“He went on teaching from town to village, village to town, but keeping on a steady course toward Jerusalem.”
“A bystander said, “Master, will only a few be saved?” He said, “Whether few or many is none of your business. Put your mind on your life with God. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires your total attention. A lot of you are going to assume that you’ll sit down to God’s salvation banquet just because you’ve been hanging around the neighborhood all your lives. Well, one day you’re going to be banging on the door, wanting to get in, but you’ll find the door locked and the Master saying, ‘Sorry, you’re not on my guest list.’
“You’ll protest, ‘But we’ve known you all our lives!’ only to be interrupted with his abrupt, ‘Your kind of knowing can hardly be called knowing. You don’t know the first thing about me.’
Luke 13:22-27 MSG
So how confident are you that if you were to die today you’d be in the presence of Jesus? What makes you sure? What have you been doing for the Kingdom since your claim to faith? Can you confidently share your faith with others? Or have you just been hanging around the Church? The text today makes it very clear that familiarity doesn’t mean knowing or having a relationship with Jesus. I’m familiar with a lot of people and places, but if you were to question my intimate knowledge of the same, I’d fall short. The truth is I just don’t know enough to give you the details you’d need to become acquainted with or receive insight.
Sadly, that’s the dilemma we’re facing today. Most people are familiar with the concept of salvation and Jesus, but have no real personal encounter with either. They’re unable to share their faith with anyone so it becomes -as they say- “private.” Jesus was pointing out to the Jews, the chosen people, that even though they had been born into Judaism it’s not a done deal. It’s not by osmosis. They had taken for granted that they had an edge. Well Jesus said not so fast. Because you know about Me, it doesn’t mean you know Me.
This must have really stung. Especially when He further stated that the prophets they idolized would be in and they’d be out. Let’s continue reading:
“That’s when you’ll find yourselves out in the cold, strangers to grace. You’ll watch Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets march into God’s kingdom. You’ll watch outsiders stream in from east, west, north, and south and sit down at the table of God’s kingdom. And all the time you’ll be outside looking in—and wondering what happened. This is the Great Reversal: the last in line put at the head of the line, and the so-called first ending up last.”
Luke 13:28-30 MSG
What! But we have been in the church all our lives! Never missed a Sunday or mid-week service. We have given our tithes, volunteered for every event. We have even invited people to church. How can it be that I see that prostitute, thief, drug dealer, addict, abortionist, murderer seated at Your table? 😳 RELATIONSHIP. Some of us are so busy for God we forget about Him. We look good to the world, but stink to God. Self-righteousness is offensive to Him. It’s not about us, it’s about Jesus. Our resumes are long on service but short on substance. Man looks and sees the outside, the performance, God sees the heart, motive and intent.
So how sure are you? The Holy Spirit keeps pressing relationship in these messages, to keep us focused on what matters to Him. Is service wrong? Not at all! But if it takes away from you spending intimate moments with Jesus, then it is wrong. The Holy Spirit said these words to me years ago: “ whatever I bring you will never draw you away from Me, but draw you closer.” If what you’re doing draws you away from time with Him, drop it! Have you worked for a boss you didn’t know? How was the relationship? How can you possibly serve a God you do not know?
It doesn’t require faith to do works, but it does take faith to know the One you’re working for. Jesus wants us to fully know Him. It’s His desire that we’re all certain of our eternal destiny. Almost every passage in the gospels makes reference to knowing Him. I’ve explained in earlier writings that the words know, knew, knowing as it pertains to our relationship with Jesus, speaks to intimacy. It’s not casual in its connotation. The more you know, the sweeter your service to Him and His body the Church. Have you encountered an usher who had no joy? An elder whose demeanor made you want to run the other way? They’ve lost the joy of serving. Why? Nine times out of ten, the reason is a lack of personal intimacy with Jesus. The joy of the Lord is our strength. He makes us joyful when our flesh is screaming otherwise.
The other morning I was feeling a total disconnect. I did a self evaluation and asked the Holy Spirit to reveal if there was something awry. After a few minutes I decided bunk this! My feeling does not control me, I control it. I began praising Jesus. Reminding myself that I have an open invitation and access to my Abba’s presence. Whatever it was lifted. The enemy wants us bound up, he wants us doubting and questioning our relationship with Jesus, but Jesus wants us to be confident and sure of who we are and what we believe. He wants us free of religion and bound to relationship with Him. He would rather we know Him than about Him. If you’re not sure of the answers to the questions I posed earlier, now is the time for introspection. Now is the time to evaluate your life in Christ. Now is the time to be sure. Tomorrow may be your appointment day. The day when you’re called away. Don’t you want to be sure?
Father in the Name of Jesus!
We don’t have to be unsure about our relationship with You. Jesus has made the way and path clear for us. By Your Spirit, help us get our spiritual houses in order. For we know not the day nor hour when we will depart this life. Help us be confident in Jesus’ finished work. If we have been self deceived, please open our eyes to see what You see of our lives before You, and repent. We desire to know and be known. In Jesus Name. Amen
Be very sure, be very sure! Your anchor holds and grips the solid Rock 🎼
Written by permission of the Holy Spirit
It is Well with My Soul by 4HIM