“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.” (Matt. 7:21)
Expanded Passage: Matthew 7:21-23
Desire is not enough. I discovered that early, and often, in my life. A desire to be in the school band does not make you a trumpet player. Wanting to have a dog does not make you a pet owner. Longing to be a graduate does not earn you a degree. At some point you must practice the instrument, feed the dog, and study for the exams. Desire accomplishes nothing.
Jesus taught that lesson about faith. Talking about faith, saying that you believe, identifying yourself as a follower of Jesus—all that is talk. Faith is not a desire or wish. It is a belief that produces action. Faith in Jesus is something you say. We confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord. Yet faith must produce more than three spoken words. True faith is a conviction that produces a change of heart, a change of mind, a change of life.
I’m doing better at translating intention into action. Though I’ve given up on the trumpet, I did get a dog. He’s a 135-pound Great Dane named Xander. So far, he’s been fed, watered, and walked every day. I knew that would have to happen when I told my family, “I want a dog.” It’s not the dreaming that makes me a good pet owner; it’s the doing. I’m trying to be a good disciple too.
Name one thing you will do today to keep faith in Jesus.
Lawrence W. Wilson lives in rural Indiana where he enjoys cycling, yard work, and reading a wide assortment of books. He is a freelance writer and editor, and coauthor of The Long Road Home (WPH).
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.