Matthew 7:13-29

Matthew 7:13-29

What is the will of the Father? The will of the Father is for us to know His Son Jesus Christ and for us to walk in love relationship with Jesus.We are all trees planted in the orchard on this planet. According to God’s design, we were planted here as a tree to produce fruit. And we’re now not only looking for what can harm us and draw us away from understanding God’s Word and understanding God’s love and understanding God’s strength, but now we’re also having to look into our own lives. As we look around — and this is the thing, you know, He says early in chapter seven “Do not judge,” but now He’s telling us, sometimes you have to judge. But what is it we’re judging? I’m not judging you for who you are. I’m judging the fruit that comes from you. If you step up and do good, I’m seeing good. It’s okay to recognize good and it’s okay to recognize bad. What’s wrong is to say, when you see the bad, “Ooo, you’re going to hell for that.” That’s our tendency. “You wicked person!” And so often what will happen is we’ll look at one bad thing and all of a sudden everything that comes from that person is bad. But you know what? I’ve seen fruit trees, I’ve seen how they grow, and in every tree there’s some fruit that comes, it’s immature and it falls away, but generally what that tree produces is good fruit. Now, if a tree is continually producing bad fruit, fruit that has no flavor or fruit that’s small or bitter…but, in general, the fruit that’s produced is good.

And so Jesus is giving us an understanding of how we can look at one another, and what we’re looking for when we judge. We are fruit inspectors. That’s what we’re judging. We’re not people judgers. I don’t judge you. I can’t tell you that you’re going to hell just as I can’t tell you that you’re going to heaven. I can tell you how to go to heaven. I can tell you what God’s Word says. If you want to go to heaven, this is what you need to do, and if you don’t do these things, that God’s Word says there’s only one other place that God has created, and He says that’s were people will go. Am I telling you you’re going there? No. I’m giving information. But your life will produce, through the span of your life, the fruit that indicates whether you’re good or whether you’re bad. And especially when it comes to wolves who want to come in amongst you and take advantage of you. We need to be careful about who we listen to, why we listen to them, and if God’s Word is not the foundation that they’re laying — if they’re laying any other foundation — then they’re probably a wolf…

It’s not about doing good works or doing bad works, but it is why you do those works…

What’s the will of the Father?… The will of the Father is for us to know His Son Jesus Christ, for us to walk in love relationship with Jesus… We can do all kinds of good things, but have a bad heart. We can do what the world says is good and still not enter into the kingdom. It’s not about doing good works. It’s about knowing Jesus. And just because you go to church, and just because you say, “Lord, Lord,” doesn’t mean you’re going to enter the kingdom of God if you’re doing those things as a work to impress God…

What is your foundation? Is your foundation found in God’s Word? Is your foundation loving and walking with Jesus to know Him because He said you need to know Him? I wish I could prove to you today why you need Jesus in your life. I wish I could snap my fingers and make God appear right before you, and you could see His glory and understand why you need to know Him. I can’t do that. All I can do is hold up His Word and say, He has proven Himself in His Word. He has given us what we need to know in His Word, and He’s just told us that the rains come, the streams rise, and the wind blows, and they beat against the house. I can guarantee you of that. I can guarantee you that you will have rough times. But I can also guarantee you that if you believe Jesus and what He’s just told us in Matthew, if you accept Him, trust Him, receive Him in, and know Him, then you’re wise and you have a foundation that is the rock, and you’ll make it. You’ll survive the storm when it comes. A storm is never comfortable, even if your house is built on the rock. There will always be moments of doubt. There will always be question. The window may leak a little bit. The door may fly open and the rain fly in. But guess what? When it’s all said and done, you are standing firm…

Jesus never required for us to fulfill the law… Jesus came to tell us, you can’t be good until you know Me. And then, and then, when you know Me, it’s only natural to see good fruit. Then the good things happen in your life. You do the good things because you are now a tree that produces good fruit. See how it works? You’re not going to be good on your own. You’re not going to make good things happen. And oftentimes, even after you come to know Him, because you’re going through a maturing process, some of the fruit as it grows may be immature, may not be so good, but it will fall away. But if you are truly that tree that’s planted and growing in Him, it is only natural that one day good fruit grows. It’s got to happen. If it never happens, you were never a good tree. You never knew Him.

Pastor Dave Elkins