Matthew 7:22 I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’ (The Message Bible)
We love lists! Even when I am looking at sports info on the internet there will be links to things like “The 12 most beautiful women who never married” or “The 15 most popular TV shows ever” or “My 10 favorite Harrison Ford movies.” Many of us have Christmas lists and/or bucket lists. Perhaps one of the lists we keep in the back of our minds but seldom verbalize is a list of things we do that we feel are impressive to God. Being a pastor, I can appreciate that in the passage above there are those who felt God should be impressed with the way they preached! (And concerned that Jesus goes on to say “go away, I never knew you) In a church of hard working volunteers it is easy to imagine many giving the credentials of their efforts before God. Is it possible that we can do seemingly religious things without any real relationship with God? For those of you who like to think of yourself as “spiritual but not religious” is it possible to have a spirituality that looks spiritual outwardly, has the external actions of being spiritual, but ends up more focused looking spiritual than listening to God? You may have a shrine to your favorite celebrity in your home but if you tried to use it as a reason to move in with them you may be greeted with “I’m sorry, do I know you?” This week, which of your actions, religious or otherwise, will really have to do with your faith connection to God?