You never loved me
In all honesty, I’m killing a bit of time as I wait for my laundry to be done so that I can think about packing for my trip to New York this weekend. Will I ever reach the point where I’m put together enough to not do laundry in the dead of night? Will I ever be put together enough to realize that I shouldn’t drink milk tea after 8PM? These would be the questions that keep me up at night, if I didn’t already have caffeine and shirked responsibilities.
But really, what I was pondering today began with a conversation I had a few weeks ago with my accountability partners. We were in the midst of Ezekiel- yes, a strange book to be going through in general- and we were talking about how his fear of the Lord is likely what helped him get through the miserable things he had to do to prophesy the destruction of Jerusalem (lying on his side for immeasurable days and baking bread over a fire from human poo).
Fear of the Lord. Honestly, I don’t think about fearing the Lord in my daily life. Not even in my weekly or monthly life. Something really insightful that Grace shared is that the only time she could fear the Lord is when she thinks of Matthew 7:21–23:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 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.’”
I brushed this off at the time actually, as it were. It was an interesting thought for myself- but only just so.
I think God had other plans for me (to sharply awaken me from my unimportant thoughts) when he gave me an encounter with an extremely wise member of my church on a random Sunday shortly after. This member, amongst other well thought out and extremely convicting statements, told me “In our church, there will be people at the end and Jesus will look at them and say ‘I never knew you.’”
I don’t know why it terrified me this time, and not previously. Maybe it was just everything else in the conversation too, maybe it was more real because I worried specifically for the congregation in my church, for my friends, but I took it to heart, and I’ve been thinking about it since.
I never knew you. It’s not really about Jesus loving us or not, because He does and it’s irrefutable (please read New Testament and God also says in Ezekiel 18:32 “For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone…so repent, and live”) Yes, I’m getting to the part with my clickbait title: Jesus says “I never knew you” and means “you never loved me.”
Like we were in a relationship, and we had been saying “I love you Jesus” and yet every day we made no effort to say good morning and good night to Him, we made no effort to communicate with Him all day, we didn’t offer any acts of service, any quality time, any gifts…and somehow still expected to get married to Jesus.
If this was reality TV and I was Jesus’s third party friend looking in, like shoot I would tell Him to leave your sorry butt too. But it’s a little bit more complicated than that.
The point is, I am fearful, for myself and for others, for Christians who praise God, but don’t walk the talk. How can we say to anybody that we love them if we don’t know their history (the Word) or if we don’t seek to communicate with them (prayer)? Is that love for Jesus and let me stretch out here too, but is that love for your neighbor as we are called to do?
I am fearful for us not because if Jesus says “I never knew you” then the alternative is for us to burn in hellfires for eternity, which would definitely suck as well.
I am fearful for us because it means we would have missed out on the one person who showed us unending and undeserved grace and forgiveness, the person who always took care of us, was always available, was watching out for us when literally nobody else would. It means we would have missed out on the person that loved us the most, even when we didn’t love Him back.