Midnight Stranger

But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’

Matthew 7:23 (NLT)

Fathers are called to be protectors of our families. It’s not necessarily something that anyone has told us along the way. Instead, I believe that God has instilled that desire, or instinct, into us. We want to make sure our family is taken care of.

So, imagine a father, in the middle of the night one evening, hears a knock at the door. He goes to answer it, and there is a stranger standing there. “Can I help you?” the father asks. “Yes, I’d like to come in” comes the stranger’s reply. How would you answer the stranger? If you’re like me, you would answer a very stern, “No!” But, imagine that the stranger persists on coming in. The father responds, “Who are you?” The stranger describes all of the good things they’ve done in life: feeding the homeless, they are a deacon at their local church, they tithe 12 percent, they give money to those in need, and so on. How do you think the father would respond? Again, I would say, “Yeah, you’re not coming in. I don’t have any idea who you are.” I’d then ask him to leave my property, close and lock the door. I’d probably also watch him leave, just to make sure.

It’s this same type of scenario which Jesus is talking about in our verse today. Many will come to Jesus asking for entrance into His kingdom. They will have a checklist of all the good things they’ve done in life. (Of course, they’d conveniently leave the bad stuff out, because that’s not important.) And, on the surface, they, perhaps, have done many good things to help others in this world. But, here’s the problem: Entrance into the Kingdom of God is not a result of checking things off of a list. Entrance is based on whether or not the King knows you, and you know Him. It’s not based on what you do, but who you know.

Now, replay the scenario of the person at the front door, except this time it is your best friend knocking in the middle of the night. It makes sense, right? Of course, you’d let your best friend in and offer them whatever help they may need at that moment.

Today, and every day, work on knowing Jesus – not just knowing about Him, but knowing Him personally. Make Him your best friend. How is that done? You must spend time with Him.

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