I Don't Know You!

            “Hey Daddy. It’s me. It’s Gregory your son. How you doing Daddy?” With a very confused but firm look and with a very weak but serious voice, the 94 year old gentlemen lying in his nursing home bed, drew his head back, looked up and said: “I don’t know you.

            “Yeah Daddy, you do know me! I’m your youngest child, your only son Gregory.” The response was similar: “I don’t remember you. I don’t know you.” “Oh Daddy. You know me! I’m your son! I’m the one who used to follow you around everywhere you went when I was a boy. I rode in the saddle with you when I was just two or three years old, too young to ride by myself. You would set me down under a tree so I wouldn’t get hurt while you gathered up the cattle. I remember when the cows came running up I would begin to cry because I thought they were going to get me and you would come back on your horse and pick me up so I wouldn’t be scared.”—“I don’t remember. I don’t know you.”

            “Yeah Daddy, you know me! I’m your son Gregory. Remember? When I got a little older, probably four or five years old, you found that old mesquite tree near our house that had a limb that curved and grew out horizontally at just the right height that I could climb up on it and get on my horse by myself. You even built me a little chute for my horse beside that limb to keep him still while I climbed in the saddle. You know me Daddy. I’m your son Gregory.”—“Who are you? I don’t know you.”

            “But Daddy, you do know me. Remember all those days when I used to help you burn thorns off the cactus on the ranch so that the cattle could eat them? Remember all those days we worked so hard?”—“No. I don’t know you” was again the response.

            This story unfolded while I was in Texas with a dear friend back in March of this year where my friend Gregory’s 94 year old dad is in the nursing home. I was excited to have the opportunity to finally meet this Cowboy of cowboy’s that I had heard so much about. A man that had fought as a Marine in Iwo Jima in World War II, had spent much of his life serving the Lord in a children’s home for Mexican children in south TX, who had been inducted into the South Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, who had been a husband, daddy, granddaddy, great granddaddy, and who had obviously touched the lives of so many people.

I know what a solid, respected and Godly man Gregory is and I know from what Gregory has shared with me that his dad had played a major role in shaping him into the man he is today. From meeting much of the family from multiple generations, I could tell that their character and love for God was one that had been intentionally and thoroughly taught and passed down to each generation.

            As Gregory and I stepped out into the hallway so he could gather his emotions, he shared with me how those words had pierced his heart. His daddy’s mind and body were failing fast. He knew all the memories that he and his dad had shared for the last 60 years, but it hurt that his dad could not remember him. However, what touched me most was when Gregory said: “What pierces my heart the most is the fact that so many people will one day hear God say the same thing—not because of memory loss, but because they never really had a relationship with their Heavenly Father.”

            My mind went immediately to Matthew 7:21-23 when Jesus said: “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. 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 in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (NIV).

            The Bible tells us the most people will not make it into Heaven! “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many will enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (MT 7:13-14).

            These people who Jesus said He will turn away on the Day of Judgment because He never knew them, did all this work in Jesus’ name: prophesying, driving out demons, performing miracles, etc., yet they were not known by Jesus. What is missing?

My guess is there will be those who will not even be able to boast of this level of accomplishment or works. Many will only be able to say: Lord, Lord, wasn’t I baptized? Wasn’t I a member of _________ church? Wasn’t I confirmed? Was I not an altar boy? Wasn’t I a deacon, Sunday school teacher or preacher? Didn’t I read the Bible? Didn’t I live better than most people? Didn’t I give my money for this or that building to be built? Didn’t I try to always do what I thought was right? Didn’t I live a moral life? Doesn’t my good deeds outweigh my bad ones?

            The list can go on and on, but the result will be the same if we expect our good works, our religion, or even our having lived a good life to earn our salvation, make us acceptable to God and get us into Heaven! Jesus said He will only know those who do the will of His Father.

            Doing the will of the Father will involve service and living a good life, but these must be the result of a daily, intimate, love relationship with the Lord Jesus which transforms our lives and motivates us to serve Him out of love and gratitude for what He has done for us—not out of obligation or legalism. Doing the Father’s will, will always result in loving and serving others. Doing the Father’s will, will always glorify His Son. Doing the Father’s will, will always be led and empowered by the Holy Spirit who lives in us. Doing the Father’s will, will always lead us to obedience to God’s Word. Doing the Father’s will is not what we do for Him, but is allowing His Son to live and work in us and through us.

            You can know Him and be known by Him, but only through your relationship with His Son Jesus and what He has done for you and wills to do through you. Instead of hearing: “I don’t know you.” We can hear Him say: “Welcome home my child!” Accept His forgiveness. Allow Jesus to be Lord of your life. Follow, obey and glorify Jesus in all you do and you will do His Father’s will.








