Saturday, February 06, 2021

Do you think you are good enough for God?

All photos courtesy of Unsplash

When we talk to others, there are always things that we do not mind them hearing and other things that we would be so ashamed of if they became public knowledge.

Some people will often tell you how they helped others, did a good deed or gave money to a charity. These things are good, of course, and we should do more things like this. However, it is possible to become proud or boastful about them.

Some people think that we must ensure that our good deeds outweigh the bad we do, think and say. This,  however,  is wrong and certainly not what the Bible teaches. God is perfect, and only perfection is acceptable to Him. God cannot tolerate sin in His presence. This is a problem for us because however much good we have done in our lives, not one can claim that we are perfect and always have been. The Bible says that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. That might not be comfortable to think about, but we all know that it is true deep down.

Yet so many people try to think that their lives are good enough for God. The Lord Jesus met people like this when He was here on earth. In fact, in Luke chapter 18 not only were a group of men trusting in their righteousness and good works, but they were also looking down their noses at those that were not up to their standards.

The Lord Jesus told a story to show what they were like. He told of two men going to the temple to pray. One of the men was a Pharisee, a religious man, who was so proud of his life. When he prayed, he was not really praying, he was boasting about his life, and no doubt spoke in a loud voice so that all could hear of just how good he was. He spoke of how that he fasted and gave a tenth of all his income away. Boasting and bragging was one thing, but he then pointed out the tax collector who had come to pray also, he did not just point him out, he pointed out all his faults and failings. This obviously made him feel superior. Sadly, this Pharisee was so far from God despite what he thought. His sin and pride were a barrier between God and him.

The tax collector, on the other hand, was so aware of his sin. The tax collectors were known for cheating people out of their money by exaggerating their tax bills and using the Roman authorities' threat to ensure people paid. The tax collectors lined their own pockets with their ill-gotten gains.

On this day at the temple, this tax collector’s conscience had got the better of him, and he felt the weight of his sin. He was not trusting in himself at all and cried out to God for mercy.

The Lord Jesus said that the tax collector went home that day justified rather than the religious man.

The Lord Jesus came to earth as part of God’s plan, He came to die and suffer for sin to bring us to God. The Lord Jesus says himself in Mark chapter 2 that He, ‘did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.’

The reality is there are none righteous, no not one, but we are all sinners. God calls us to repentance, to turn from our sin to Him.  Thanking Him for sending Jesus Christ and for trusting in what He did on the cross for us. Instead of carrying on in our own self-righteous way and comparing ourselves to others, look to the perfect Son of God, who gave Himself for us the ‘Just for we the unjust that He might bring us to God.’

Messages with Meaning. Written by Stuart Scammell for Your542Day

No comments

Blogger Template Created by pipdig