A lot of church goers think that if they do enough, check off enough boxes, give enough, volunteer enough, go to the “right church” (whatever that is), follow all the rules, that they’re doing what Jesus desires of them. It’s a faith that is, quite simply, based upon works. We can do nothing that gets us in to heaven. Getting Baptized doesn’t matter if Jesus doesn’t know you. Jesus isn’t a way to justify your lifestyle. Getting in to heaven has nothing to do with you at all. It’s all about Jesus. Jesus isn’t impressed by the amount of Christian songs on our playlist. He’s not impressed by how many verses we have memorized, nor is he thrilled by how many Christian concerts we go to, how many T-shirts we have with scriptures on them, or anything like that. He desires us to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength (Mark 12:28-34)
Jesus says “If you love me, you’ll obey my commands” (John 14:15). Jesus says “If you anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, pick up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23). If we know Jesus, then we recognize that nothing is about us, and everything is about Him. We submit our lives, our families, our homes, our jobs, our very thoughts to Him. We can know we are His when we do not seek our way in anything, but in every way, seek the Father’s will in Christ Jesus.
1 John 2:1-17
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake. I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.