Matthew 7:18-23A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.  “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!'”

Around the world people are doing the work of ministry. Feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, healing the sick, casting out demons, raising the dead, preaching to people, visiting those in the hospital, evangelizing the lost, and a whole host of other things. People have gotten really good at doing the ministry, so good that others daily are desiring to leave their jobs and be “in the ministry”. From the outside, from the fruit, it looks glamorous, it sounds exciting, it is enticing in many ways, for those that love God activity. But the question arises, how many people that are “in the ministry” are “in a relationship with the Lord?”

Ministry has become professional, financially prosperous, in some ways made people famous, and has done so many good things for people, it is no wonder it is so attractive to Christians, that want to be a part of the ministry action. Yet, the other side of ministry, of which so many people are affected by, but so few are aware of, is how many of these people that are in the ministry, are truly in a relationship with the Father?

The church as a whole world wide is weak, immature and commercial. We love the music, but we don’t know how to worship; we love the teachings, but we don’t change anything we do in our lives; we love the miracles, but we have a hard time believing. What I have noticed is that people all over the world are in the ministry, but they are not in a relationship with the Father. We hang on to the first part of this verse in Matthew 7 that says, you will know a tree by its fruit, but Jesus continues this thought with, there is fruit, but there is no relationship.

One thing that has happened in the church, in ministry, in the lives of Christian leaders, is that we have spent so much time and energy in the ministry, that we have neglected the relationship. But Jesus, who was in a relationship, may not have done as much as we do, but he did do something we don’t do, he stayed in a relationship with His Father. From the virgin birth to the final appearing before the disciples on the beach, He only did what He saw His Father doing, because for Him, being in relationship was more important than being in ministry.

When the leaders of the church value being in relationship with the Father over being in the ministry, we will see the Bride arise out of the Body and the King will get the glory. I believe it is critical for us to take time to know with certainty, through soul searching, through listening to instruction from others, to find out Does He Know You?

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