Mathew 7:21 ‘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 in heaven.”
A few years ago I joined a world wide group called Toastmaster. Before I joined the group, I did some research. I wanted to know what the group had to offer me, and what I would need to do become a member. I attended a meeting, in an attempt to see and know more. Then I informed with as much knowledge as I could get made a choice. I believe all of us do this when we are thinking of becoming members of any group. We gather information about the benefits and the responsibilities and decide if we are willing and able to cover the responsibilities and also if the benefits are pleasing to us. The Bible refers to this as counting the cost. (Luke 14:28) In Acts 9:16:, we are told that Paul would see a vision of all that he would suffer for Jesus name. In 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 Paul tells us he was beaten, put in prison, been hungry and thirsty, in lots of danger, gone without sleep, been naked and cold, shipwrecked and in the end he was likely beheaded. If you got a vision that showed you this, would you be willing to chose membership in being a Christian? Yet Paul did! He must have also received a true vision of what eternal life in heaven would be like, and understood that even through all of these trials God would be with Him, and give him strength and peace. He counted the cost and decided that membership privileges of eternal life in heaven, and having Jesus with him out weighed the cost! Paul made the choice to do the Father’s will in his life and for his life.
In our key verse today we see that Jesus said not all who call Him Lord will get to heaven, only those who do the Fathers will. How do we know what the Father’s will is? We can find out the general will of the Father in the Bible, to follow Him, worship Him, give thanks, and share with others about Him, follow the commandments the greatest of which Jesus said is to love God with all your heart and all your soul and with all your mind, and second is to love your neighbor as yourself. (Mathew 22:36-40) But we will also know that we are individuals and God has different talents and opportunities for us in achieving so how do we know that? We listen to the Holy Spirit who is alive in us, and we obey. we obey because we want to be counted as members. We have made the choice that membership is what we want and that the responsibilities are also part of that membership. We can be confident that no matter what God calls us to do He will be with us, He will strengthen us, He will give us peace that surpasses all understanding and that because He loves us He will never leave us or forsake us. When we realize that we have missed an opportunity or not followed His will for us that we can ask for forgiveness and receive it. That is part of our privilege as members of His family.
I can say with complete confidence that this membership of being one of God’s children, (a choice we make to accept or not) has great privileges. I have counted the cost. There is no greater privilege in the world then being counted as one of His children, the rewards far out way the responsibilities. So often will take on the responsibilities of other group memberships, paying fees of time, money, duties for far less reward. I hope and pray that all who read this chose to become part of His family, and accept both the rewards and the responsibilities.