Not Bad, Just Not Good Enough
The Lord rewards every man for his righteousness and faithfulness, (1 Samuel 26: 23 ESV)
Righteous means to be free from all guilt or wrong. So I’m going to be judged for being free from all guilt and wrong? That scares me! I’m a good person. I attend church regularly, I tithe, I am active in serving the Lord, I keep good friends and avoid bad ones, I pray, I visit sick people in the hospital, and I do a whole lot more that God should give me credit for.
Even worse, all of my righteousness’s are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64: 6). That’s bad news. Lexus has as its purpose statement, “The relentless pursuit of perfection.” That’s mine too. But I don’t get credit for it. Not fair.
Well, if 99.9% were good enough, then: …
107 incorrect medical procedures would be performed today. …
880,000 credit cards in circulation will turn out to have incorrect cardholder information on their magnetic strips. …
12 babies will be given to the wrong parents each day. …
22,000 checks will be deducted from the wrong bank account in the next 60 minutes. …
and there are dozens more illustrations that would shock you.
So 99.9% isn’t good enough for God either. Only perfection will do.
I can do all manner of good works and receive praise from men, but that doesn’t make me more righteous. I can be a member in good standing of the best service club, social organization and church in town, but that doesn’t make me more righteous.
But wait. I can be a liar and be accepted by God; Abraham was. I can be an adulterer and murderer and be accepted by God; David was. I can deny Christ and be accepted by God; Peter did. This doesn’t make sense.
Now God has me right where He wants me! There isn’t anything I can do to earn salvation; it’s a free gift (Ephesians 2: 8-9). He wants me to understand that believing in Him to do what He promised to do causes Him to reckon the righteousness of Jesus to my account . (Romans 4: 3,22). Therefore God seeing me through Jesus sees a perfectly righteous person and I am good enough because of Jesus.
That changes the whole picture. Now instead of being scared of God’s demand, I am grateful for His provision. Now instead of working to be accepted, I work to please. Now instead of striving for perfection, I strive to exalt Him. Rev. Neil Fichthorn was the President/CEO of Sandy Cove Ministries and my hero for decades!
Keswick, America’s (2012-12-13). Real Victory for Real Life Volume 2 (Kindle Locations 11573-11601). . Kindle Edition.
Quote of the day: Often times when we think of becoming a Christian, we think of what it is doing for us – that we are reconciling in our relationship with our creator that we are having our sins forgiven, that we are being saved… I think that the call to receive Christ is more like Gabriel’s visit to Mary where he asks us, will you carry the Christ, will you carry the salvation of the world? Mike Wilkins
Verse to Memorize: “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58