December 27, 2013

“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.”  Matthew 7:21-23

Cover of "Elf (Infinifilm Edition)"

My family and I fulfilled what has become one of our Christmas traditions.  We watched “Elf”.  One of our favorite scenes is when Buddy learns that Santa will be coming to the Gimbel’s department store.  Buddy’s pure enthusiasm upon hearing of Santa’s pending arrive is contagious.

Elf the movie:  Santa Announcement

The divergent realms of religion and spirituality all proclaim to know God with as much enthusiasm and confidence as Buddy the Elf.  They shout out with certainty that they know God.  Their great works are provided as proof that they really do know and have experienced God.  However, Jesus tells us that they will be proven as false as a Santa that smells like meat and cheese.

Jesus teaches us that we must know Him and also be known by Him.

There are many voices who encourage us to explore the spiritual.  Some deem all spiritual experiences equal.  Others preach a religion devoid of Christ.  Others have cast Christ as a good teacher, a prophet, the brother of Satan, or a mere created mortal.  Yet, they all claim to know God.

Enthusiasm does not make us known by God.
Extreme devotion to a belief does not merit recognition by God.
Even an intellectual knowledge of Jesus does not obligate acknowledgement by God.

There are few things more tragic than a life led in devotion to a false belief.  We are told that there will be many devoutly spiritual people, even professing Christians, who will be rejected because they are not known by Christ.  They were never one of His.

Jesus knows who are His own.  He is the good shepherd – He knows His sheep.

I am the good shepherd.  I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.  (John 10:14-15)

Reza Vaziri / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

Jesus calls out to His sheep.  His sheep are the ones who know His voice and follow Him.  They are the ones who believe that He is the one Shepherd who laid down His life for them.  They are the individuals who trust His leading as the Shepherd of the one true flock.

The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.  (John 10:3-4)

The ones, who change the gospel of Jesus Christ, proves that they are not one of His sheep because they don’t know His voice.  They don’t believe that He is the one shepherd.  They don’t believe in the one flock of God as revealed in the Bible.

We must be very careful of the voices that we listen to in this confused and deceitful world.  There are many voices shouting, with great enthusiasm, a false spirituality that will only lead to rejection by the one true God.

We can easily recognize these false voices because they lie about who the one Shepherd is and what He did for us.  Don’t be led astray by enthusiasm or miraculous works.  We all need to listen to the voice of the one Shepherd and follow Him alone regardless of all the noise going on around us.

PRAYER: O Lord, thank you for calling out to me.  Thank you for drawing me to yourself.  Thank you for being a shepherd to me.  Father, attune my ears to your voice.  Help me to discern your leading from all the false teachings vying for my attention.  Teach me to set my eyes upon You, my one Shepherd.  Enable me to trust your leading and create in me a desire to follow You wherever You may lead.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son,  Jesus Christ.   Amen.


  1. For the singular reason that the voice of the Christ must remain central for me, I am currently excited about embarking on an exegetical study of John’s gospel. This is the one that features words about sheep and voices, of course! It is one in which miracles and signs seem to be enumerated (#1 – Cana). It is also one in which there appears to be a particular focus on pointing up the inherent conflict between religion and the Kingdom of God. (Read chapters 8-10 for starters, then work outward from there.) I eagerly anticipate coming to know more of His voice, His character, His truth and grace as He is shown through John’s portrait.

    • Brian – I am excited for you. That sounds like a great study. You can not go wrong with the Gospel of John. I have been blessed everytime I have studies through it. If you are looking for a good commentary, I really benefited from the written by D.A. Carson.
      May God richly bless your time in His word.

  2. Indeed, elf-like enthusiasm does not, in and of itself, indicate that one has a true relationship with Jesus. However, I wonder what the world would think if more born-again believers actually showed some enthusiasm…how can we expect others to want what we have in Christ if we are ho-hum about it.

    Love the Elf reference–my son was just acting out that very scene the other day! Nice post, as usual, JD. Blessings to you–

  3. I really like your post on elf-like enthusiasm. This is like a lot of people around who think that talking out & letting the world know of God is really helping. The one thing that stops them is never ever have I seen them use a Bible or have 1 with them. I was born into a Christian family & have followed Jesus the son of God all my life. I went to church to learn & make my life known to God & his son. He has helped me through everything I have done as I have been really messed up in health & ma finally getting it all balanced out in my body too. It means a lot to me to be able to finally get it all straightened out & know what being a normal life for a while. Thanks for following my blog & the post, “Discipline Quotes I Like” which fully capture almost everything I have learned on my own as I have been a loner most of it. You can see more of them on this blog to know me better in what I have gone through most of my life.
    Thanks & have a great day!

  4. Faith is not to have a perfect knowledge, but to hope for things that are unseen but true. One can judge by the fruits. An evil tree cannot bring forth good fruit. My faith is based on answers to prayers and the comforting feeling of the Spirit that directs me and fills me with joy.

  5. Reblogged this on Defy The Narrative.

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