Your name. Amen.
Pastor Mike Mirakian

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