Words Of Jesus Devotionals - 24
"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. "Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!" (Matthew 7:15-23) (NKJV)
Our motives and intentions are closely watched by the Lord while we are in the Lord's work or ministry. Why are we doing things that we are doing? Is it for fame, is to become rich, is it to build our own kingdom? or is really the "kingdom of God" that we are truly concerned about. The Apostle Paul speaks of those who "peddle the Word of God".
For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ. (2 Corinthians 2:17)
In the passage above, Jesus warns us of "false prophets". There are many around today who qualify
for this infamous title. Mind you, they prophesy, cast out demons and do wonders, all in Jesus' name, but they are not the servants of Jesus, but of the evil one. They use Jesus' name, but use the power of the devil to achieve it.
Jesus says, we can know them by their fruits. Luxurious lifestyles, propensity to hoard money, self propogated unbiblical doctrines have become so common these days. Riches and prosperity are linked to faith and holiness. Naive believers cannot differentiate between true and false ministers of the Gospel, though Jesus had issued the warning long ago.
According to Jesus, "Doing the will of the Father in heaven" is what is most important, which can often mean working for the Lord without fame and prosperity in an obscure place. Jesus wants his ministers to be "good trees bearing good fruit". Can we match up to his standards? is a question that we as ministers of the Gospel should ask ourselves.