“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).
WHATEVER WE KNOW OF GOD’S WORD, WE MUST CARRY OUT THAT KNOWLEDGE IN OUR ACTUAL DEEDS. That may sound like a worn-out cliché, but all of us need to be reminded about the connection between hearing and doing. Because copies of the Scriptures are easily available and the media of communication have become so efficient, most of us know far more about the contents of the Scriptures than many of our most studious ancestors. But what is the result? If we hear what God has said but do nothing about it, our superior knowledge will be of little profit in the long run. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven,” Jesus said, “but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” We must not be heedless hearers.
If our response to God’s truth is not as prompt as it should be, it will hardly help to say that we’ve merely been neglectful. The problem of neglect happens to be one of the worst problems in the world. While it may seem relatively harmless in comparison to some vices, neglect is responsible for some of the most awful suffering in the human race. The damage that is done by simply failing to act may grow so slowly that we don’t see it increasing, but in the end, the cumulative effect is devastating. Solomon said, “Because of laziness the building decays, and through idleness of hands the house leaks” (Ecclesiastes 10:18). And however sad it may be to observe a house that has fallen into ruin, it is even sadder to see a human life that has caved in because of neglect.
Is it any wonder we don’t find our spiritual lives more rewarding than we do? When we fail to act on our knowledge, there is little we can experience except the flat, dull taste of “what might have been.” Dorothy Kerin was exactly right when she said, “Obedience is the key that unlocks the door to every profound spiritual experience.” Nominal Christianity has proliferated in the modern era. Many are those who wear Christ’s name. But to all who have “accepted” Christ, Paul’s words are a sobering reminder concerning real discipleship: “As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him” (Colossians 2:6).
“What we think of, what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only thing of consequence is what we do” (John Ruskin).
Gary Henry — WordPoints.com + AreYouaChristian.com