I don’t have a very good memory. That can be useful or helpful at times, but it can also be anything but useful or helpful! I would love to give you some examples of both sets of circumstances, but I just can’t think of any at the moment!
My not-very-good-memory means that I find it almost impossible to remember passages of the Bible. I know some people can remember whole chapters and others whole books. Many people have a whole bank of verses which they can draw from at a moment’s notice. I salute them all!
I, on the other hand, can draw on very little, and even then I can only recall part of the verse. Which means it is often out of context, missing the bit that really makes the meaning. One such bit is “Go away, for I never knew you.” See what I mean? I didn’t even get that wee bit right, word for word! It is very much a paraphrase! Let me copy and paste the real text –
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’
Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'” (Matt 7:21-23, NIV)
Quite a bit more in it, and a lot more frightening. I mean, I could be in that lot – if I can do amazing things like that and still be told to get lost ……! I mean, surely a bit of demon expulsion is doing God’s work, so why is it not doing the Father’s will?
Are we commending ourselves to you again? No, we are giving you a reason to be proud of us, so you can answer those who brag about having a spectacular ministry rather than having a sincere heart. (2 Cor 5:12-13, NLT)
We can do all the fancy stuff we want, but it isn’t what we do so much as why we do it that matters. If we are just doing it to impress people, it counts as nothing. If we are just doing it to impress Jesus, it’s nothing. If we are just doing it to get into heaven, then guess what? Yep – nothing!
On the other hand, if we do it out of a sincere heart, if we do it because it is our Father’s will, if we are doing it for Him and for His glory, it is very different! That is when we might hear the words ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
Did I quote that correctly?