August 6 I Saturday
“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…” Then I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you…” —Matthew 7:21-23
The opening verse of this devotion gives a sobering warning. There will be people who know Jesus and even use the right language—“Lord, Lord”—but Jesus does not know them. They will reason, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name and in Your name drive out demons and in Your name perform many miracles?” But Jesus responds, “I never knew you. Away from Me, you evildoers!” (Matthew 7:22-23). How does this make sense?
Jesus explains why in Matthew 7:24-26: “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
We often hear this passage taught that the rock is Christ. While there are parts of Scripture that remind us that Jesus is our rock, this is not what Jesus is calling our attention to here. The evidence of knowing Jesus and to be truly known by Him is that we hear His words and they become evident and practiced in our life—our obedience. Jesus states to His church that if we build our life upon His words by putting them into practice, we are building our life upon a firm foundation. In contrast, the one who does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.
James 1:22 says, “Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” Obedience to God’s Word and putting it into practice is what Jesus is calling us to do. Going to church does not mean that we know Jesus, and listening to sermons does not mean we are saved; rather, applying the teachings and building our life upon the rock of Christ reveals that we are resting on a saving relationship with Jesus—a firm foundation.
Did we notice that Jesus said, “The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house” for both foundations? In other words, Jesus is not talking about “if they come” but “when they come.” With certainty, adversity will come, but those who are obedient to His words need not fear, for their life is built on His firm foundation.
Prayer: Gracious Jesus, You are the rock upon which I build my life. Even when adversities come, I shall not fear because You are my firm foundation. Thank You, Jesus.