Devotions by Year

  • Even Bulls Can Learn To Get Along
  • Changed Minds
  • Today is the Day
  • Sometimes We See What's Not There
  • Why Do You Farm?
  • Misplaced Aggression
  • Feasting On Filler
  • 'Get Some Rest': Not As Easy As It Sounds
  • Lessons From Freddy
  • Just Tired and Reflecting
  • Safe Pasture
  • Sin: Just Like Fall Army Worms
  • Blood Cleanses
  • Just Cute Little Harmless Pups
  • Life: A Series of Pipping
  • Just Because He Loves Us!
  • No Excuses!
  • Oh! Now You Tell Me!
  • Live Like You Were Dying
  • But You Didn't Tell Me!
  • Time to Choose
  • A Gift for the Man Who Has Everything and Realizes That He Really Has Nothing
  • Celebrate the Harvest
  • Falling Stars
  • Easier To Lead Than To Drive
  • Weeds, Weeds, Weeds!
  • Grace Is Like Grits
  • We Can’t Do It ‘Ourselves’!
  • I Wouldn’t Make a Good Cowboy
  • What Are We Thinking?
  • Your Walk Talks
  • Activity is No Substitute for Reproduction
  • Who Would Have Ever Thought It?
  • Thankful for Boundaries
  • Cover It Up Or Fix The Problem?
  • What Will Your Legacy Be?
  • I Wish I Had Been There! I Wish I Had Not Forgotten!
  • If God Can Use a Dove....?
  • Hope In The Midst Of Hopelessness
  • I Don't Know You!
  • Like A Straddled Squirrel
  • Sounding the Alarm: This Is Not a Test!
  • Don’t Let The Urgent Keep You From The Most Important
  • We Never Know Who We Have In The Basket
  • Uh Oh--Jesus' Got Toothpaste On His Head!
  • A Moment of Silence is like Preg Checking a Bull
  • A Chicken's Right to Choose
  • Got to Leave Right Now! What Do I Take With Me?
  • He is Able—But if He Does Not!
  • Declarations of Independence: Properity or Destruction?
  • Blackie: One In A Hundred-In More Ways Than One
  • Who Is Holding On The Tightest?
  • That Must Have Been 20 Years Ago!
  • It's Almost Time
  • Keeping Me Awake At Night
  • Better Be Dressed
  • CHRISTMAS My Favorite Time of the Year
  • A Nation Without God is a Nation Without Hope
  • Bush Hogging During a Severe Drought?
  • When the Heart Dies—the Whole Body Dies With It
  • Depopulate and Eradicate (or) Expiate and Propitiate
  • If I Could Only Say One Thing and Had One Last Chance to Say It
  • Go Ahead and Jump Son—Daddy Will Catch You
  • The Final Dispersal
  • Chicken Piping—He Sees Them All
  • “Takes the Teeth Out”
  • Making It Harder Than It Is
  • Why Was He Born?
  • What to do when you don’t know what to do
  • A Dry And Thirsty Land Where No Water Is
  • If Only These People Will Change
  • Go Fishing—You Never Know What You Might Catch
  • Some Droughts are Preventable
  • Celebrating ‘True Freedom’
  • Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone
  • Victory Through Surrender
  • Responding Like a Sick Calf?
  • Our Life’s Investment: A Time for Reflection
  • Preg Checking: Open! Bred! I Ain’t Sure!!
  • Confidence To Face The New Year
  • Two Virgins and a Baby—The Irony and the Gift of Christmas
  • Precious Moments in the Calving Pasture
  • Working On a Building
  • What is the Foundation of Your Faith?
  • To Walk on Water—You Have to Step Out of the Boat
  • Only One Life to Live
  • The Uniqueness of a Mother’s Love
  • A Prayer That God Will Always Answer
  • Lessons from a Boar
  • When You Have Done All You Can Do to Stand: Stand Firm
  • Lowing in the Distance
  • Not My Dirty Feet!
  • Where did it go CFCI devotional
  • The Day ‘Tater’ Died
  • Life’s Lessons from the Chicken Yard
  • Christmas Choices
  • Experiencing God in the Calving Pasture
  • FAMILY: On and Off the Farm
  • Unity is More Than Important—It is Absolutely Essential
  • God, I’m not ______________. I AM!
  • The Rod and the Staff
  • The Good Shepherd Leads the Way
  • The Good Shepherd
  • Blessed to be a Blessing
  • Mama Should Have Named Me Martha
  • FENCES: On the Farm & In Our Lives
  • The Harvest Depends on the Heart
  • The Gospel & Our Response to God's Grace
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