Have you ever been out shopping or running errands when someone approaches you and starts up a conversation as if you are familiar friends? They know your name and seem to know everything about you. But, try as you might, you cannot recall their face or their name. You just don’t have a memory of them. As they are talking, you are thinking, “Do I know you?”
Just because you know Jesus’ name and who He is, that doesn’t mean that He knows you. Do you realize that you can even belong to a church and work on projects in the name of the Lord and still not be a child of God.
God recognizes His children by their fruit. By fruit we aren’t talking about apples or oranges. No, God is looking for the fruit of His Spirit (love, peace, joy, faith, goodness, kindness, meekness, temperance and self-control from Galatians 5:22-23).
Yes, the way to identify a tree or a person is by the kind of fruit that is produced. “Not all people who sound religious are really godly. They may refer to me as `Lord,’ but they still won’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The decisive issue is whether they obey my Father in heaven. On judgment day many will tell me, `Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, `I never knew you. Go away; the things you did were unauthorized. (New Living Translation)
According to the Word of God, what we do, not just what we say, is very important. Yes, salvation is a gift of God and we are saved by faith not in any works lest any man should boast (See Ephesians 2:8-9). However, the Bible also tells us that faith without works is dead (SeeJames 2:17).
Why? Faith in Christ without demonstrating the nature of Christ is a sign that Christ really isn’t in us. Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love me, you will obey my commandments.” Obedience to God’s Word is the result of our love for Him. So, what commandments should we obey as children of God? Simple. Love God with all your heart, all your soul and all your strength; and do the things that demonstrate the love of God. All of God’s commandments can be summed up in these two (See Matthew 22:37-39). Then, on judgment day you can be sure that Jesus will recognize you as a child of God.
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:
- I was hungry and you fed me,
- I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
- I was homeless and you gave me a room,
- I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
- I was sick and you stopped to visit,
- I was in prison and you came to me.
Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me–you did it to me. (The Message)
Today’s Life Principle: Children of God display the nature of God and do the will of God.