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Thy Will Be Done

Father, open my eyes that I may see.
Open my ears that I may hear.
May I understand, believe and obey.
Not my will, but Your will be done
on earth as it is in Heaven.

Series Focus: “Thy Kingdom Come”

Entry Denied. Recently, I tried to patronize a local business and was refused entry. I didn’t have a mask covering my nose and mouth. In attempts to minimize the spread of the Covid Virus, certain practices were required throughout the community. It didn’t matter that I was symptom-free. No amount of money I had to spend would change the decision. Flattery wouldn’t make any difference. My past purchases and promotions of the establishment carried no weight. Why? Because the ONE requirement for entrance was not met.

Some may complain about the rule. Others may not understand (or agree) with the terms. Some may refuse to abide by the mandate, and thereby never gain entry. Yet, those who fulfill the requirements will be allowed to enter.

Jesus shared a truth about entering the Kingdom of Heaven near the end of the Sermon on the Mount, found in Matthew 7:21-23:

“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. 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?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.’”

This passage is often unsettling to followers of Christ. Is Jesus saying we can follow Him and perform works in His name, and still not qualify to enter and enjoy the Kingdom of Heaven? Yes. That is exactly what He is saying.

But how is that fair? How does that happen when God is supposed to be just and gracious and merciful and compassionate and…?

It’s because no matter how many good things we have done, there is only ONE thing that will allow us entrance to the Kingdom of Heaven, as Jesus said: doing the will of His Father.

That truth, on the surface, is mind-boggling because we can’t gain salvation and eternal life with the Father through our works – our actions – our efforts. And, it would seem the will of the Father would include an overwhelming scope of requirements. Can we even know and put into words – let alone DO – the will of Father?

Surely we can – because God is not unjust. He wouldn’t require something of us that we’d never be able to do; nor would He tempt us with something He would never provide. Jesus taught us to pray, saying, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.” If we are to pray God’s will be done on earth, then we who are on earth would need to know what His will is and how to do it.

My dear friends, doing the will of the Father simply requires one thing: Believing in Jesus.  Jesus taught on exactly this Kingdom truth:

Then they said to Him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” (John 6:28-29)

For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:40)

The will of the Father is that we believe upon Jesus. “Doing” that alone will introduce us to a relationship with Jesus. Believing upon Him causes us to seek Him and spend time with Him. We come to know Him, and He knows us. We get so distracted with performing good works in the name of Jesus and for the cause of Christ…but none of those works will grant us entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. Only faith in God – believing Jesus is the Son of God.

When I failed to have my mask in place the other day and was denied entry into that establishment, it was a very simple fix. I went back to my vehicle and grabbed my forgotten mask. Once in place, entry was approved. This took mere seconds. But what happens if we arrive before the Lord on Judgement Day, and we’ve spent a lifetime performing good works apart from faith in the One who is the Way, the Truth and the Life? We can’t rewind, request a do-over, or return to earth for another chance to get it right.

If you’re in a place of unbelief, seek the Lord where He is found – in His Word. Reach out to believers for encouragement and strength. If you are struggling in your faith or have become lukewarm, rekindle that fire for God. Spend time in worship and prayer. Reignite your first love. If you’ve gotten caught up in a flurry of works and lost sight of your “why,” stop. Be still and know He is God. Jesus said, “Only Believe.”

I pray that all will believe and see the glory of God; that God’s Kingdom comes and His will be done – on earth as it is in Heaven.

Holding Fast to Hope,

Scripture References: Matthew 6:10; 7:21-23; John 3:16-18, 6:28-29, 40, 14:6; Revelation 3:16; Mark 5:36


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