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Sunday, May 13, 2018

Do you know that you know?

Chris Ney - One of my favorite and yet challenging pieces that Jesus said is what we are preaching on in church this Sunday. It is full of controversy and intrigue as Jesus has just shared His first Sermon on the mountain side with tons of people around Him, from religious people to people who have never heard anything about religion. Jesus has taught about what it means to follow Him and truly follow Him. The funny thing is that He didn’t teach about health and prosperity, He taught about how to live a transformed life to the fullest, and also taught that life is never promised to be easy or prosperous. In fact, He promised trials, persecution, and suffering, which most of the TV preachers leave out of their messages bringing us to the point of His teaching this time.

Jesus says “Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father. On that day many will say to me “Lord Lord did we not prophesy in your name, cast demons in your name?” and I will declare to them I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” (Matt 7:21-23 ESV). The beauty of the text is that Jesus was challenging religious people to the core. He was saying there is no amount of work that you can do to gain the Kingdom but that only through truly knowing the Father could you enter in. Only by truly knowing the heart of the Father and doing His will would you have true eternal life. 

Today, we make the gospel something to be bartered with, sold to, or emotionally drawn into, and in doing so we have created ways that make the gospel easy to attain, which is partly true but certainly not the whole.  The gospel is easy to attain, Jesus did the work for us on the cross taking all of our sin upon Him. The hard part is that we have to truly surrender everything to Him. It is not about showing up to church and being good enough, or doing enough good, saying the right prayers, or paying enough money. It is only about total surrender to Jesus that we truly have new life in Him. That is both easy and hard. Jesus says if we ask Him for forgiveness and turn to Him as Lord and Savior we will be saved, forgiven, but what we often miss is that it will cost us everything. It is not as easy as sign a card, say the right words, new life comes with turning from the old life and turning to Jesus; that is where it is tough, we want desperately to hang on to the past and relive our glory days and yet hold to a piece of Jesus at the same time. We do that through randomly attending church, groups etc. We deem that to be enough and yet it isn’t what is needed. Even the demons know Jesus is Lord and tremble, it is not enough to know. It is everything to be, and to be a true follower outside of religion and traditions but to be truly living out the gospel in our lives and being like Him in all that we do.

One thing I know is that is not easy, I mess that up on a regular basis and yet by His grace He picks me up, dusts me off and points me in the right direction toward Him. It isn’t about being perfect, but it isn’t about living life so carelessly that we miss Him as well. We can’t just go through the motions and expect one day to stand before Him and here well done. Nothing in our life works that way; however, if we truly are willing to give everything to Him and share with the world that Jesus is the only way to eternal life, that He is the one who already paid for our sin, and we stop trying to see and do things that are outside of that then we will truly see that we are in line with the Fathers will and desire. BUT HOW?

First, we need a relationship with Him, we need to truly ask Jesus for forgiveness and turn to Him as Lord and Savior and we will begin a relationship with Him. Second is to know His will and desire we must know Him, and the best way to know Him is by getting into His word (The Bible) regularly. It is full of everything we need to know about the Father, so we can day by day be more like Him. Third we need to be a part of a Bible believing body of Christ (the church) for life on life with each other so we can be there for each other through all the good and bad. You become part of a family that is both messy and awesome at the same time. In the end the desire is to help you and me live our life in a way that is pleasing to Him and joyful for us. It is a privilege to be a part of His family, adopted into His family and called one of His own. If you know Him and want more, then seek Him through His word, He is not hiding and wants you to know Him more. If you do not know Him then make today the day that you lay it all down and turn your life and heart to Him. If you are looking for real family that is messy but love each other through the mess then come and join us at Vertical Church, our service limes are 10:30 am each Sunday and we would love to have you, no matter where you have been or at right now we would love for you to be a part of our family. Do not get to the end of your life and say Lord Lord without knowing Him or it will be too late.

You Are Loved!!!

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