The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? And in Thy name have cast out devils? And in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity" (Matthew 7:21-23).
No one who finds acceptance with God and entrance into Heaven will do so by professing their own "wonderful works" (even if ostensibly done in the Lord's name).
"Not by works of righteousness which we have, but according to His mercy He saved us" (Titus 3:5).
"This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent" (John 6:29).
"All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6).
The redeemed will enter Heaven solely through the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. As the beloved old hymn proclaims, "Nothing in my hand I bring, only to Thy cross I cling." The proud will have no place there because they affirm their own efforts and works rather than those of the Savior. A good life (by inadequate human standards) will not suffice, nor will adherence to the parameters of a denomination, church, or any moral or ethical philosophy. Those who seek to come by the works of their own hands will make their approach with an empty heart. "I never knew you" God will say to them because they never knew His Son. "He that honoreth not the Son honoreth not the Father which hath sent Him" (John 5:23).
The works of the born again believer in the Lord Jesus matter much. "This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works" (Titus 3:8). Not one of them, however, has anything at all to do with our redemption from sin and the reception of God's gift of eternal life in Christ. His work bears the only significance regarding this most important of all matters. "To him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness" (Romans 4:5).
The redeemed have emptied their hands of their own efforts to receive the freest gift ever given, purchased by the highest cost ever remitted. May we all look forward to that day when we come to God with the confession of Christ and His work in our hearts and upon our lips. Our Father will gladly receive us, and eternity will not be long enough to fully glorify the One whose grace alone makes possible the salvation of a Christ-filled heart made possible by hands, His nail-scarred hands and our empty ones…
"Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever."
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast."
Weekly Memory Verse
This is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us.
(I John 5:14)