“A bystander said, ‘Master, will only a few be saved?’ He said, ‘Whether few or many is none of your business. Put your mind on your life with God. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires your total attention. A lot of you are going to assume that you’ll sit down to God’s salvation banquet just because you’ve been hanging around the neighborhood all your lives. Well, one day you’re going to be banging on the door, wanting to get in, but you’ll find the door locked and the Master saying, ‘Sorry, you’re not on my guest list.’ You’ll protest, ‘But we’ve known you all our lives!’ only to be interrupted with his abrupt, ‘Your kind of knowing can hardly be called knowing. You don’t know the first thing about me’.” Luke 14: 23-27 (MSG)
Have you ever driven around a really expensive neighborhood and wondered who lived in the houses? You could drive through the neighborhood every week and never know a single person in the neighborhood. There might be successful business people, educators, pastors, or politicians that fill the homes. Yet, driving through their neighborhood won’t help you know them unless you meet them.
Jesus told the people that being around the things of God wasn’t going to help them spend eternity with God. He understood that knowing God required a personal decision…a personal commitment. It requires us to know God personally, not just about him. I don’t want everything to be said and done to find out that I was in the “neighborhood” with God but never really knew him. We can get so caught up doing church and forget why we are even there. It can easily become an item on our calendar or a task to check off our to-do list. If we just “put in our time” at church every week, then maybe we will be okay with God. But, God isn’t as concerned about your premier church attendance as he is concerned about your heart. If life flows from the heart, you will be at church to serve people. But, you can fill a seat or sit in a pew for decades and never know God. What a tragedy to be around religion your whole life and never experience a life changing relationship with Jesus. So, instead of doing business as normal, take time to know God, because He really wants to know you.
Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.