"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."
Jesus has just warned His disciples to watch out for false prophets, those who claim to be followers of the Lord, but fail to follow through in their actions. To illustrate this point, He contends that a good tree cannot bear bad fruit nor a bad tree, good fruit; the "bad apples" are to be avoided as their presence and motives among the "good apples" can spoil the whole bunch. Those who are fully committed to doing God's will and who strive daily to do so cannot possibly produce anything other than good fruits in their lives and in the lives of others.
Where, in today's society, do you see evidence of "bad apples" in the church? Who are the self-proclaimed prophets paying lip-service to the Lord, yet leading many well-meaning and trusting Christians down the wrong path? Are there churches with political or social agendas that are preaching something other than salvation through Christ? Closer to home, have you, yourself, ever had the devastating experience of belonging to a church where you felt the priest or pastor betrayed you or the congregation in some way?
Let us pray today for all clergy in every corner of the globe that they might be faithful servants of our Lord Jesus Christ and unwaveringly committed to doing the will of the Heavenly Father. May their "Lord, Lord" bear good fruit!
Psalms 101, 109:1-4 (5-19) 20-30 or 119:121-144
2 Kings 18:9-25
1 Corinthians 8:1-13