No amount of striving will produce any amount of righteousness in us at all (Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:9). All of our self-produced holiness amounts to nothing more than a pile of old, dirty rags (Isaiah 64:6).
We cannot boast of what we accomplished in Jesus' name to earn our way to heaven; it is only by grace through faith in Him (Ephesians 2:8-9). If we trust in our self-efforts, we are foolish (Galatians 3:1-3).
Neither can we use any wisdom, strength or riches of our own to gain God's favor; this accomplishes nothing more than building our house on the sand (Matthew 7:26).
Wanting to please God, we attempt to religiously adhere to even the most vague letter of the law (Matthew 5:18). Our heart is in the right place, because we do not want to disappoint God.
However, no works on our part will gain us access to Heaven or make God love us more than He already does. No failure on our part will make God love us any less either, although it does break our fellowship with Him until we repent.
Only an intimate walk with the Lord through honest repentance of sin and a commitment of our life to His service will earn us His protection, kindness, justice and righteousness on our behalf (Proverbs 28:26; Jeremiah 9:23-24).
God's Spirit enables us to shun evil and honor God with all of our thoughts and actions (Philippians 2:12-13). We draw near to God, resist the devil and watch him flee from us (James 4:7).
We eventually learn to give God every fear and insecurity that plagues our life, because we come to understand that He really does care about us (1 Peter 5:7).
Father God, human beings feel safe somehow in trusting only in what we can discern with our senses and understand with our mind. We are driven to control our own life and even live in rebellion and pride in order to prove with can keep our self safe. When we add the devil's deception to our humanism and the lusts of the world and the temptation of our flesh to this equation, it is a wonder that anyone will throw our self into Your loving arms.
Yet, once we do, we realize how much time we wasted by not surrendering to your peace and joy years ago. Our sin nature doomed us to failure since birth; but Jesus Christ set us free from sin and death by His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension (Romans 8:2). Thank You for becoming Emmanuel for us and setting us free to enjoy eternity both now and for endless ages to come.
Thought for the Day:
God delights in us and we are His people and the sheep of His pasture (Psalm 9:7; 100:3); as we seek His will for every minute of every day, we walk in His ways, and He removes the ruts and bumps in our road (Proverbs 3:5-8).