We often like to think the best of ourselves. We do not realize how corrupt our heart is, so it difficult to take a good hard look at ourselves and see the truth. In Jeremiah 17:9, we read, “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” Deceitful. The MOST deceitful of all things. Desperately wicked—so wicked we cannot say how bad.
Today’s verse says that no one does good. That means that even you do not do good. You are part of the “not a single one.” That is hard to handle. We find it hard to come to terms with the fact that we are not good—that we are corrupt. The truth is, no matter how many good things we do, we have bad things that we think and do—things we do not even realize. But God can see through every crack and crevice. He sees the corruption. He sees the deceitfulness. He sees the wickedness from within us.
The awesome good news is that He loves us anyway, and He has made a way for us to be in right relationship with Him. Despite the corruption, despite not doing good—He has made a way for us to come before Him, covered in the blood of His Son Jesus Christ. We are clothed in His righteousness, made right with God through Him. Today, thank God for His great mercy and His unfailing love. Seek His righteousness above all else. Remember, no one does good—not a single one.
“But no, all have turned away; all have become corrupt. No one does good, not a single one!” – Psalm 53:3 [NLT]
The pollen levels have been out of control the past few days. My normal allergy medicine has not been enough to combat the problem. Then the officials called for a Code Orange warning, which signifies poor air quality that will thereby impact those who are “sensitive.” This means people who are losing their allergy battle with pollen, people who have asthma, etc., should proceed with caution.
As I was walking the dogs, I was having intense breathing issues from the pollen. My great hope was the medicine that I would take after I finished walking the dogs. As I continued to drag my feet a mile, pollen from a tree blew right into my eye. Pollen 2, Tania 0. I spent the rest of the walk trying to get my watery eye to expel the bits of pollen, only able to walk with one eye open.
Life usually is full of struggle after struggle, whether small or large. It seems when we think we cannot handle anymore, something else is piled on top to cause us more of a burden. Sometimes it appears as if the world is against us. Truth be told, we aren’t meant to carry all this burden alone. Remember, we are not in this alone. Also, the world is against us. If we are living for Jesus, if we are not of this world, then we are standing against the world and the world will always be against us. Thankfully we know this world is temporary. God’s Word tells us that heaven and earth have been redeemed by the blood of Christ, that one day there will be a new heaven and a new earth. The world may be against you – but God is always for you!
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” – Romans 8:13 [ESV]
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” – Romans 8:31 [ESV]
I saw a post today online about the infamous invite-a-friend to church day. It got me thinking about the recent invitations I have extended and the invitations that seem to get excuse after excuse. There are some people I have been inviting to church for years. I get a lot of excuses but the one that goes through me is “I’ll come when I get my life together.” So I guess the idea is that you cannot go to church until you have yourself cleaned up, fixed, repaired, looking good, feeling good, or whatever.
Jesus said He came for who? For the perfect? NO! Firstly, we all have fallen short so no one but Christ alone is perfect (Romans 3:23). Second, Jesus came for the sinners. Luke 5:32 says, “I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent” (NLT). Remember, it’s not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick (see Mark 2).
I don’t care what you have done or how dirty your hands are right now—Jesus can make anyone white as snow. See it doesn’t rest on what you have done or how you appear or where you are at in life. It rests upon the blood of Jesus Christ. His blood is enough. He has paid the FULL PRICE. By His righteousness, we are welcome before the throne of God. So yeah, perhaps you have a sporting event to attend or you must work. But don’t use the excuse of getting your life together first. The only way to get your life together is through Jesus Christ. Therefore the BEST place to be is in His presence and with His people. Come to church. Today. Tomorrow. Come. I have some good news to share with you.
“But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” – 1 John 1:9 [NLT]
There are people who feel unworthy to approach the throne of God, and the truth is we are all unworthy. Only through the blood of Jesus are we able to approach God. Only through God’s grace, His love and mercy, are we able to have this opportunity through Christ. In Leviticus 26, the Lord told Moses that “despite all this,” despite what the Israelites have rejected, ignored, and despised, God would not reject His people and He would not cancel His covenant with them. He told Moses He would remember the covenant He made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob even though the Israelites were unworthy.
We all mess up. We all can recount moments when we take the path that takes us in the wrong direction. We all can list the times we followed with lust and greed, making choices that got us into trouble and knee deep in sin. But despite all this, God loves us and forgives us. We still are called to be a holy people. His grace does not give us permission to sin. But when we do take a turn away from God, when we do cave from worldly temptations, He has promised not to reject us. Despite all this – repent and be forgiven. You are not rejected.
There are arms wide open waiting for you. We are all unworthy but through Jesus, despite all this, despite the dirty rags each of us has worn, we can approach the Father – we are not rejected. Today, thank the Lord for His great sacrifice. He gave all so we could have life—an amazing life with our loving Father. Oh how marvelous a life!
“But despite all this, I will not utterly reject or despise them while they are in exile in the land of their enemies. I will not cancel my covenant with them by wiping them out, for I am the LORD their God.” – Leviticus 26:44 [NLT]
I heard of people who went from one job to a second job without having a moment to stop and shower. To be sure they did not start to smell a bit foul, they would douse themselves with cologne or perfume to cover up the fact that they did not have a chance to take a shower. The cover up may keep people from noticing that the person failed to shower; however, it does not take away from the fact that the person did not shower. The person is still dirty.
When we accept Christ we are washed by His blood—we are covered by His blood. But it’s not supposed to be a quick spray of cologne or perfume. It is supposed to be a true cleansing. It involves not only baptism but a constant relationship with Christ, becoming a new creation living out the purpose for which you were created.
Today, don’t spray on some cologne and pretend to be clean. Don’t try to take a short cut. There’s no short cut when it comes to God. You either are living in Christ or you are not. You decide.
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17 [NLT]