Verse 15: Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Verse 16: Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Verse 17: Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
Verse 18: A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Verse 19: Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Verse 20: Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them.
We will know people who seek to lead others by the way they act in private as well as public. What we put into our hearts by our thoughts and choices is what grows and eventually comes out in our words and actions. Good will produce good and evil will produce evil – this is a natural law as well as a spiritual one. We can know others inward motives by the outward products of their lives. While we all have weaknesses as well as strengths, there is a difference between sincerely trying to be better and the hypocrisy of pretending for outward appearances.
Verse 21: Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Verse 22: Many will say to me in that day: Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name have cast out devils, and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Verse 23: And then will I profess unto them: I never knew you; depart me from, ye that work iniquity.
These verses help me see that for us to know the Lord we must do the kinds of acts He did with the same type of love and motivation He had. I learned a few years ago that I must always be kind in my dealing with others because He was kind. This understanding has changed my choices when interacting with those who aren’t easy for me to be kind to. And in choosing to follow Jesus Christ in this way, I have changed; my love for others has increased, and I have become kinder to all people.
Jesus came to do His Father’s work – to help everyone on their pathway Home to Heavenly Father. If we have any other motive, we cannot know the Savior in the way we need to to live in the kingdom of heaven after this life is over. Like King Lamoni’s father, I want to give away all my sins so that I can return Home to our Heavenly Father and stay there. It’s not always easy to do what I know is right but I’ll keep trying so that our Savior can say that I seek to know Him and He knows me when it is time to enter that heavenly kingdom.
Verse 24: Therefore, whoso heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will like him unto a wise man, who built his house upon a rock—
Verse 25: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock.
Verse 26: And every one that heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them not shall be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand—
Verse 27: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell, and great was the fall of it.
Hearing and doing what Jesus teaches builds our lives upon a firm foundation that will safely get us through the storms of life even when storms beat upon us. We all have storms, or adversity, in our lives. Whether or not we survive them depends upon what we build our lives upon. True principles of belief and behavior becomes strength for us when the too hard or too easy times come. When we are committed in our hearts and actions to follow Jesus Christ in all situations, we will have the solid foundation that will keep us through unbelievable challenges.
I’ve been amazed at what turning to the Savior and striving to hear and do what His teachings and commandments during the challenges I’ve faced has done for my faith in Him, my love for others, and my increased understanding and empathy and patience for my fellow travelers. I have experienced the solidness in building upon the Rock of our Redeemer.
May we have willingness to listen and obey His loving voice.