Authentic Faith

Authentic Faith

Matthew 7:21-23 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Understanding this passage drives me to a real relationship.

Initially it’s, “Not everyone who say’s Lord, Lord, but the one who does.”
Then it’s followed up with, “Many will do in Jesus or God’s name and will still hear ‘Depart from me.’”

I think we’ve all know people, or maybe been the person, that says one thing and does another. Right? The parent that says, Do what I say, but not what I do? We too often think we are the exemption.

Really though…. Do you think that if you just say the right words for faith that you’ll be fine? If you can quote scripture, big deal. Even Satan quotes scripture to Jesus when Jesus is being tempted in the wilderness.

Do you think that simply doing the right things is enough? I mean, here Jesus says some will say we have prophesy (spoke the word of God to people), cast out demons, and have done many mighty works… that’s a far cry from I’ve gone to church or served on committees or tithed…

The way I read this it’s way more than just what you say, or what you do. It’s your real heart for God.

Which brings me to being authentic. Being honest before God. Honest with yourself around others. This is a tough lesson to learn, especially when we are forced to live in a digital world. No one wants to air their dirty laundry for the world to see in perpetuity. But, it’s too easy to only present the facebook picture perfect life…
The preacher in the perfect suit, with the perfect hair and smile has always made me roll my eyes because I feel like it’s not authentic. Now, I know that for some people that is authentic so don’t scold me for my feelings. I strive for real talk and real appearance.

Maybe that’s a bad thing. My favorite professor Dr. Tuttle said, “I want to be as clean on the outside as I am on the inside. Which means I’m a little dirtier on the outside, but I’m getting cleaner on the inside.”

I think when we have trouble being honest with others, we also have trouble really being honest with God… At least I do. When I am honest with God, I am honest with others. And when I let God clean me up on the inside, I’m cleaner on the outside, and I have a lot more to say and do concerning the amazing work of God’s restoring and forgiveness in my life.

I want a faith that is not simply words or deeds, but a faith from the heart that comes out of my mouth and through my actions.

So do you live trying to hide your faults from God and yourself or do you strive to be honest with where you are and listen to what God is trying to say, and how you need to grow? What sins do you need to seek forgiveness for and to allow God to reconcile in you?

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